Part of the call of the Year of Faith is to renew our knowledge of and commitment to the faith that was gifted to us at baptism. Veritas is therefore happy to offer a Year of Faith: Book of the Month. These books are intended to inform readers on a wide variety of faith topics. As an initiative for the Year of Faith, you might like to start a Year of Faith Book Club in your work, school or parish community, where these publications can be discussed and shared.
Book of the Month for August: Where God Hides: A Journey of Divine Awakening
“It is in great simplicity that great beauty is revealed,
and only then may we discover where God truly hides.”
In this moving exploration of the path to understanding God's presence, Liam Lawton considers how we bring spiritual awakening and consolation into our lives, in every circumstance. Taking inspiration from the gentle, age-old wisdom of the Book of Ecclesiastes - “There is a time for everything, and a season for everything under the sun” - he begins his journey of reflection and contemplation. Over its course, Liam shares remarkable stories of God's revelation in ordinary human life and of the people and events that have touched him during his years of ministry, along with fascinating perspectives on his own spiritual awakening.
An Extract from Where God Hides:
I am often asked why I chose the way of life that I live and also often challenged about the certainty of what I believe in. In our world of constant changes, challenge and unpredictability, one thing has never wavered for me: my belief in God.
How God communicates is not as obvious as we would like to think, but nevertheless for me is very real and at times most consoling. There are times when it is also very challenging, as I struggle to locate His presence in times of crisis, when it can feel remote or obscured from view. God hides in the most unusual and unexpected places and will reveal Himself when we least expect it.
Sometimes in the simplest of ways, God’s presence and love is revealed to me and I find myself marvelling at the beauty of the divine imagination. One of means of communication is the sacred scriptures found in the Bible. People have their own favourite passages or lines and one such passage that I constantly return to is from the Book of Ecclesiastes. Here the author writes of a natural cycle and rhythm to life. It is within this cycle or framework that I believe God is found and reveals his different faces, often when we least expect. These lines form the basis of this book – an exploration of divine revelation in ordinary human lives and experiences. All of the lives mentioned have touches my own life, some in an extraordinary way and others in ways that will never be known. I have found God hiding, sometimes camouflaged in the natural beauty of our planet, or the God of great joy, found in the poorest slums of Africa, or the healer who is revealed in the Mayan foothills of Guatemala, or in the prisons of Pakistan or in a chance meeting in a Dublin suburb.
These stories and many more reveal a very different face of God who does not interfere with human living but instead enters into the very depth of it and becomes present to those who wish for ‘eyes to see and ears to hear’. They are stories of pain and beauty, stories of challenge and consolation but above all stories of inspiration. Somewhere even now, God is being revealed – not in any devious manner but in humble ways that need time to unearth themselves and be discovered. It is in great simplicity that great beauty is revealed, and maybe then and only then can we discover where God truly hides.
About the Author:
For the past number of years Liam Lawton has been writing, composing and performing his unique style of inspirational music. In March 2004 Liam’s talents were recognized by recording giant EMI who signed him for a nu mber of albums.
His EMI debut Another World was released in Ireland later that year featuring guest artists as Brian Kennedy, The Celtic Tenors, Fionnuala Sherry of Secret Garden, Moya Brennan, Eimear Quinn, Roisin O'Reilly amongst others. This album achieved double platinum status and was followed by his second album, Time, which also was hugely successful. Time was recorded with the National Philharmonic Orchestra in the beautiful city of Prague with arrangements by well-known Chicago Symphony arranger Gary Fry. Liam's third album Christmas Song includes a collection of Liam's own favourite Christmas pieces with some new original music also.
Liam Lawton's music has been recognized for its unique quality. His poetic lyrics are inspired by many sources including the ancient texts of Celtic Ireland, he is also at home writing contemporary music. Much of Liam's inspiration is drawn from the landscape of Ireland with its own dark and rich history. His melodies are full of pathos and can stir the heart and his music has been used in many an auspicious occasions for example the memorial services of 9/11 to concerts in such places as the Vatican, The White House and The Chicago Symphony Hall to the weddings of pop stars and glitterati. Liam's choral music is used by choirs all over the English speaking world and has been translated into Spanish, German and Swedish.
Previous Books of the Month:
July 2013: Jesus: Social Revolutionary?
June 2013: The Gospels Box Set
May 2013: Faith Working Through Love: Prayers, Meditations and Reflections Celebrating the Year of Faith
April 2013: Dear James Anthony: Why I Want You to be Catholic
March 2013: Share the Good News: National Directory for Catechesis in Ireland
February 2013: Take the Plunge by Timothy Radcliffe
January 2013: Will there be Faith? Depends on Every Christian by Thomas H. Groome
December 2012: The Illustrated Bible: Story by Story by Michael Collins
November 2012: Sacred Space: The Prayer Book 2013, from www.sacredspace.ie
October 2012: Heaven Sent: My Life Through the Rosary by Fr Gabriel Harty