Each of us comes to this book with his or her own ingrained images of God. Some of these images are inherited and some are of our own making; some are true and some are false. Although we are not always aware of these false images, they are the main reason why we have difficulty relating with or believing in God. This is why the essential thing Jesus asks us to do is to rid ourselves of these false images of God and learn to believe in the good news of Gods love for us. (Mk 1:15)
This book is based on the belief that God wants to reveal himself as love to each person. It takes nine aspects or faces of this love portrayed for us in the Word of God, each of which we need for our journey through life. Some of these we need when we are children, some as adults and some if our love is to reach maturity. The book also suggests a way of absorbing this love so that we might live our lives in an environment created and sustained by it.
ln an early chapter of Nine Faces of God, Peter Hannan, SJ writes that being loved rather than being loving is the essential of Christian living. In many ways the phrase sums up the content of this gentle guide towards spiritual development in which discarding false images of God accumulated at different stages and from different influences in our lives is a vital part of the process of spiritual growth. The author has already written extensively on the passion of Cod to reveal himself to us and this more recent work draws together with great succinctness much of his earlier thought. Following two brief introductory chapters advising how best to prepare and profit from what follows, the remainder of the 192 pages is then taken up with reflections on nine faces or aspects of Cod beginning with The Life-giving God and concluding with The Friendship of God. The nine faces in turn are explored through a further series of features, each one illuminating through stories, images, poetry, quotations and examples how God is revealed to each of us through personal daily experience, traditional wisdom and reflection on the scriptures. At the heart of the exploration of the nine faces throughout the work is prayer and it is here that the author provides real assistance and support through his use of simple structures and accessible and enabling language which lures the reader constantly towards revelation of God and self. There are echoes of John Powell and Antony de Mello throughout these pages, which alongside the authors own spiritual strengths, insights and literary flair makes his latest publication a compelling guide to the revealing love of God for the individual soul.
- Fr Paul Clayton-Lea, Intercom