Robert J. Wicks is a professor of pastoral counseling at Loyola College in Maryland. He is the author of more than 40 books. He has a knack for wedding psychological insights with spiritual practices that makes his books consistently interesting. This one offers a series of short and snappy commentaries on navigating the perils of spiritual intimacy. The organizing principle of the book is prayerfulness which he defines as "being in the present with your eyes wide open to experiencing life and God in dynamic new ways." At the outset of this journey, Wicks says that the three key elements of spiritual intimacy are:
"Love God deeply.
Do what you can for others.
And, please, take good care of yourself."
There are many ways to take care of ourselves so that we can be more attentive to the present moment and the presence of God. Wicks suggests using rituals, softening the soul, being more patient and compassionate with yourself, acknowledging life's fragility, befriending anger and other negative emotions, honoring "unofficial retreats", and appreciating inner companions of hope.
Wicks follows this up with a 30-day retreat on prayer and prayerfulness with quotes, questions, and spiritual themes. Here you will find thoughtful treatments of gratitude, patience, flowing with God, kindness, and the courage to live. He also presents a Spiritual Mindfulness Questionnaire (SMQ) so you can determine your prayerfulness profile.