Books

Joy of Heaven, to Earth Come Down: Daily Devotions for Advent and Christmas.
“I am eager to encounter the God who reconciles everything in heaven and on earth, and who is ready to meet us in every moment.”

The seasons of Advent and Christmas invite us to expect the holy in every aspect of our lives. Because of the Incarnation, all creation is filled with the presence of God. The reflections and Scripture passages in Joy of Heaven, to Earth Come Down, call us to a daily practice of prayer grounded in reverence for the earth and to intentional living in harmony with the natural world.

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On Holy Hunger: A Woman’s Journey from Food Addiction to Spiritual Fulfillment: “This unusually well-written memoir of recovery comes from an Episcopal priest who has been involved with 12-step spirituality for more than 15 years. Her addiction was to food, to which she turned for solace while growing up in a family ruled as much by repression as by overachievement. Bullitt-Jonas was a privileged child – complete with Swiss boarding school and a spacious home provided by Harvard, where her father was a star professor. However, her charismatic but cruel father slowly killed himself with alcohol, her distant mother was silenced by depression and the children were emotionally abandoned and unable to express their feelings, even to themselves. With a steady hand, Bullitt-Jonas describes the years of whole pies and batches of pancakes, the fasting and compulsive exercise by which she tried to escape her pain, until she discovered that 12-step programs helped her listen to herself. Her account of her spiritual triumph is nonsectarian-an approach in keeping with the 12-step movement.”
— Publishers Weekly (copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc)

Some reviews:
“Margaret Bullitt-Jonas has produced a riveting story of recovery from food addiction. She’s also created unforgettable portraits of her father and mother, and a thought-provoking account of the role of faith in healing. Because faith is at the center of the story, this isn’t one of the current needy-victim memoirs but a complex narrative of a stormy passage to adulthood.”
— Jill Ker Conway, author of True North

“I can’t believe how wonderful Holy Hunger is — illuminating, heartfelt, wise, beautifully written. It helped me a great deal, and I loved reading it.”
–Annie Lamott, author of Traveling Mercies

“A worthwhile tale about true nourishment that comes not from consuming custards and pies, but from engaging on a spiritual path.”
Los Angeles Times

“A refreshing change from the stale blame game of so many memoirs….Insightful and instructive.”
The New York Times Book Review

“Anyone who has any kind of addiction will tell you that this is a must read… A masterly account of the spiritual causes, and solutions, of addiction.”
Christianity

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On Christ’s Passion, Our Passions. These seven meditations were preached on Good Friday, 2002, at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Boston. A Cowley bestseller, Christ’s Passion, Our Passions explores spiritual issues that are stirred up in a time of turbulence: the struggle to forgive, the absence of God, and the call to live with courage and hope. Filled with suggestions for ways to pray, each chapter also includes questions for individual or group reflection. A thought-provoking book for Lent or any season.

From the Introduction:
“Times of trouble and loss often intensify our search for God, and the quest for God eventually leads every Christian to the cross. The place where the Crucified One spoke his last words and breathed his last breath is the place where suffering and evil are met squarely by the love of God. At the foot of the cross we don’t need to pretend that our suffering is not real. Nor need we fear that our suffering will overwhelm us. Because the cross is planted before us, we can finally open ourselves to the reality of suffering and evil: here all suffering and evil are touched by Love. Here, through the grace of God, all suffering and evil are endured, absorbed, and transformed. Like a lightning rod, the cross of Christ draws all suffering and evil to itself, and, neutralizing their power, ‘grounds’ them in Love.”
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Selected chapters and interviews

Seeking God Day by Day: A Year of Meditations

Margaret Bullitt-Jonas contributed fifteen meditations to this Forward Movement anthology by thirty-one writers. Here is an excerpt:

February 12: You Are the Music While the Music Lasts
Imagine attending a concert in which the orchestra is about to perform a piece that is particularly dear to you – in my case it might be Brahms’ Second Piano Concerto. The audience falls silent, the French horn plays the haunting opening notes, the strings enter, and the pianist sets his fingers to the keyboard.
As the music flows into you, at first you may want to be the pianist. You want the music to be streaming through your hands and body, to be singing through your fingertips. As you listen intently, absorbed in the music, maybe you say, No, I want to be the conductor; I want to stand with open arms, listening with such pure attention that I hear the whole of it, every note and every space between the notes, receiving it all into my body and guiding and responding to it as it takes shape around me. Then, as your listening deepens, you give yourself even more fully to the moment. You become very silent, very still. You forget yourself and become the music. Moment by moment the music is giving itself to you, and moment by moment you are giving yourself fully to the music. You have relinquished all sense of who you are, yet in that self-surrender you have never felt more fully yourself or more fully alive. Later, if someone asked you who you were, you would have to say, “I don’t know. I am Brahms’ Second Piano Concerto.”

God is always courting us, always luring us to fall in love. Listen intently, give yourself to the present moment with utter sincerity and an open heart, and who knows what God will do?

— Seeking God Day by Day © Forward Movement, 2013

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Writers On The Edge offers a range of essays, memoirs and poetry written by major contemporary authors who bring fresh insight into the dark world of addiction, from drugs and alcohol, to sex, gambling and food. Editors Diana M. Raab and James Brown have assembled an array of talented and courageous writers who share their stories with heartbreaking honesty as they share their obsessions as well as the awe-inspiring power of hope and redemption.

