Cassian taught that real intimacy with God in prayer demands renouncing one's former way of life, the thoughts belonging to that former way of life, and one's very idea of God. In Thoughts Matter, Mary Margaret Funk focuses on the second of these: renouncing the thoughts belonging to one's former way of life. Her eight chapters focus on different "thoughts"—food, sex, anger, dejection, acedia (profound weariness of the soul), vainglory (taking credit for good actions), and pride.
Funk explains well how failure to control these thoughts can undermine our spiritual life, and she instructs readers on how effectively to overcome these thoughts and to focus instead on thoughts in harmony with God's will. The result is an experience of joy, hope, and freedom from enslavement to our appetites. Readers will come away enlightened, strengthened, and inspired to delve more deeply into a life of intimacy with God.
Mary Margaret Funk is a Benedictine nun of Our Lady of Grace Monastery, Beech Grove, Indiana. From 1994 through 2004, she served as executive director of Monastic Interreligious Dialogue, which fosters dialogue among monastics of the world's religions. In addition to the volumes of the Matters Series, she is the author of Islam Is…: An Experience of Dialogue and Devotion and Into the Depths: A Journey of Loss and Vocation.