The gem you hold in your hands is the life of one man, a Christian Master, who had beginnings just like anyone else. Born into a large Catholic family, and emancipated as a teenager, Father Peter Bowes lived a life of rebellion and hope - rebelling against the limitations that hold most people from truly living their aspirations and hoping for something more. In the midst of marrying at a young age, parenting two children, starting numerous businesses, and completing a doctorate in psychology, Father Peter's strivings centered around spiritual growth and discovery. In 1974, at the age of 23, he was ordained a minister, and in 1982, a Priest and Master Teacher. Since then, he has been unstoppable. This autobiography takes the reader from the beginning to now - when after recording 14 CDs and authoring six books, he travels weekly teaching God's love into people's hearts and experiences. The Way, the Truth and the Life, shows how the life of one man can be the salvation of many.
©2011 Father Peter Bowes (P)2011 Father Peter Bowes
I recommend it to everyone who enjoys books on spirituality. As a child, I read about the saints and wanted to be that connected with God, but it always seemed like a chance miracle, or too long ago, or requiring selling everything and moving to a far-away country to meditate or serve the poor. It didn't seem possible for regular people. As an adult I read books about how to grow spirituality, but they didn't seem to be as deep and devotional as the lives of the saints. This is the real-life story of an ordinary, contemporary man who develops his devotion to the point of seeing Jesus, hearing God, and teaching others to do the same. It's so absolutely real and down-to-earth, warts and all, it finally feels like there's a way for all of us. He describes the deep Christian path step-by-step, how to find help along the way, the difficulties and the joys.
The author holds nothing back, he exposes the most difficult and embarrassing moments of his life, with wit and humility. I especially appreciated his descriptions of his spiritual experiences; it is amazing to hear it directly in his words and voice. He often expresses his feelings in poetry, and later in music (so pay attention to the musical parts of his life early on) and it reveals his heart along the way.
I listened to this audiobook on my commute, and found myself being happy about traffic jams so I could spend more time in the story. There were places that moved me so deeply I had to turn it off and wait until I got home to listen to the section again. I could feel it awakening my own soul. It's quite a long book, and a full life, but it all turns out to be important to come together in a complete picture. His early life molds who he becomes later on, and out of the ordinary grows something extraordinary, which is beyond inspiring - he describes a way for the rest of us to actually get there too.
Yes. This book is the life and making of a spiritual guru in the Christian Mystical tradition. It is in the category of Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda. Father Peter tells the grit and the glory of his journey to God in terms that everyday folks can understand and hope in.
Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda
Father Peter is genuine and true to his experience.
Moments when Father Peter speaks of his experience of God and being drawn into consciousness and service.
Bland. Egocentric. Long-winded.
I would have cut the times when he speaks about mundane events in a mundane way.
There were parts of this book that were interesting. I confess that I did not finish all of it, but I did listen to the majority. Some of the details of the esoteric teachings were interesting, but in general I found him to be arrogant and cold. When he spoke of his family it seemed to be only in the way that they reflected upon himself.
I consider St. Francis of Assisi, Thomas Merton, Anthony De Mello, Meister Eckhart, and Mother Theresa to be Christian Masters, but not this man. I'm sure he is a truly decent person, but I was not impressed by his teaching, nor his capacity for love.
It's a little hard to compare, but the closest comparison I can think of is "Autobiography of a Yogi" by Paramahansa Yogananda. This book focuses less on the author's personal spiritual experiences and more on the rich details of a full life. Its abundant spiritual truths and guidance are very applicable to the reader. I get the feeling that Father Peter is consciously sharing the parts of his experience that will help people connect more deeply to their own spirituality. Father Peter includes his personal notes on many of his spiritual experiences at different points in his life, which are very rich. I was touched by his willingness to share such intimate details--of these as well as his life and relationships.I also find Father Peter to be very personable. I could really "feel" him in this book and get a sense of who he really is as a person, as well as a spiritual teacher. From a 1950s Catholic childhood, to rebellion and embracing '60s counterculture, to finding his spiritual teacher and path, and eventually becoming a spiritual master and teacher himself while continuing to do "typical" things like working and raising children...Father Peter's life is both relatable and extraordinary. Most of the audiobooks I've listened to feel mostly like entertainment or a good distraction on long drives--like a performance. This book feels like a gift. It really touched my heart on many levels.
The feeling of it--it's like going on an adventure. I was completely engaged in every part of it.
I like the fact that he read the book himself. It made it feel so real and intimate, like someone was actually telling me a story.
I can honestly say it did both. Father Peter is a very good storyteller with a wry sense of humor. There also were parts of the book that pierced my heart and filled me with awe and humility.
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