Publisher: IVP Books; Dec. 2010 –121 pages; ISBN 9780830835430
I finished out my 2010 reading year with a delightful little book, This Sacred Moment. Written by Fr. Albert Haase, O.F.M., I found it a great tool to help me to re-center my spirit at the end of the year and begin the New Year focused on my awareness of God in the Present Moment. I did not find the book revelatory in any sense, but found it in the same genre and theme of Brother Lawrence’s Practice the Presence of God, Jean-Pierre de Caussade’s The Sacrament of the Present Moment, and Frank Laubach’s Letters by a Modern Mystic to name a few titles… All of these works focus on the one thing; helping the believer to understand and realize the Presence of God is among us always…and we should be attuned to responding to Him; always.
Although the book followed a similar theme to the other works I mention, it was unique in the way that conveyed the information. I found Fr. Albert’s style very thoughtful and refreshing. There was something about the use of metaphor and down-to-earth practicality that was warm and accessible. I didn’t feel convicted or guilty about the times that I am not attuned to God’s Spirit during my day and I didn’t feel that the ability to be attuned to God’s Spirit, always in the present moment, was beyond my ability or access. As I was reading the book, I felt quite the contrary, I felt invited and affirmed. I was renewed with excitement and hope with the possibility of walking in unbroken fellowship with my Creator-friend.
The book was not a long read at 121 pages and I found the length of the chapters easy to work with most of them around 7-9 pages long. The thoughts and direction shared was very manageable and easy to understand. I found I could read a chapter or two and work through the day putting the ideas into practice and then tackle a couple more chapters before bed to begin again with the application in my morning. There are reflection questions at the end of each chapter and several chapters contain numbered lists for more detailed instruction with some of the practices. The book is about application…our goal being fellowship and allowing ourselves to be used with God at His choosing during our day and Fr. Haase provides the tools and helps equipping the reader for success if he or she desires. A nice recap of the book is also included in the appendix as a summary of principles; I find these useful as a devotional reminder for daily practice.
As I said, I really enjoyed this little book and will probably read through it again a couple more times this year. I think it would be a great small group study and devotional exercise as much as it is a nice individual study. The Sacred Moment, for me, was a great way to end one year and begin a new one. Highly recommended!