William A. Barry
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About William A. Barry
William A. Barry, SJ, is a veteran spiritual director who is currently serving as tertian director for the New England Province of the Society of Jesus. He has taught at the University of Michigan, the Weston Jesuit School of Theology, and Boston College. His many works include Letting God Come Close, A Friendship Like No Other, Here's My Heart, Here's My Hand, Seek My Face, and God's Passionate Desire (Loyola Press), and God and You.
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Books By William A. Barry
Throughout A Friendship Like No Other, renowned spiritual director William A. Barry, SJ, explores the premise that God wants to relate to us as a close friend. Barry has contemplated this idea—radical for many Christians—throughout his lifetime, and he explains that it actually traces back to the “developing revelation of God contained in the Bible.”
A Friendship Like No Other offers three well-supported and practical sections: prayerful exercises to help lead you to the conviction that God wants your friendship; a close look at objections to this idea; and reflections on experiencing the presence of God and discerning those experiences. Brief, personal meditations are woven throughout.
Grounded in biblical tradition and with a clear focus on Ignatian spirituality, this book offers a fresh, heart-changing approach to living joyfully in the freedom of the divine embrace.
2019 Independent Press Awards, Winner: Spirituality
2019 Association of Catholic Publishers, Second Place: Prayer
2019 Best Book Awards, Finalist: Spirituality—Inspirational
Every person needs a retreat sometime—to replenish the soul and renew life’s focus.
But what if you can’t spend time away from home? What if, instead, you could go on a personal at-home prayer retreat with one of the most experienced and best-loved spiritual directors of our day?
An Invitation to Love provides a practical and adaptable sequence of prayer sessions on the great commandment of the Christian faith: to love God and love our neighbor. All other aspects of a healthy and hopeful life grow from our practices of love. When we experience God’s love for us, we can respond with a growing love for God. Loving God will transform us into people who can love our neighbors, too, whoever they are.
The voice that speaks in these pages so personally and warmly is that of William A. Barry, SJ, who for decades has gently accompanied people in their prayer. His understanding of Scripture, expertise in nurturing spiritual growth, and joyful confidence in God’s desire for our friendship prepares a welcoming and walkable path to conversation with God and renewal in our hearts.
The divine narrative begins With The creation of the universe and continues through humanity’s fall and struggle, the promises of the prophets, and the coming of Jesus. The story unfolds to reveal God’s mercy for us over our history of sin and redemption, and the plot includes us as partners in God’s great dream for the world.
In his parting message to us, Fr. William A. Barry offers a lifetime of wisdom and compassion as he leads the reader through the overarching story of God’s relationship with us, the beloved creation. With his characteristic warm and personal style, Fr. Barry invites us to ponder how the events and characters of Scripture relate to us in real time and daily experience. His theme, so prominent in his life’s work as author and spiritual director, is simply this: God desires our friendship and participation in the grand story of grace.
The Classic Work on Helping People Become Closer to God
Fathers Barry and Connolly see the work of spiritual direction as helping people to develop their relationship with God. In thinking and practice they have absorbed the insights of modern psychotherapy, but have not been absorbed by them. This highly practical book reflects the authors' experience at the Center for Religious Development in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where spiritual direction is available and where directors are trained.
God’s presence is not “out there” but right here.
We tend to look for God in dramatic or miraculous moments, but such expectations can blind us to God’s ongoing presence. What if God is already with us, in the life we have this moment? When we experience ordinary but meaningful events, such as our first love or a favorite novel, we are in fact encountering God’s presence. As we learn to notice spiritual movement within and around us, we can recognize the many facets of God’s love that touch us daily.
“As a priest and spiritual director of many decades, my driving desire is for people to experience God’s limitless love for them and to recognize it when it emerges in what they consider just ordinary life happenings and conversations.”
—William A. Barry, SJ
Whether we are in pain or crisis, questioning if we are really worthy of God’s attention, or are simply wondering why God would be in the mundane details of our lives, Experiencing God in the Ordinary can nurture our hope—that God is always present and can be found in an ordinary day. Complete with personal stories and various suggestions for prayer and meditation, this book is perfect for devotional reading, retreat, or small-group discussion.
"Thanks to Praying the Truth, I am beginning to understand that prayer is simply hanging out with God! As I read this book, I felt as if the author seemed to be sitting beside me, just talking to me as I read."
-- Anonymous reader
F?r. William Barry, SJ, believes that God wants an intimate relationship with each one of us—and that the deepest desire of our own hearts is to have an intimate relationship with God. Yet while we pursue this desire and long for its satisfaction, we also resist it—which can lead to a painful stagnancy. How can we move forward?
In God’s Passionate Desire, Fr. Barry serves as our spiritual director, leading us on a series of brief “retreats” to help us understand the foundations of our relationship with God, what threatens it, and how we can continuously move forward into a closer and more meaningful relationship with God. In his warm, conversational style, Barry offers meditations, poses questions, and gently encourages us to respond to God’s immeasurable love by following what is truly in each of our hearts—a longing to love him in return.
It’s a difficult enough proposition for many people to believe that God—eternal, unchanging, all-knowing—could actually desire a relationship with them. But once they’ve accepted the premise that God indeed does want their friendship, it can be even more challenging to think about how to actually engage in that friendship, foster it, and remain anchored in it when life’s storms toss them about.
In Here’s My Heart, Here’s My Hand, veteran spiritual director William A. Barry, SJ, helps us understand how we can experience a personal, lasting relationship with God and what effects that close relationship will have on our lives. Written in a warm, conversational tone, this book is a collection of nearly twenty of the finest previously published articles Fr. Barry has written on the subject of friendship with God. The selections are diverse in their overall themes—from discerning God’s will for our lives to forgiving as Jesus forgives—but each one shares the common thread of helping us see prayer as the way to a conscious, lifelong relationship with God.