About ten years ago two of my friends lost their oldest son in an accident. At that time I sent a copy of Praying Our Goodbyes to them. Visiting with them this summer, Martha talked about how much it had helped the two of them and that a couple of years later, they gave it to their friends when they lost their child. A few years after that they gave it to another friend who had lost a loved one. This gifting happened again, still later on. This one copy of Praying Our Goodbyes helped four different parties face their loss and grief. I thought you might enjoy knowing the books journey-story.
Having lost my father to cancer four and a half years ago and at the same time having undergone career transitions and geographic change, I’ve experienced loss in my life like everyone else. I can only attest to the Holy Spirit that I happened to see her book, Praying Our Goodbyes, in the library at the parish I am currently active in…. Something about Joyce’s work strikes something inside of me – always on target, very relevant, and transformational in rekindling my strength, perseverance, endurance, understanding and wisdom. I know I am not ‘alone’ in my personal ‘Emmaus’ walk. It’s comforting to have someone articulate how our faith and living out the ‘details of our lives’ mesh. This is very comforting to me.
I have many of your books and have used them quite frequently in groups I have facilitated. In particular … I have used Praying Our Goodbyes with bereavement support groups. This book … saved my life when I lost my husband five years ago. Thank you for your ministry and may God continue to bless you as you bring spiritual renewal to the thousands of people who have come to know Him more deeply through your work
I have been going through a lot a grieving (spouse becoming disabled, loss of my job, a mother with Alzheimer’s). I picked up your book praying our goodbyes … several months ago. I took it on a personal retreat and fell into such a peaceful place, my blood pressure went down. I slowed down. I felt like you were using God’s wisdom to start putting salve bandages on my open wounds and sent me into the healing arms of God. Thank you for sharing the paths that you have explored that bring such comfort and hope of surviving and then being stronger as we climb out of the darkness of our grief.
I am a priest… I have read and used your book Praying our Goodbyes several times to help me through moves from one parish to another, which I find very painful. I am now in the process of using it to help not only me but my parishioners to grieve and pray our goodbyes because I am being moved (again). (We are planning a) series on Praying our Goodbyes which we will offer as a way to help parishioners not only deal with the reality of my move, but to get in touch with other painful goodbyes in their personal lives and recognize how they can be integrated into our personal and spiritual growth – how they help us enter more fully into the paschal mystery and the mystery of life.
I find your reflections to be deep, heartfelt and wise. You have felt the pain of life’s goodbyes and unfairness deeply and have allowed people to share their pain deeply with you. I am grateful for the gift of compassion and wisdom you have been to me (even though I have never met you) and to many to whom I have recommended your work.
Thank you for many moments of sharing your graced reality-the good and the painful. I have been volunteering in (prison) and for a number of months now I have been using – Praying our Goodbyes – Dear Heart Come Home, May I have this Dance, and Prayers from Sophia.
You cannot know how very tangible your words become to those who are incarcerated. The women I see are mainly in for life. They are from various aspects of society. They are searching for a deepening of their spirituality and it is through your words many of them can touch that part of themselves that is difficult to speak about. After tonight’s session I wanted to just thank you on behalf of these women. Thank you for helping us to bring some semblance of hope to those who struggle to move through their own lives in very difficult circumstances.
Thank you for the way you have used your gifts to help all of us go deeper and draw closer to God. For the last 8 to 10 years I have facilitated a bereavement support group in my parish. I have lost count of the copies of Praying Our Goodbyes I have bought and shared with those grieving. It is the first book I recommend to everyone who comes to group and to those who will never be able to share in a group. Some have come back to me to share with others and the rest are still being read and shared by those who have used the book in their own grief…. Be assured of my continued prayers for you. I am only one of thousands who benefit personally from your writings and encourage others to use them in their times of sorrow.
I just wanted to let you know how much I have appreciated your work nearly all my adult life. I read Praying our Goodbyes when I was about 20 years old; it was the first book in the area of prayer and spirituality that I ever read and was absolutely formative. I’ve also used the liturgies in the back around the deathbeds of my own family. Your writing has contributed significantly to creating me.
