Wednesday 24 November 2021

Bursting Out in Praise Spirituality & Mental Health Gavin Thomas Murphy

Bursting Out in Praise: 
Spirituality & Mental Health
Gavin Thomas Murphy
ISBN 9781788120852
eISBN 9781788120869
eISBN 9781788121385

This is the fifth book published by Messenger Publications that I have read this year. The first I read was, Saint Ignatius of Loyola: A Convert's Story by Patrick Corkery SJ, and this was one of 4 I picked up while writing and researching for the review of that one. I have rather mixed feeling about this volume. And I will get to the reasons shortly. But first, the description of this booklet is:

“The author draws on his own hard-earned wisdom for this series of reflections on spirituality and mental health. He covers a range of experiences including: upsides, downsides, recovery, balance, loving life and spirituality. Bringing together wisdom from psychology and spirituality, he acknowledges the enormous benefit of psychological tools for wellness as well as a spirituality that aims to tell a different story. Ignatian Spirituality is a consistent thread throughout that offers a psycho-spirituality of great depth and awareness. This is a gentle introduction to spirituality and mental health. The real-life examples show that there is no dividing line between mental illness and normality. Everyone is somewhere along the mental health continuum and God is with them every step of the way.”

And the chapters in the book are:

1 Upsides: Unexpected Blessings Along Our Mental Health Journey
2 Downsides: Challenges Along Our Mental Health Journey
     The Inner Critic
     Poor Self-Image
     Relationship Difficulties
3 Recovery: Steps and Considerations for Getting Back on Track
     Spiritual Guidance
     Popular Treatment
     Pain or Suffering
4 Balance: Modern and Contemplative Wisdom for Life
     Balanced Lifestyle
     Balanced Mood
     Balanced Relationships
5 Loving Life: Fully Embracing Our Mental Health Journey
     Deepest Desires
6 Spirituality: An Inner Dynamism toward Fullness of Life
     The Soft Sound of Praise
     The Value of Time
     The ‘Bursting Out in Praise’ Triangle

My hesitation began in Chapter 2 section 1 The Inner Critic. I have read a lot on the mindfulness movement and its impact. From authors I respect and trust, and from Catholic Exorcists. It is not something I can endorse or support. I highly recommend A Catholic Guide to Mindfulness by Susan Brinkmann. There was also mention of Buddhist I did continue to read the book but felt the same check in my spirit as when I read The Mindful Catholic Finding God One Moment at a Time by Dr. Gregory Bottaro, though not to the same extent. 

There was some good in this volume. And if the sections on mindfulness were removed I would heartily support it. But as it stands I can only recommend this to a very discerning reader. Each section contains personal story, a reflect section with some questions and A read sections with a biblical quote. 

I loved the 4 biographies I have read from Messenger Publications, and have a few others I have picked up including 2 for advent. But this is a book I would recommend readers pass on. 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2021 Catholic Reading Plan! For all review of Messenger Publications books and booklets click here

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