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Gratefulness, The Heart Of Prayer: An Approach To Life In Fullness

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  228 ratings  ·  25 reviews
A monk reflects on the many aspects of the spiritual life with the basic attitude of gratefulness. "A true delight." Henri J. M. Nouwen
Published February 2020 by Paulist Press (first published July 1st 1990)
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Jun 18, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wise and funny. Worth a read, a re-read and a third read. Actually, stop reading. And just do what Steindl-Rast says. And watch everything change. His words continue to challenge me.
Jun 16, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very good book, quite difficult in part. The main downside is that the word8ng can over intellectualise the beautiful and simple meaning of what the author is trying to say. This is one of those books you can re read over and over again and pick up something new.
Chandra Slavonic
Although I do not feel I am a Christian, I found this book illuminating and inspiring. It was also thought provoking, really giving me some things to think about. It reminded me how beautiful Christianity can be. Gratitude and surprise, prayer, faith, hope, love - these were explored in the light of Christianity and given a much deeper meaning than is usually the case. I tried to read this book with an open mind and as much humility as I could. It is well worth the read for anyone interested in ...more
Tracy Andrews
Jun 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gratitude and gratefulness should have a huge role in our lives and David Steindl-Rast offers useful insights on the subject. Love the simple, profound wisdom shared in this book.

I'm no longer concerned by other people's spiritual leanings; for me David Steindl-Rast's language is easily perceived as spirituality rather than religious dogma. However, if you cannot get past the language of God, you will struggle with this text.
Katherine Collins
Jul 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spirit
Several readers commented on the final words in our TED summary from Brother Steindl-Rast – “Stop. Look. Go.” His invocation inspired me to take another look at this book, which is both wonderfully simple and deeply profound. Brother David himself says that he could summarize this book in just two words: “Wake Up!” …but it is worth reading all of the other words in here too.
Katie O'Bryan
Aug 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this as a child, very formative for me.
Apr 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Phew, it's all there, but can be a little dense, as some have noted. The first read gives you a good overview. But I feel like each chapter could be a semester course: maybe just an hour or two a week, but it has to be lived through time.
On my second read, I think I will just bite off a bit, then then "read, mark, and inwardly digest" before moving on!
Mar 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been reading this off and on for a long time. I love the work of Brother David Steindl-Rast (especially The Music of Silence) and his reflections on the simple life and gratitude. Recently I watched some interviews with him - he is well over ninety now and still an inspiration. You don't have to be a Christian to appreciate his deep wisdom about the contemplative life.
Christine Jolley
Beautiful writing but felt like the complexity and deepness of writing was both it's strength and weakness at times. Hard to understand sometimes whilst other times could make you teary. Might need multiple reads. Read a bit every morning before prayers.
May 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brother David Steindl-Rast turns the religious experience from worshipping God in more traditional ways to worshipping the moments and experiences with gratitude and openness, expansive living as prayer. A beautiful and kind read for secular and religious people alike.
Justin Banger
Feb 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faith, living, theology
A tremendous book. An antidote to anxiety the author invites us into a perspective that puts us in touch with the fullness of life. The glossary at the back of the book, is worth the price of the book itself.
Beth Murphy
changed my life!!
Kris Copeland
Probably not for everybody.
Dec 31, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was like trying to read a word salad. I did not finish.
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didn-t-finish
Didn't finish this as I found this hard to read as the author contrasts various terms like leisure, work, play, prayer, contemplation and in confusing ways and eventually ties them in with gratitude. I’ve read better books on prayer, mindfulness and contemplation. I had expected a more direct focus on gratitude. The first chapter is the best.
Nov 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Sooner or later we discover that prayers are not always prayer. That is a pit. But the other half of that insight is that prayer often happens without any prayers. And that should cheer us up."

A huge part of prayer is seeing the everyday, the over and over again, the mundane as they were meant to be seen- with gratefulness.

David Steindl-Rast puts life into the perspective that seems pretty much perfect. He writes of leisure as a necessary experience to correct our world view. We can get so caug
Sep 24, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The final chapter pulls everything together and made this a worthwhile read for me, but not an easy or particularly pleasurable one. There are some real gems, but some of his logic I found to be circular. His basic premise, though, is true and timeless; the foundation of a full life.
Kevin Estabrook
My spiritual director gave this to me for x-mas one is truer and truer every day...gratefulness is necessary for any advancement in the spiritual life, but it is also a gift...synergistic even...
This book seemed to be too much talking about something that can only be experienced. I'd apply Shane Hipps' analogy of spending too much time talking about the menu instead of actually eating what's right in front of you.
Peter Hagen
fantastic thoughts!
Aug 04, 2008 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Tal Ben-Shachar reccomendation.
Charlotte  Wrenn
Sep 25, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Charlotte by: Lauren Artress
Judy Campagna
Aug 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book
Nov 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a wonderful read regardless of your faith. I am happy to have found this gem!!
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BROTHER DAVID STEINDL-RAST (b. 1926) is one of the most well-known spiritual teachers in the world. Born in Austria, he came to the United States after receiving his PhD in Psychology from the University of Vienna. As a member of the Benedictine Order of Catholic monks, he is known for pioneering work in interfaith dialogue (especially between Christianity and Buddhism), his promotion of the spiri ...more

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18 likes · 13 comments
“As we learn to give thanks for all of life and death, for all of this given world of ours, we find a deep joy. It is the joy of trust, the joy of faith in the faithfulness at the heart of all things. It is the joy of gratefulness in touch with the fullness of life.” 3 likes
“True gratefulness is courage to give thanks for a gift before unwrapping it.” 1 likes
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