—Pastor Dan, Iowa
Thank you so much for Praying our Goodbyes. My sister committed suicide several years ago, and a good friend recently recommended your book to me, as I am having difficulty “letting her go”. It has been very helpful to reflect on how this experience has changed me, what I take away from this tragedy, and how God has led and continues to lead me through this difficult time.
—Maryanne, North Carolina
I have read many of your books and have counted you as a major player in my spiritual formation. As a hospice worker, I can’t tell you how may Praying Our Goodbyes I have bought and given away and how many prayers I have prayed at the moment of death with my patients and families. Thank you for your gift and the ministry of presence and journey. It is not the end of the journey it is who we meet along the way.
After I suffered the loss of my dear wife, I started to read the type of books that could help me cope with the grief and deep void that her death provoked. One of these was your book, Praying Our Goodbyes, and I can truly say that you have been the best interpreter of what I was going through. The book has been very helpful.
I am a practicing Catholic, who has benefited from Catholic religious instruction and familiarity with the Holy Scriptures, but the death of my wife caused me to experience many doubts that require answers. Your book has helped me resolve some of these.
—Gentleman from Argentina
Open the Door really is a deep and nourishing book. Nourishing in that it enables the reader to be self directive and tap into one’s inner self, inner authority and inner depth.
I’ve just received Open the Door, and … have just begun to work with it. As usual, it promises to be wonderful…. You have touched my life over and over again through the years, and I’m very glad to at last be able to say “Thank you.” Being disabled, life is difficult sometimes, but your books and insights never fail to rally my hope. Since I can no longer get out as much as I once could, I now have the time I always said I wanted, to pray and go within to deepen my spirituality. “When God closes a door….” There is always something new to learn and be grateful for.
—Mary B., KY
(Open the Door) changed my life. Joyce Rupp, in my opinion, is truly a gift from God. She has the ability to bring you to places that you never knew existed – all of which are located within our own hearts. Every time I picked up this book to continue my journey, I felt like Joyce wrote those words directly to me and for me alone as they seemed to perfectly coincide with the timing of my life.
This book taught me how to meditate. For many years, I struggled with the ability to understand God’s love for me. I thought it was something that only a chosen few were blessed with. Many ‘religious’ people in my life tried to convince me otherwise, but I just couldn’t grasp it. Through the meditation exercises at the end of each ‘day’ of the book, I have begun to experience this understanding that had been so elusive. I am realizing the value of quiet time (going within to be with The Holy One) and am learning that it needs to be a part of my everyday life. I have begun to realize the value and goodness of me.
It has ‘opened doors’ that had previously been nailed shut as well as ones did not even exist before this journey. It also taught me how to close certain doors of my life that were impeding my growth process.
—Pam Z., MA
Yesterday I was given a copy of The Circle of Life and I must say what immense pleasure it has given me. The book itself is so very visually appealing with the beautiful artwork and colour but the pictures I see where there are no pictures are simply captivating. The imagery created with written word is very powerful, holds me in a place where I feel inclined to indulge the experience, to savour as one would a delicacy.
—Jenny, New South Whales, Australia
Greetings from Ireland! Many blessings on you and on your work and in particular a huge big Irish Gura Míle Míle maith agat [a thousand thank you’s – no half measures in Ireland!] for your latest beautiful book with Macrina Wiederkehr and Mary Southard, THE CIRCLE OF LIFE. Where to begin to sing its praises – the first thing that struck me was the wonderful company you keep in collaborating with such gifted people in their own right as Mary and Macrina and the result is everything one might expect and a million times more.
…What immediately struck me – maybe because we are in the ‘Confirmation Season’ in Ireland was how much of this book is about the sixth and seventh gifts of the Spirit. In Ireland, we call them Reverence and Wonder and Awe in God’s Presence. This book is about these so much.
What an impact your book, May I Have This Dance, is having on our “sisters Bible study” at First United Methodist Church in Waukesha, WI. We meet once a month and are using your book for whichever month we are in. Our group numbers about 20 women and we have this precious time to share your beautiful poetry and thoughtful meditations on the monthly theme. We started in September and will meet for a full year but I think many of us will keep this book as a monthly repetition for years to come. Thank you for sharing the
scriptures in such a meaningful way. Continued blessings on your work. I appreciate the universality of your message.
