Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Book Of Not So Common Prayer by Linda McCullough Moore

Linda McCullough Moore's book, The Book of Not So Common Prayer has been chosen as the UU A Way Of Life book for October, 2014. Here is the review I wrote for Amazon.

When I wrote Linda McCullough Moore a fan email after reading her story "On My Way Now" in the April, 2014 issue of The Sun Magazine she described herself as "deeply Christian". I asked her in a follow-up email what she meant by this. Now having read her book, The Book Of Not So Common Prayer, I understand much more clearly what she meant.

Linda McCullough Moore is not a "cultural Christian". She is a real one and lives the life bringing herself to prayer 4 times per day for 20 minutes, a practice she spends a 160 page book explaining. She explains her prayer life and what she wants it to be in every day language with wit, humbleness, and clarity that made me admire her and maybe want to emulate her practice. I see prayer a little differently than she does, her approach being more traditionally Christian, and I, a former Roman Catholic and now a Unitarian Universalist, more eclectic perhaps, and based on Aldous Huxley's Perennial Philosophy, the writings of the Stoics, the meditative practices of Osho, and the prayer practices recommended in the workbook of A Course In Miracles.

I don't imagine God as an "other person" who I talk to like an imaginary friend, but rather as an experience of Love's presence getting into a flow state of becoming one with everything as the state of bliss pursued by meditation. I told Linda in an email, I think of God as a verb, the ultimate force of the universe, the unified Godhead, and taking 20 minutes 4 times a day to connect to this wellspring does change one's sense of oneself and the world, no question about it.

I have great respect and gratitude of Linda's sincerity, genuineness, and candor in discussing what for most people is a very intimate and rarely described experience: praying. With the encouragement of Linda's book, I am going to work at my prayer life more seriously, regularly, and enthusiastically. For that, The Book Of Not So Common Prayer, is a great blessing.

1 comment:

  1. I was reading the Big Book Of Christian Mysticism by Carl McColman and McColman points out that "God is very polite and a rather shy lover, and he never forces himself on you." p.78

    McColman also quotes St. Augustine as saying that you cannot seek God unless God has already found you. McColman writes, "The point is that, even your seeking - which seems and feels as if you are taking the initiative - is actually already, on a very deep level, a response to God. The seeking may, paradoxically, be evidence of the finding - or, should I say, the having been found." p.79

    McColman writes "What will happen if you devote your life to prayer? Who knows? Pray and see." This is what Moore does taking a suggestion from Brother Lawrence that the devout aspirant pray 8 times per day. Moore cuts it down to 4 but then writes a book about her experience. I don't know if Moore ever heard of McColman, but whether she has or not she took his dare and I think, having read her book, that Moore believes that the experiment has turned out fabulous. I wonder if there are UUs who also might devout their lives to prayer? Do you know of any? If so, leave a comment.