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Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite
The Mystic's Way for Regular People by James Alexander is a slim book that explores communion with God and shows how accessible it is to ordinary people. Many people tend to believe that to become a mystic one needs to be learned, a scholar of sorts, but this book explores the essential components of mysticism and proposes a practical way for regular people to develop deeper levels of intimacy with God. Unlike popular belief, the author moves away from the traditional understanding of mysticism in which the mystics heeded the call of Jesus to seek solitude, hidden in their rooms where they can speak to God in secret. The author, a member of the Third Order Franciscan (TSSF), simplifies prayer and communion with God and provides a deeper understanding of the “how,” “why,” and “what” it consists of.
This book is timely and it addresses the spiritual poverty that is felt worldwide, where many still seek God only in the context of being saved or spared the experience of hell; where many seek God as the solution to their multifaceted problems. James Alexander takes readers back to the core understanding of mysticism as “a face-to-face communion with God—a participation in the very life of God.” He articulates with unusual intelligence and logical arguments on a variety of topics, including the nature of God, poverty of spirit, love and joy, peace, prayer, and meditation. The book is filled with relevant biblical references and allusions to some of the greatest mystics such as Francis of Assisi, Theresa of Avila, John of the Cross, and the learned author Alfred North Whitehead. The prose is beautiful and accessible and the author shares strong personal insights in the book. The Mystic's Way for Regular People is a well-written, inspiring book that should be received as a gift of faith. It is filled with spiritual wisdom and it will guide ordinary readers to find their path to union with God.