When we find ourselves in times of trouble, we can turn to the Bible for succor. That is the message of this precious little book by Lucas Amato. It comes at just the right time, when so many of us are looking for ways to cope, ways to understand, ways to hope, ways to turn our faith into action.
Amato offers not only reflections on many specific passages of the Bible but also lays out a simple method for finding and praying with other passages. The author uses The Message by Eugene Peterson — a popular, vibrant, and contemporary translation of the Scriptures — to help us move beyond the familiarity of the texts and apply them to the new challenges we are now facing in the world and in our lives.
Amato’s method, dating back to the early days of Christianity, employs four steps:
- Reading a passage
- Reflecting on how it applies to our lives
- Responding personally
- Receiving the grace it offers, including resting with the peace it brings and resolving to act on it with courage
Published in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, this book can help us reflect on and respond to the challenges we are facing: racism, economic suffering and inequality, global warming and severe weather, isolation, the breakdown of families and relationships, mental and physical health problems, addiction, violence, and so many other modern “troubles.”
About the author
Lucas J. Amato, a Secular Franciscan for over sixty years, brings his experience in Human Resources, Education, and Drug and Alcohol Counseling to his work in the Third Order of St. Francis of Assisi and his ongoing ministry to people struggling with addictive and enabling behavior. With Mark R., ofs, he wrote the book entitled 12 Steps and 12 Traditions: Applying the 11th Step. The 11th Step of AA is: “…sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for the knowledge of His Will for us and the power to carry that out.”