“Open to any piece in this collection, and the scalding, unflinching, overwhelming truths within will shine light on places most people never look. Anyone who reads this book, be they users or used, will put it down changed. And when they raise their eyes from the very last page, the world they see may be redeemed, as well.” –Jerry Stahl, author of Permanent Midnight

Writers On The Edge is a thoughtful compendium of first-person narratives by writers who have managed to use their despair to create beauty. A must-read for anyone in the recovery field.” –Leonard Buschel, Founder, Writers In Treatment
CONTRIBUTORS: Frederick & Steven Barthelme, Kera Bolonik, Margaret Bullitt-Jonas, Maud Casey, Anna David, Denise Duhamel, B.H. Fairchild, Ruth Fowler, David Huddle Perie Longo, Gregory Orr, Victoria Patterson, Molly Peacock, Scott Russell Sanders, Stephen Jay Schwartz, Linda Gray Sexton, Sue William Silverman, Chase Twichell, and Rachel Yoder.

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Heaven. “As compelling a topic as it is for ordinary people, heaven is largely ignored by our more serious religious thinkers. Liberal Christians…tend to stress the ‘this-worldliness’ of religious faith, seeking to downplay the invidious theology of punishment and reward that so often bedevils Christianity in America…But theologians and preachers who, fearing the worst, avoid the topic of the afterlife end up marginalizing the subject of eternity, leaving thoughts of heaven to popular fiction and the talk shows — or to the punishing rhetoric of pulpit-pounding evangelists. This book is a small attempt to break the silence…” — Roger Ferlo, Editor’s Introduction

Each of the authors in this book was asked to write a short personal essay on the subject of heaven. This collection gathers the hopes and reflections of theologians, novelists, and poets. The authors include Rick Moody, Nora Gallagher, Robert Orsi, Barbara Brown Taylor, Phyllis Tickle, Malcolm Boyd, Alan Jones, Cynthia Bourgeault, Donna Schaper, Susan Wheeler, and many others. These writings, which mix autobiography, story-telling, and theological reflection, are so poignant and wide-ranging that we can all find ourselves in them – and start telling our own stories about heaven.
Includes Margaret’s essay “When Heaven Happens.”

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Earth and Word: Classic Sermons on Saving the Planet. For centuries, the Christian religion has preached a dominion of the earth; however, as the sermons in Earth and Word demonstrate, a vast portion of the Christian community does not endorse or condone the destruction of the environment in the name of God. This singular collection gathers the voices of many environmentalists, theologians, preachers, and activists who have spoken in support of saving the planet. Included in this collection are compelling and provocative sermons from such influential figures as Wendell Berry, Thomas Berry, John Cobb, William Sloan Coffin, Bill McKibben, Sallie McFague, Joseph Sittler, and Barbara Brown Taylor. In each of these sermons, the authors explore the deep relationship between thinking religiously and thinking ecologically.
Includes Margaret’s sermon “Conversion to Eco-Justice.”
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Fight Global Warming Now: The Handbook for Taking Action in Your Community, by Bill McKibben. The essential activist guide to stopping climate change, from the team behind Step It Up, the national day of action that was the largest environmental demonstration in a generation. Drawing on the experience of 1,400 Step It Up organizers in all fifty states, Bill McKibben — the author of the first major book on global warming, The End of Nature — and the Step It Up team explain how you can build the fight in your community, college, or place of worship. Includes one of Margaret’s blog posts from the Interfaith Walk for Climate Rescue.

 

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Feeding the Fame. A collection of inspiring interviews with renowned writers, models, actors, athletes, and other celebrities who have overcome eating disorders and who courageously share their personal struggles and triumphs. The headlines are filled with the names of people in the limelight who are beginning to speak openly about their tragic relationship with food and dieting in hopes of helping others afflicted with eating disorders. Actors, models, and athletes are particularly hard hit with this disease, primarily because a stunning appearance or performance is part of the job description. Feeding the Fame captures the stories of approximately 20 celebrities who have suffered eating disorders. These original personal accounts reveal the most intimate fears and disappointments, as well as the unconventional, fascinating, and effective paths back to a normal healthy body image and eating patterns.
Margaret is the subject of the concluding chapter.
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The Intuitive Businesswoman: Achieve Success Through the Power of Your Personality. With its personal case studies, engaging sidebars, valuable tips, and lively approach, this innovative work will help all readers know themselves better. The quiz at the beginning lets them explore their impulses and recognize their strengths, especially in the jungle of work-life situations. George, a CEO and founder of Domain retail stores, and Lyon, editor-in-chief of CT Life, show readers how learning more about their own personality can, for starters, improve their relationship with the boss, lead them successfully into entrepreneurship, and help them understand others. Readers encounter chapters on “Playing with Others” and “Changing Jobs, Changing Careers” and get to know successful businesswomen like Shelly Lazarus, CEO of Ogilvy and Mather Worldwide, and Anne Robinson of Windham Hill Productions. Most business collections will want to include this fresh perspective on women and success.
–Susan C. Awe, Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque
Contains a chapter about Margaret entitled “The Idealist.”
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