I love this book! It has become one of my all time favorite books, not just my favorite Joyce Rupp. I have used it for personal study and spiritual growth in addition to sharing many times from it with groups. I love the way this book is laid out, the poems, the stories, the litanies, and the prayer suggestions I haven’t found anything that touches me so deeply.
My church group, Wisdom’s Daughters, meets monthly and over the course of the past few years has been studying meditation and spirituality. We have used various author’s books and have just completed a study using your book, The Cup of Our Life. We even made cups in our church’s pottery studio to use with our study of this book. I so enjoyed this study and was deeply moved by your wisdom and have grown spiritually.
I just finished your book “Cup of Life” and you have changed my life. After completing the book I reviewed my journal entrees and picked my favorite and most inspirational ones. Some were prayers and some were letters from Jesus to me. I wrote them on index cards, folded them so I couldn’t see what they said, and put them in my Cup. Each morning after my prayer ritual, I pick a card from my Cup and meditate on it.
In the past two years, I have been graced with a discipline of daily prayer and meditation that started by pulling The Cup of Our Life off the shelf. That book has been read and re-read to the extent that the pages are falling out. Each time I reach for it, it feeds me something I need and reveals something that I didn’t consider before. I have also sought out and read some of your other books: Inviting God In , The Circle of Life, and most recently, Prayer. Thank you for sharing your amazing gifts. They are most surely placed in my path by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Cup of Life is my first read of Joyce’s. I am so grateful to be reading and meditating on this book. It’s so refreshing to be seeking the Lord in a more deep relationship with the aid of this book. Thank you so much, Joyce, for writing this book obviously with the Holy Spirit as your guide and you obviously have a heart for seeing people set free from pain. Thank you from my heart to yours. I am so much desiring to find myself and your book helps me to do this and at the same time find God.
I am currently in a group of women aged 40-75 working with The Cup of Our Life and never have I learned so much, wept so much and accepted so much wisdom from these tremendous women and your book. My prayer life was dull and colourless and now I look forward to each morning and welcome tears (that I used to hate) and feel God’s presence in me like I never have before.
—Mary Beth, Ontario
The Cup of Our Life is the most powerful, rich and full of God’s grace book that I have prayed since I prayed the 19th annotation of the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius nearly 30 years ago. It was a blessing to have prayed with a special group of women whose sharing was a blessing as was our leader. Not only did I find the easy flow of the daily prayer outline conducive to great anticipation to pray each day, but the powerful meditation with the cup and the suggestions for journaling revealed to me marvellous insights and allowed God to speak intimately to me. Your beautiful candour about your own life, your humanity,weaknesses, joys and sorrows helped me tremendously, as did your very loving, gentle ways. The cup of compassion brought deep healing and growth I would otherwise not have experienced.
I am so very grateful for your writing. Using your book, The Cup of Our Life, was really so powerful for me – the most meaningful devotional I’ve ever used. I could hardly wait to have my quiet time each morning to see what I would experience that day.
I am a parish nurse coordinator … and have used your books over and over in my work with health ministries and parish nurses. I have given your books, Inviting God In, The Cup of Our Life, May I have this Dance, and Praying Our Goodbye’s as gifts to parish nurses and have them in our Resource Library. I’ve had many express gratitude for these resources that have blessed them in many ways.
I used (the “Body Blessing” from Out of the Ordinary) at a Women’s Intensive Weekend for AA and AlAnon women. Not one of them had ever blessed another person. To see these women who have been in such darkness participate so wholly was a Blessing for me. Just having eye contact in such a small space was difficult for many. To see the tears shed and the love exchanged by your words is an event that I will never forget.
Your book Prayers to Sophia, became a beloved companion on my sabbatical– May-July this year. Thank you so much.
I just made some copies of this phrase, “Companion of my Solitude, keep encouraging me to take time for my Inward Journey. Help me be faithful to this Essential Element in life.” to tuck here and there and remind me to hold onto to the prayer rhythm of sabbatical, which can be chased away with a fuller schedule.
Many were the morning I sat with Sophia and would leaf through until I found the prayer for the day, and then after reading and re-reading, found a phrase for prayer and the day.
