Resources | Spiritual Formation
Please note that the members of the Monica Society consist of women from a variety of theological perspectives including Protestantism, Catholicism, and Eastern Orthodoxy. The resources chosen here are seen as useful in understanding spiritual formation from a variety of perspectives. Our members are encouraged to enjoy the richness of their own theological heritage as well as, when possible, exploring the wisdom that is offered in other traditions. Most of us have found that the desire for spiritual intimacy is only explored with the balance that is offered by spiritual discipline and surrender. For this reason, there is much in common among these texts though their authors most certainly represent a broad spectrum of thought. These texts have been proposed and reviewed by SSMA and Monica Society members. When a spiritual discipline is specifically explored it will be noted in parentheses following the title of each resource.

Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth

Richard Foster's very readable classic loved by a variety of our members. Click here to visit Foster's Renovaré site.
Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home

Foster offers an approach to enriching prayer by examining 21 forms of prayer that have been used in a variety of streams of faith.
The Way of the Heart (SOLITUDE, SILENCE, PRAYER)

A classic in Catholic and Protestant circles. Very readable. Very short. Very accessible.
Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ (Library of Spiritual Classics, Volume 2) by: Mme. Guyon (PRAYER)
Another perspective on the Prayer of the Heart/Jesus Prayer that was at one time so unsettling those in power that it was censored and publicly burned in France. Best read in conjunction with "The Way of the Pilgrim".
Adventure Inward Christian Growth Through Personal Journal Writing by Morton Kelsey (JOURNALING)

This book is one of the only books that I have found that takes a good look at the role Journal Writing can play in Spiritual formation. By using journal writing as a spiritual discipline, a number of benefits to journaling are explored and a number of approaches are articulated.
The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence also translated as Practicing the Presence of God (PRAYER)

A nice companion to the Miracle of Mindfulness.
A Hunger for God: Desiring God through Fasting and Prayer by John Piper (FASTING)

God's Chosen Fast by Arthur Wallis (FASTING)

Note: Fasting is not necessarily going without food. A recommended companion to this resource is our page on Intentional Nutrition as well St. John Chrysostom's notes on Fasting.
Stages of Faith: The Psychology of Human Development by James Fowler

The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding How God Changes Lives

If you like Foster's approach to spiritual disciplines as an introduction, Willard probably serves as an intermediate next step.
Soul Feast: An Invitation to the Christian Spiritual Life by Marjorie J. Thompson

This book is very much like Foster's Celebration of Discipline. It approaches the disciplines with a bit more feminine flair.
The Other Side of Silence: Meditation for the Twenty-First Century (Revised) by Morton Kelsey (MEDITATION)

An excellent, in depth yet reassuring resource for those concerned about or interested in the differences between Christian Mysticism and the mystic practices found in Eastern and New Age contexts.
The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life In God

Dallas Willard addresses the desire many Christians have for deep discipleship in the midst of consumer Christianity.
The Mountain of Silence: A Search for Orthodox Spirituality

The Way of the Pilgrim is recommended as a pre-requisite to this material
John Climacus: The Ladder of Divine Ascent (The Classics of Western Spirituality)

The Philokalia, Volume 4: The Complete Text; Compiled by St. Nikodimos of the Holy Mountain & St. Markarios of Corinth

An advanced text.
Praying With The Desert Mothers

The Renovare Spiritual Formation Bible

This reference offers commentary on spiritual disciplines and contains the deuterocanical and apocryphal writings that were used before the reformation in very clear translations. The additions to the book of Esther (mentioned on the Essential Resources category page) are offered in modern English and in context.
Thomas Moore

Thomas Moore was a monk in a Catholic religious order for twelve years. Moore holds degrees in theology, musicology, and philosophy. He's also a former professor of psychology. Internationally renowned, Moore has been nurturing souls in all aspects of life.

Web Sites
Orthodox Information

Spiritual information on living an Orthodox Life
Last update: April 2009