by Jamie Arpin-Ricci, Paraclete Press, 2015.
Find this book here.
This is a wonderfully written challenge. As well written as it is, the content has the potential to change your life and make you very uncomfortable. In this book, Arpin-Ricci tracks the life of St. Patrick and uses the twelve steps of the AA program to show how the true expression of Christian faith is vulnerability in community.
The challenge we find is to let go of our pretence, recognizing our weaknesses and our death so that we can allow God to work through us and in us. God’s transforming work has to power to free us from the fear of death, experiencing the same kind of faith as the martyrs without ever having to face their kind of persecution.
When we allow this kind of transformation to take place in us, we are freed to live truly missional lives. We will embody lives and relationships that are built on genuine love and care for others, and that hold up no boundaries.
This would be a great book for a group study or book club.
“Cheap faithful is taking the name of Christ as our identity without requiring the renunciation of self and selfish ends. It is seeking full intimacy with God yet giving little, if any, commitment.” (p.21)
“…as we learn to embrace a vulnerable faith that freely brings our brokenness before God and others, we will become more like Jesus in how we live and love, both God and one another.” (p.29)
“…there is nothing rational or natural about going to the cross.” (p.70)
“So while the poor are not godlier on the basis of their poverty, they are often at least more authentic in their brokenness, and thus, perhaps, closer to honestly recognizing what true emptiness is.” (p.87)
“When we embrace a missional life, we begin to expect that every aspect of who we are and what we do will be infused with Jesus’ mission of love. This means that we do not simply do a mission, go on a mission, or support mission work, but we are a missional people.” (p.132)
“…in the other - in those most different from us - our own inadequacy is exposed, offering us the opportunity to embrace the gift of the transforming cross…. Where once we sought to be Christ to the least of these, we now see Christ in them.” (p.137)
“Vulnerability will thrive only where love abounds.” (p.168)