The openness and hopefulness with which you described your own experiences make me feel like I know you personally. I frequently refer to your books (I have them all!) for comfort, grounding, spiritual reminders, and much more. And I relish those days when your name is on the “Living Faith” page of daily readings. Many blessings to you for repeatedly awakening me to God’s love.
—Jen, New York
This book identifies exactly what I have been going through, the loneliness and wondering where to go to find God…. Thank you for putting a name to what I have experienced and continue to experience.
It’s as though she wrote this book just for me. I was feeling that I was really losing my mind and soul, but as I’m reading this book I can that I’m only on my mid-life journey and there is hope for me. It also helped me to know that I am not the only one going through dark, lonely places. Being a pastor, I felt I should never have these feelings. Oh, the grace of God for allowing Joyce to let me know I am human.
—Anne, New York
Starting part-way through March of this year, and continuing through April, May and the first week of June, I daily read your book May I Walk You Home – as my husband was dying of colon cancer. I read the book 3 times in succession, finishing the last “read” on June 6, the day after Dick died… It was a wonderful companion for a difficult journey… short, simple, food for the day that helped to keep me focused and balanced and gave me the confidence that I really could walk Dick home… a real gift for a tough time… I thank you for that…
As a result of my mother’s passing in November, I received a copy of Your Sorrow Is My Sorrow. It could not have been a more timely or relevant gift…. I have experienced all seven of Mary’s sorrows in one form or another; some of them in several ways. By the end of the book, I was sobbing like those you mentioned in the Epilogue. Never has a book touched my heart and life the way this one did.
You have been a prophet in my life, as I have already told you. Your words in Praying Your Goodbyes were the nourishment for my early healing journey. Your Sorrow Is My Sorrow continued to feed me and draw me to the true Healing Spirit. Losing my Chris was so incredibly painful, I could not believe that there would ever be blessings in my life as a result. But the gifts and blessings come when you are ready to see them. You are truly one of those gifts… .I see it so clearly now. And you have brought so many gifts with you, all so very precious…..your inspiring words and of course, your gift of the Camino. It was so great to hear you tell about your Camino, even though I had already read your book. It was so fun to be back there in my head. (I, of course, carry it in my heart always.) …Now when my family and friends ask about the Camino I can hand them your book.”
I just wanted to let you know how much your book Your Sorrow Is My Sorrow has meant to me. I have been going through this dark tunnel, with no light at the end. For 26 years, I have suffered domestic abuse, physical and mental, until I reached a point that I didn’t want to talk to anybody, I didn’t want to confide about my pain to anybody…. While reading your book (on sorrow) I felt I was sitting near a brook, I felt so tranquil, so comforted, I realized there was somebody out there, who does understand pain.
I bought your book, Little Pieces of Light when I was on a recent retreat…. My husband took his life (about a year ago) and I am deep in the valley of the shadow… His birthday was this week and I have been experiencing great sadness and flashbacks of finding him…. Today I read your little book for the first time and it described exactly what I have been feeling. I have been trying so hard to move forward through this process of grief, but the incredible loneliness overcomes me and I simply withdraw into the darkness. After reading your book, … I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your insight and the love I felt when reading your words. Thank you for giving me a ray of hope in this difficult journey of grief … and for touching my life so profoundly.
I first read this 7 years ago, while I was in tremendous physical pain from a fall. It was given to me by a priest friend and it “saved my sanity”. Joyce could have been talking directly to me, and I have learned much while looking for the little pieces of light in my life. I have lent it to needy friends during their dark times (one still has it). Consequently, during a recent medical crisis, I had to buy another copy. It is helping again – so much. Thanks, Joyce. May your light continue to spread to all.
I have a friend whose NYC fireman husband survived but has been profoundly affected and so has everyone in the family. I lent her Little Pieces of Light (a personal favorite of mine) and she said you helped her to “make sense out of the silences.” She said she wished she had had the book two years ago. She is a wonderful woman, wife and mother and thanks to your book, she’s happier and more on her way to healing. Thank you, for both of us.
Your work is amazing. My all time favorite – The Cup – I have done many times with groups, individuals and this last time, alone to find my way through breast cancer and chemo to real and joy filled healing.
