The Sacred Year by Michael Yankoski {Book Review}

“We must both attend to the wind and then respond to whatever it is that the wind is doing. We trim our sails, adjust the course, sometimes we even exchange one sail for another – whatever it takes so as to be in the most receptive place given what the wind is doing. Our attentiveness to the wind allows the wind to move us.” – Father Solomon, in The Sacred Year: Mapping the Soulscape of Spiritual Practice by Michael Yankoski

In The Sacred Year, Michale Yankoski takes us through a physical year of his life in which he decided to focus on various spiritual practices in an effort to boost his faith to reality instead of words. It is an interesting look at some spiritual practices and how one man implemented them into his life for spiritual growth. Yankoski beautifully depicts his experience with each discipline, struggle therein, and light afterwards. The writing is warm and personal. 

That being said I didn’t enjoy reading this book. In the beginning it was enlightening and good, but then it just kept going and going and I was honestly quite tired of it. It is very similar to Preston Yancey’s Table in the Wilderness in that it is highly introspective and personal. And I just kept being frustrated. “Get on with it already!” 

I know that a book about spiritual practices is probably supposed to fell like slowing down and coming to life. To me it felt like we were slowing down and coming to the author’s life. Which I suppose is typical of a book that is more like a spiritual memoir (I didn’t know it was so memoir-like when I requested it. I think I am just worn out of that genre!) I just had to force myself to read to the end. 

Obviously what wasn’t for me at the time could be another person’s cup of tea, so I’ll quote LeVar Burton from Reading Rainbow: “Don’t take my word for it!” 

If this sounds like a book you might like to read or have been hoping to read, let me know in the comments and I’ll gladly send it your way! If more than one person wants it I’ll just choose randomly! :) 

A couple more quotes: 

 “Father Solomon nods. “Yes, of course,” he says. “God is the artist, the Creator. But,” and he looks off into the distance as he speaks, surveying all his long life and learning, “the older I become, the more convinced I am that we participate with God in the creative process of the soul. God is the capital-A Artist, if you like,and we are the lower-case artists, but nevertheless the relationship between God and Human beings is much more a dance than methodology, more delightful partnership than rote coercion.”

 “What if what Saint Paul means in the saying ‘work out your salvation with fear and trembling’, is that we are to partner with God in the artistic process of forming the human soul?” 

“Aware of the depth of suffering in the world, we can vow not to live superficially.” –  Thích Nhât Hanh

“Either you look at the universe as a very poor creation out of which no one can make anthing or you look at your own life and your own part in the universe as infinitielt rich, full of inexhuastible interest, opening out into the infinite further possibilities for study and contemplation and interest and praise. Beyond all and in all is God.” – Thomas Merton


((I recieved a copy of this book from in exchange for my honest review.))


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