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A Season of Mystery: 10 Spiritual Practices for Embracing a Happier Second Half of Life

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  61 ratings  ·  18 reviews
We live in a culture that tells us there are few things worse than aging, that we should avoid aging at all costs, and that we must shun death. And yet, no matter how much money we spend on health supplements, no matter how many gurus we consult, the fact remains unchanged: We will grow old.

In A Season of Mystery, 60-year-old Paula Huston—a grandmother, and also a caretake
Paperback, 224 pages
Published November 1st 2012 by Loyola Press
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Dan Salerno
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Paula Huston's warmth, wisdom and ability to engage her readers shines through in A SEASON OF MYSTERY: 10 SPIRITUAL PRACTICES.

Considering the subject matter (of aging) she steers remarkably clear of clichés and well-worn witticisms, instead offering up her own experiences. Which includes an intriguing collection of friends who have guided Huston on her own life's journey. Like Father Bernard, a monk:

"On another occasion, a first-time visitor asked Fr. Bernard how he managed to keep his eyes on G
Nov 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Hoped this would be The Book that I want about flourishing in the second half. There was some good stuff, but still not the book I'm hoping someone out there will write. ...more
”So, how can we face old age and dying? We can set aside the comforting myths that tell us we can indefinitely postpone what’s coming next. We can cease the frantic efforts to achieve all our unfilled goals before we die. Then we can move into this most challenging phase of life with both eyes open, remembering that our real purpose here on earth is to be ‘servants of Christ and stewards of God’s mysteries.’ (I Corinthians 4:1)”

I read a couple of books this year that are linked to the fact that
Julie Davis
Dec 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Transcending the endless cycle of want-satisfaction also gets us ready for death and what follows. My friend Betty, age eighty-five, sums it up like this: "Getting old is about preparing for the next life. But nobody these days is thinking about that anymore." ...

So how shall we face old age and dying? We can set aside the comforting myths that tell us we can indefinitely postpone what's coming next. We can cease the frantic efforts to achieve all our unfulfilled goals before we die. Then we can
Dec 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012-list
A few months ago, as my new pregnancy companion book was launching, my mother-in-law approached me and made a request she’s never made of me.

She asked me to write a book.

It’s hard entering the second half of life, she explained. Her kids are all adults, and some of her grandkids have started having babies.

She feels unprepared. She feels unsure. She feels like having a book to walk with her would be helpful at the very least.

I agreed.

But I didn’t think I was the person to write it. For one thing,
Dottie Parish
Jun 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
I purchased this book after reading a prior very profound book by the same author titled Forgiveness. This one is also excellent though quite different. Huston reveals more of her own background prior to returning to her Catholic faith and then becoming an oblate. She struggles now with the issues of aging and tells how we can avoid becoming a crotchety old person. The disciplines she describes include practices helpful to all: listening, delighting, lightening, settling, confronting, accepting, ...more
Jun 13, 2013 rated it it was ok
I got this off of a friend's to-read list, with a vague interest in reading about life after 50. Ended up skimming it, finding it very heavy on lives of saints (it’s published by Jesuit Press, after all) and only a couple of insights. A little validating to read that yes, other people are mystified by the fact of knowing more and more dead people and by the mountain of stuff rotating through their lives – parents' stuff, grandparents' stuff, piling up in every corner of my small house and I can' ...more
May 06, 2015 rated it liked it
I used this book as part of a daily spiritual practice wherein I read, meditate and then journal. I am aging and going through the adjustments related to a retirement from ministry. I appreciated the steps or perhaps stages that one moves through as one accepts aging. The section on 'Listening' for me was excellent in that I often do not listen to myself, my soul. The last chapter on Blessings - well it brought to mind all the blessings in my life and my gratitude and love for my aunt who has be ...more
Dec 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
As always, Huston is a clear and often lyrical storytelling, illuminating a spiritual practice through her own journey. Terrific reflection questions for each section are included at the end of the book, designed for small spiritual groups and spiritual direction. Each of us has to determine where the second half of life falls -- for some of us are aging more quickly, as our bodies give out faster than others -- yet these are good practices for life-long cultivation, too. So rather than worrying ...more
May 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spirituality
Ten practices which encourage not just a 'happier' second half of life, but developing spiritual maturity. Paula Huston is a fabulous writer, and her spirituality is perceptive and rich. Among the spiritual tasks for the second half of life that she identifies are: Listening, Accepting, Confronting, and Blessing. ...more
Jan 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I found this book beautifully written and thought-provoking. It's not just for an older person to read, but really anyone reflecting on what "the second half of life" holds. It's appropriate for both men and women.

I reviewed "A Season of Mysetery" in my monthly column for The Catholic Post:

Highly recommended.
Lee Ann
Feb 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Very inspiring to me during Lent. Especially because the author left an upwardly mobile life behind to become a spiritual writer. Wonderful anecdotes mixed together with insights, will probably be a future book study selection at church (for us older folks).
Feb 28, 2013 rated it it was ok
Nothing new here.
Mar 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
interesting, thought provoking.
Aug 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
We are going to die. Period. No amount of anything is going to stop that. This book reminds people to spiritually prepare for dying.
Aug 18, 2018 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this one, in a quiet, contemplative way. An unassuming, non-flashy tome that resonates with "the second half of life." ...more
Aug 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Refreshing look at the major benefit of aging--increasing in wisdom!
Nov 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Very good and practical ideas...ways we can make our life more enjoyable and more productive. Pleasant read.
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