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The Sacred Gaze


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About the Author

Susan Pitchford is a senior lecturer in sociology at the University of Washington and a professed member of the Third Order, Society of St. Francis. She is the author of God in the Dark: Suffering and Desire in the Spiritual Life (Liturgical Press) and Following Francis: The Franciscan Way for Everyone. Susan lives in Seattle with her husband, Bob Crutchfield.


"How do we live in a world `addicted to velocity'? How do we resist the seductions of a culture that invites us to define ourselves by what we consume? Susan Pitchford has written a fiercely honest and probing `guide for the perplexed' that brings together sharp psychological insights with the ancient wisdom of the Christian spiritual tradition. In doing so, she outlines for us a great anthropological adventure: This book is about the recovery of radiance-the sheer wonder and amazement of being alive and aware."
Alan Jones, Dean Emeritus of Grace Cathedral
"The Sacred Gaze is more than just an insightful overview of the relationship between healing and spirituality: it is a splendid general introduction to contemplative prayer. Susan R. Pitchford understands that contemplation is, at heart, a revolutionary way of viewing life, love, and God. With humility and grace, she explains the beauty and power of contemplative seeing, and how praying in this way can help you to become the authentic person God has created you to be."
Carl McColman, Author of Answering the Contemplative Call and The Big Book of Christian Mysticism
"The Sacred Gaze invites readers on a personal contemplative journey to look into the mirror who is Christ and to discover their own Christic identity." Dr. Janet Ruffing, RSM, Yale Divinity School, New Haven, Connecticut
"In this brief but rich and deeply impressive text, Pitchford writes about the recovery of the inner radiance that is the fruit of a contemplative lifestyle.... She articulates a very readable and convincing integration of both the mystical and sociological traditions. . . . Pitchford's Sacred Gaze is a very powerful, brief, and well-written text. I highly recommend it for any courses dealing with Spirituality, Mystical Theology or Spiritual Anthropology. It may also serve as a very solid supplemental text for grounding students in a spiritual orientation toward contemporary activism in Social Justice Issues."
Eric W. Hendry, Catholic Books Review
"It is an honest, at times amusing, deeply theological and yet practical little book for all who seek God, who long to `come home to our true [selves], the glory of God, a human being fully alive.' It is a book which would appeal to pastors, theologians, and lay people seeking to understand the sacred art of prayer through the psychology of the Self."
Philippa Cole, Grace & Truth
"This is much in this book that can be of great help to anyone engaged on the spiritual way, that seeking of God of which Saint Benedict spoke. The author's popular style and informal, almost chatty way of speaking may appeal more to those at the outset of this marvelous journey."M. Zita Wenker, Cistercian Studies Quarterly

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