—Pat, New YorkSeveral weeks ago, I found your beautiful poem (or it found me!), “It Doesn’t Take Much”, and was delighted with my discovery. On an impulse, I sent it to my friend, Deb, in New Hampshire. She emailed back her profuse thanks for sending your poem. It turns out that a close friend of hers had just died, and at the
Several weeks ago, I found your beautiful poem (or it found me!), “It Doesn’t Take Much”, and was delighted with my discovery. On an impulse, I sent it to my friend, Deb, in New Hampshire. She emailed back her profuse thanks for sending your poem. It turns out that a close friend of hers had just died, and at the funeral, Deb gave your poem to the woman’s husband and son. For them, it was a poem about hope and life; a presence and a connection they deeply needed that day. And they understood that on a sparrow’s bright wing, love rises in fullness for those who remain.
For me, your poem is not only about hope, but also about co-creating rooted in the soul. And having the courage to place our longings, our dreams, on the slim but sturdy twig of intent; knowing, despite the outer circumstances of our lives, that our dreams will find form in the “real” world. This is vital wisdom that can be practically applied in our lives.
We are both Psychologists and were lecturers at the University of South Africa. When we retired we searched for a way to ensure our spiritual growth and what a blessing it was to us to discover your books. We have met every second week since May 2010 and studied and journaled extensively using your books to guide us. Our sharing with one another has blessed us immeasurably and carried us through difficult times, such as our cancer experiences. We have studied many of your books. In the new year we will embark on The Cosmic Dance. Here is an example of Val’s journaling from the last chapter of Walk in a Relaxed Manner. “I like what Joyce Rupp said about the outer and inner world coming together as a result of reflecting. Cora and I have been privileged to use her books to guide and challenge us spiritually. The fact that we have written down our reflections has brought the outside in and made it more real and meaningful to us.”
—Cora and Val, South Africa
I’ve read many guide books of the geographical, cultural, and spiritual sort about the Camino… Yours is a wonderful combination of the interior and exterior life of a pilgrim as experienced on the road. Thank you for sharing! I have already begun to recommend it to pilgrim friends wishing to remember their journey through other eyes and to others considering walking in what I hope will be a relaxed manner.
Your writing gift of the Holy Spirit has touched my life by your words in Walk In A Relaxed Manner…. . I do not think I will get there. Because of your masterpiece, I have been there in my minds eye, on the mesa and in the refugios…. After I finished the book I too had a let down coming to the end of my mental pilgrimage. After two weeks, I picked it up and I’m reading it again for the life lessons of my own everyday pilgrimage. I love the pilgrims prayer. Thank you for sharing.
Walk in a Relaxed Manner had been such a wonderful experience for my wife and me to read together, since she has multiple sclerosis and is unable to walk any distance. But through your book we were able to trek along side you, and learn many valuable lessons for our own life situation.
As I heal (from spine surgery) “lessons” learned on the Camino were reinforced and supported by your honest, clear and spiritual account. Living in the “Now” is not easy. Letting go of business is not easy. Living into God’s presence a step at a time is my on-going challenge as I continue my pilgrimage through the door of healing.
—Gary, New Hampshire
This was one of the best, most timely, and deeply meaningful books I have read since my physical recovery from cancer. I was diagnosed a year ago and went through very rigorous, life challenging treatment. I am now cancer free and continue in recovery. However, my spiritual sense of things has taken longer to heal. I didn’t have a reference point or compass to help navigate through what was rapidly happening to my body and soul. I had never felt so abandoned by God and yet so close all at the same time. My understanding of and relationship to God has changed dramatically and I’m still trying to find my spiritual footing.
This book helped me to put some of my experience into perspective. The pilgrimage journey has so much relevance for the cancer journey and I found myself unable to put the book down. Each chapter had some nugget of reassurance and comfort. Although I know at some point I will pass this book on to a friend, right now I am keeping it close.I am so thankful that you put your experiences down on paper to share with the rest of us. I wish others battling cancer had the opportunity to take a look at what this book has to offer. Perhaps it should be offered on the cancer recovery websites.
I am so thankful that you put your experiences down on paper to share with the rest of us. I wish others battling cancer had the opportunity to take a look at what this book has to offer. Perhaps it should be offered on the cancer recovery websites.
