Thomas Keating, Invitation to Love: The Way of Christian Contemplation. New York:
Continuum, 1995. 151 pages
An Appreciation by Hal Dendurent
It is said that the best way to learn something is to teach it. Writing about the subject works equally well. The more humble task of creating a summary, synopsis, or abstract of a work serves the same purpose.
I have enjoyed writing these synopses of the chapters of Invitation to Love. It is a well-written book, thoughtful, deep, and compassionate. Fr. Keating writes from long experience on the spiritual journey and with knowledge of scripture, tradition, and contemporary practices.
In a way, the subject of Invitation to Love is one of the utmost simplicity; yet, because this view of oneself, others, the world, and God is so far removed from our ordinary ways of thinking, this is a difficult book. I hope I have succeeded in making it more accessible to some.
The Emotional Programs for Happiness
The False Self in Action
The Afflictive Emotions
The Human Condition
Mythic Membership Consciousness
Mental Egoic Consciousness
The Four Consents
Anthony as a Paradigm of the Spiritual Journey
The Night of Sense: Freedom from the False Self
Special Trials in the Night of Sense
Anthony in the Tombs: Freedom from Cultural Conditioning
The Fruits of the Night of Sense
The Stages of Contemplative Prayer
The Night of Spirit
The Transforming Union
The First Four Beatitudes
The Last Four Beatitudes
The Essence of Contemplative Prayer
From Contemplation to Action
Contemplation in Action
Spirituality in Everyday Life
The book also contains Appendix I, "The False Self in Action"; Appendix II, "The Human Condition"; Appendix III, "Comparison of Christian Spiritual Journey and Evolutionary Model"; Notes; Glossary of Terms; and Bibliography.