What we are destined for in Christ and in the communion of saints is beyond what most can even begin to imagine. With the help of St. Paul, St. John of the Cross, St. Ignatius of Loyola, and Teilhard de Chardin, Fr. Bernie Owens provides an engaging sketch of our spiritual journey.
In More Than You Could Ever Imagine, Owens offers a glimpse of what we shall become, both individually and as a human race, transformed in Christ. More Than You Could Ever Imagine is ideal reading for pastors, spiritual directors, instructors and students of formation programs and college courses of theology and religious studies; so too for anyone, Christian or non-Christian, wanting to grow in their knowledge of our journey to God. It will also be of much interest to clients of psychologists who are open to the spiritual journey.
Bernie Owens, SJ, resides at Mwangaza Jesuit Spiritual Centre in Nairobi, Kenya, where he guides retreats, serves as a team member of the Training Course for Spiritual Guides, and teaches part-time at Hekima College, the Jesuit seminary. Prior to this ministry, he served as a retreat guide, as director of the Internship in Ignatian Spirituality, and as the leader of discussion groups on spiritual classics, especially of Carmelite and Ignatian authors, at Manresa Jesuit Retreat House near Detroit, Michigan.
More Than You Could Ever Imagine is a wise and reliable guidebook to our shared human destiny: the "great unfolding of our lives, our Passover journey into God" (8). Jesuit Bernie Owens accompanies us step by step through the life-process of gradual "divinization," individually and communally, in response to God's surpassing graciousness and love. The author shows a remarkable gift for presenting profound spiritual insights and deep theological truths in accessible and appealing language, using images and experiences from everyday life. Deeply rooted in the Scriptures and the insights of the Spanish mystics Ignatius, Teresa and John of the Cross, yet thoroughly contemporary, this book should appeal to many readers, and includes reflection questions at the end of each chapter to facilitate group discussion.
Steven Payne, OCD, Principal of Tangaza University College, Nairobi, Africa
More Than You Could Ever Imagine: On Our Becoming Divine is a superb introduction to the Christian spiritual path, from initial conversion to full transformation. Guided by The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, Owens, a Jesuit, presents the basic dynamic of Christian life. Building on Ignatian insights, Owens then borrows classic texts from John of the Cross to present the ultimate goal of the Christian spiritual path-deification or "becoming divine." Owens concretely illustrates his insights with examples, many from his own life. Each chapter concludes with reflection questions making it ideal for personal spiritual inspiration as well as for group reflection.
Dick Hauser, SJ, Assistant to the President for Mission, Professor Emeritus of Theology, Creighton University Jesuit Community
Bernie Owens' book when read slowly and reflectively is a profound and refreshing experience into the Love and Peace of God. I will recommend this book to all my clients and to the people that attend my many workshops. This book has been written by a man deeply immersed in God and it is an overflow of his profound experience of God. Make sure you read this book.
Fred Cavaiani, psychologist , marriage and family therapist, spiritual director
Through this book, Fr. Owens fulfills his goal of providing a rich and comprehensive description of our spiritual journey toward divinization; that is, transformation into God. A seasoned and respected spiritual director and teacher, he draws upon his profound understanding of the spiritual legacies of Ignatius of Loyola, John of the Cross and Teilhard de Chardin to guide us through the joys and challenges of the spiritual life. Anyone, priest, religious and member of the laity, looking for a roadmap for their spiritual journey, will find it here.
Patricia Cooney Hathaway, Professor of Spirituality and Systematic Theology, Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit, Michigan, Author of Weaving Faith and Experience: A Woman's Perspective
Grounded in Scripture and the wisdom of Ignatius, Teilhard de Chardin, Teresa of Avila, and John of the Cross, Fr. Owens guides us through the work of `becoming divine,' offering spiritual and theological teaching, making the insights accessible and appealing. Questions for personal or group reflection make this a valuable tool for faith formation gatherings, pastoral ministry teams, and spiritual direction.
Bernie Owens cares about serious Christian living in our world of busyness. His civil but burning fervor opens spiritual depths to any serious seeker. Clearly Ignatian in his own spirituality, Owens throws on postmodern experience sharp-edged light drawn from John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, and Teilhard de Chardin. Few of Owens' paragraphs are ordinary and without surprising insights or a new way to fathom an old truth. This is a book that begs to be re-read-a surprising and rewarding book, eye-opening about what we actually hope for in the end.
Joseph A. Tetlow, SJ, Jesuit Hall Community, St. Louis, Missouri