The Ancient Path
John Michael Talbot “The Ancient Path: Old Lessons from the Church Fathers for a New Life Today” [Image, 2015]
“People often imagine that the Church Fathers looked like their icons and smelled of incense, heroic figures wrapped in fine liturgical vestments of silk and lace, engulfed in billows of smoke from their golden censers. Yet, truth be told, even in their writings they resemble more the tattered cloak of Jesus or the dusty sweat-soaked habits of the early Desert Fathers and Mothers. Theirs is an utterly incarnational spirituality. It is heaven-sent, but it moves forward with both feet on the ground of the earth.
In this powerful work, John Michael Talbot tells the story of how these men deeply influenced his spiritual, professional and personal life. Coming to the Christian faith as a young man during the turbulent 1960s, he soon grew a fond of the Church Fathers, including St. Ambrose, St. Jerome, St. Augustine and Gregory the Great and found guidance, reassurance and wisdom on his path to Jesus.
“The First Epistle of Saint Peter,” writes Talbot, “tells us that we are ‘a spiritual temple built of living stones.’ The early Church Fathers represent the first rows built upon the foundation of the Apostles. And that sacred building project continues throughout history to our time today. But it rests on the Fathers. It depends on them.””
John Michael Talbot is an award-winning Christian musician, writer, television presenter, motivational speaker and itinerant minister to churches and parishes around the world. An early pioneer of contemporary Christian music, Talbot grew up performing in a country-rock band with his brother Terry before embarking on a spiritual journey that led him through Native American religion and Buddhism to Christianity. At this point he and Terry joined the Jesus Movement, recording the album “Reborn” on the Sparrow record label. He is now recognized as Catholic music’s most popular artist with over fifty albums and four million copies sold. His songs are published in hymnals throughout the world. A member of the Jesus Movement in the early 1970s, Talbot converted to Roman Catholicism in 1978 after immersing himself in the life and teaching of St. Francis of Assisi. He then founded his own community, the Brothers and Sisters of Charity, at Little Portion Hermitage as an “integrated monastic community” with celibate brothers and sisters, singles, and families. Talbot is also the author of numerous books bringing the Christian monastic tradition to contemporary life.
John Michael Talbot “The Jesus Prayer: A Cry for Mercy, a Path of Renewal” [IVP Books, 2013]
“An ancient prayer for every day: “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner.” These words have strengthened and comforted believers for centuries. The Jesus Prayer comes to us from the Eastern Christian tradition. In these pages, John Michael Talbot explores more of the roots of the prayer along with the theological and practical meaning of each word in the lives of believers today. Readers are invited to meditate on the twelve simple words that lie at the heart of the Christian East. Complete with historical context and exercises for self-reflection, this book shows how a single prayer could sustain the spiritual life of a civilization. Each chapter ends with a brief practice using the prayer.”
For John Michael Talbot see: http://johnmichaeltalbot.com/books