The Ragamuffin Gospel
By Brennan Manning
This book is about Grace. I don't remember Manning's exact quote but a couple times he writes something to the effect of 'God expects more failure from you than you allow yourself.' And in the context of the writing he's talking about this unconditional love and it doesn't matter what we do or how many times we mess up, we are loved. This is good news indeed.
Sometimes I have a hard time forgiving myself. This book spoke to that tendency I have to remind me of the potency of God's love.
Quote: "We settle in and settle down to lives of comfortable piety and well-fed virtue. We grow complacent and lead practical lives. Our feeble attempts at prayer are filled with stitched phrases addressed to an impassive deity. Even times of worship become trivialized.
This is the victorious limp often lived by this writer. At different times on the journey I have tried to fill the emptiness that frequently comes with God's presence through a variety of substitutes--writing, preaching, traveling, television, movies, ice cream, shallow relationships, sports, music, daydreaming, alcohol, etc. As Annie Dillard says, "There is always an enormous temptation to diddle around making itsy-bitsy friends and meals and journeys for itsy-bitsy years on end." Along the way I opted for slavery and lost the desire for freedom. I loved my captivity and I imprisoned myself in the desire for things I hated. I hardened my heart against true love. I abandoned prayer and took flight from the simple sacredness of my life. On some given day when grace overtook me and I returned to prayer, I half-expected Jesus to ask, "Who dat?" (pg. 180)