What a beautiful story of authenticity! I saw myself over and over again in your honest, poignant sharing of the joys and challenges walking the Camino. I was reminded of my attachments to solitude, cleanliness, productivity, friendship, and nature. How I get irritable and negative when things don’t go my way or when I feel like I’m losing control. How prayer and contemplative time bring me back to a more loving place.
I read the complete book (Walk in a Relaxed Manner) on my vacation last week and I felt as if I had been on the pilgrimage with Joyce and Tom. I read several sections out loud to my husband and we prayed the pilgrim prayer before venturing out each morning. Thank you, Joyce, for sharing these wonderful life lessons on the Camino. They have had a wonderful impact on my life.
I finished reading Walk in a Relaxed Manner a week or two ago and would like to express my utter enjoyment in the experience. I’ve read a number of Camino books and, without question, yours is the most memorable book of an
introspective or spiritual nature that I’ve seen. My nature (hard science background and not at all “religious”) I think predisposes me to not connect with these, but you thoroughly succeeded. Your teasing out the deeper meanings in the day to day experiences of the Camino and then expanding them to wider life experiences was to me very moving. Thank you.
My husband and I completed the Camino on July 6, 2005. Our struggle has been how to describe the experience to friends and students here. WALK IN A RELAXED MANNER is the book I necould never have, but would have liked to have written. Nothing I have read has come so close to our own experiences and feelings. We even called ourselves LAS TORTUGAS! Your book helped me re-experience our Camino.
At a recent get together of the Confraternity of St. James pilgrims in Durbin, South Africa, I recommended Walk in a Relaxed Manner as “compulsory” reading for any pilgrim thinking of walking the Camino. I described it as “warts and all account of the trail, the refuges, and the lessons learned.”
—Silvia, South Africa
The first three chapters of Walk in a Relaxed Mannerhave been read and I can barely contain my excitement and hope for making such a pilgrimage. After (reading) the introduction, I asked a friend to prayerfully consider being my walking partner in the summer of 2007. She has agreed and later this month we will begin the prayerful task of planning for this pilgrimage. Thank you for your words and insight.
WALK IN A RELAXED MANNER is the spiritual tool that is helping me. After completing the book in early January, I decided I would use it as a-retreat-in-daily-life. The Introduction and 25 chapters will be the inspiration for this year 2006 which is the year I celebrate my 60th year as a Dominican Sister. I have allotted two weeks for each chapter. Each day I pray the Pilgrim Prayer, read the text until I feel drawn to be with a word, phrase, or sentence. Then I copy that in my journal and pray with it. Then I write my reflection in the journal and underline the word(s) I want to remember for the day. During the day I try to recall and practice my morning prayer. If I feel I need to stay with this same message, I do so. This prayer has been so powerful. God has worked and works through my prayer with your sacred text.
I work for the Department of Veterans Affairs. One of my clinical areas is an all-female housing unit for homeless veterans. I routinely run 8-week courses relevant to their life stories and struggles, and right now, we are concluding an 8-week- long immersion into The Star in My Heart. As a woman myself, I select thematic studies to which I know these women veterans will relate. I must tell you that they LOVE your work! They relate to it so much, and yesterday, one of the women said, “Sophia has changed my life.” These are
women who have endured the unspeakable, who have fought for our country, who struggle with substance use disorders, who (usually) have significant mental health diagnoses, and who are in and out of homelessness.
—Rosalie, East Coast (USA)
This past year, you generously allowed me to use material from your book, Fragments of Your Ancient Name. I took several of the names, printed them on scrolls, and placed them on a table for people to take and pray with during a weekend retreat. The retreat was a great success and your scrolls were a special touch. Many of the participants commented how moved they were with the meditation name or how pertinent it was to her life at that time. I have used the book throughout the year for my morning meditation time. As was the reaction of the retreat participants, I have been deeply moved, delightfully surprised, discovered new perspectives, and several times challenged. I now begin every morning prayer session with the first few lines of January 1, “I Am That I Am.”
“I bow before you who have no name.
Your intimate presence startles my soul
Like the first glimpse of a rising moon.”
—Carol, New Jersey