Thursday, February 9, 2017

Book Review: Ordinary Goodness

The Surprisingly Effortless
Path to Creating a Life of
Meaning and Beauty

by Edward Viljoen

Once again Edward Viljoen brings inspiration with his latest book, Ordinary Goodness. In his introduction, he quotes C. S. Lewis as saying, "To love is to be vulnerable." And in Viljoen's typical style, he draws on that vulnerability, that realness of just being human, as he explores living ordinary goodness. He tells stories about his experience with his grandmother, his early role model of love and acceptance. He tells how she would often  say, “Oh for goodness sake” when incidents would occur that might bring a more profane expression from others, and then he invites us into the deeper meaning of these words. After simply reading the introduction, I already felt inspired to strive to live from this higher perspective, to live more for goodness’ sake. Throughout the book, Edward shares personal stories to illustrate his points, both with experiences where he struggled and those where he brought his greater understanding. He also offers many points of wisdom from spiritual teachers from all traditions. And woven within each section are suggestions and simple practices to support the reader in finding and living from ordinary goodness. Here is a spiritual book that is not lofty or complicated, but written for ordinary people like us, living our ordinary lives, for goodness sakes.

Review by Rev. Ruth Barnhart, a staff minister at Center for Spiritual Living, Santa Rosa.

Ordinary Goodness is available from Stepping Stones Books and Gifts.

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