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Publication Date: 21 Nov 2019
Publisher: SPCK Publishing
Page Count: 160
Author: Magdalen Smith
ISBN-13: 9780281080106, 9780281080113

The Grace-filled Wilderness

A Journey Through Lent
By Magdalen Smith
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ISBN: 9780281080106
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ISBN: 9780281080113
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The Grace-filled Wilderness connects contemporary encounters of wilderness with the traditional themes of Lent and Jesus’ journey to the cross.

It concentrates on ‘double-edged’ subjects, which bring us life as well as potentially drain life from us when we fall into them in the wrong way. How we deal with our appetites; what gives us identity; how to live with the freedom and power we hold; ways to overcome the underlying anxiety which is wrapped around so much of contemporary life and faith – all of these are explored. Each week progresses from ‘wilderness to grace’, as the reader moves through Lent and Holy Week into the glorious hope of Easter.

Week I APPETITE: Fast, Hunger, Excess, Feast, Bread for the Word, Prayer & Action.
Week 2 IDENTITY: Loneliness, Isolation, Solitude, Friendship, Community, Prayer & Action.
Week 3 POWER: Ambition, Position, Vocation, Contribution, Service, Prayer & Action.
Week 4 FREEDOM: Choice, Freedom, Boundary, Humility, Authenticity, Prayer & Action.
Week 5 ANXIETY: Lifestyle, Money, Pressure, Failure, Trust, Prayer & Action.
Week 6 DARKNESS: Weakness, Dislocation, Desolation, Death, Waiting, Prayer & Action.
About the Author
Magdalen Smith is Diocesan Director of Ordinands and a priest in the Diocese of Chester. She has a background in the visual arts and is interested in the dialogue between faith and contemporary culture. A retreat leader and spiritual director, she has published Unearthly Beauty: Through Advent with the Saints, Fragile Mystics: Reclaiming a prayerful life and Steel Angels: The personal qualities of a priest.
Press Reviews

Unearthly Beauty (SPCK, 2017): With heartfelt honesty, clarity and humanity, Magdalen Smith challenges the Church to see the journey ahead with new eyes. This book is a timely prophetic call to be refreshed by our inheritance in ways that renew integrity and hope.

- Libby Lane, Bishop of Stockport

A treasure chest of gems.

- Jill Duff, Director of St Mellitus North West training course

Fragile Mystics (SPCK, 2015): The mystics, both medieval and modern, bring a welcome invitation to be still, adore, face the reality of darkness and grow above all in the love of God which, as Paul says, ‘surpasses knowledge’. If prayerfulness is diminishing in your life or ministry, Magdalen Smith’s quiet skill will help you see that it doesn’t have to be this way.

- Keith Sinclair, Bishop of Birkenhead

Magdalen Smith enables us to reclaim a sense of mystical living . . . you will want to revisit [this book] again and again.

- Magnet

Steel Angels (SPCK, 2014): This book is a breath of fresh air. It takes the nine Criteria which the Church uses for selecting clergy and applies them to reflect on the practicalities of lived-out ministerial life. But what is so exciting is the engaging way this is done: the world of art, film, novels and poetry are all richly evoked to spark the reader s imagination and to enable creative connections. This is an insightful and thought-provoking book which will provide fresh perspectives, set theological hares running and serve as a valuable resource for all those involved in pastoral ministry or exploring their vocation.

- Stephen Ferns, Senior Selection Secretary, Church of England Ministry Division

Magdalen’s book could produce a rethinking and reorientation of pastoral theology.

- The Revd Ken Leech

Steel Angels by Magdalen Smith is an excellent contribution to the discernment canon. Smith uses a range of techniques to look at the spiritual, emotional, pastoral, and administrative aspects of the life and work of a priest . . . Drawing on appropriate personal experience, church politics, art and the Bible, her beautifully written book offers many delights. Her capacity for taking the mundane and finding an illuminating illustration from scripture, literature, the visual arts or popular culture ensures that there is no dryness of approach.

- Church Times

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