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Answering God's Call

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GOD’S CALL a SCRIPTURE-BASED JOURNEY for Older Adults by BARBARA LEE

The ambition of this devotional is rare and welcomed: to recognize that older adults still have much spiritual fulfillment to discover personally and then find a means to contribute earned wisdom to others, even in the midst of difficult life transitions.  Each chapter explores a theme of the “second half of life”—both challenges and opportunities—through Biblical stories featuring older characters, followed by a brief explanation of each text plus corollary modern experiences, concluding with prayer prompts for further reflection, such “When have you said “BUT . . .” to God? Can you rephrase it as a prayer for help in overcoming whatever is holding you back?”

The strongest section of the book is the introduction, which not only acknowledges the difficulty of transitions such as retirement, loss of a spouse, and limitations caused by health issues, it recasts those situations as “gifts”—of wisdom, interior freedom, prayer, and acceptance of the possible. Given that each of us is a divine creation of God, the author points out that we are called to find value in who we are, not what we do, at any and every life stage. Older adults must continue to seek meaning, grow wiser and share their talents even if limited in resources, mobility and access, Lee writes:  “A deeper understanding of who we are should lead us to appreciate our unique gifts and how God is calling us to live them: in prayer, in service to others, and in looking to the future with hope.”

Unfortunately, the successive chapters fall short of the promise of “deeper.”  Some provide only the Scriptural texts, a few lines of exposition contextualizing that story, concluding with just one or two generic prayer prompts. Precisely because spiritual titles targeted to older adults are in short supply, anecdotes from the author and others showing application of these lessons would have been helpful. The narrative instead comes off as prescriptive rather than descriptive and engaging.

This book is a good first-read for older adults needing spiritual direction, perhaps explored through a pastoral book club or support group format. For those seeking a deeper exploration of spirituality in later life after this introduction might move on to Richard Rohr’s excellent Falling Upward: A Spirituality for Two Halves of Life.
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I want to thank Netgalley and the author for gifting me the ebook. Highly recommend! This book was so good. I will be reading again.
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‘Answering God’s Call” is a daily devotional for individuals that have retired or whose kids have left the house and are looking for a purpose or direction from God. “In our society that emphasizes, even fetishizes, youth, there are few spiritual role models for older adults. “ Older adults may often feel invisible whose previous purpose was defined by their job title. Barbara Lee, a retired attorney, a former U.S. magistrate judge, and a member of the Ignatian Volunteer Corps, has found God’s calling on her life to be a spiritual director to the aging. Within ‘Answering God’s Call,” the author provides her readers with daily biblical stories of men and women in their later years that God used. In addition, each daily devotional ends with questions and prayers to help you seek God’s call. “But you are not like that, for you are chosen, people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. (1Peter 2:9).” We all have a purpose, and it may change as we enter various stages in our life. ‘Answering God’s Call’ is a beautifully written book that, even as a forty-plus-old woman, I found the book beneficial for myself and to help me understand what my parents may be going through.
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Book of short reflections using Biblical passages that are of particular interest to older folks. Each short chapter includes several starting points for prayer and has the Biblical passage quoted in full.

An excellent short devotional.
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The author made the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius and was introduced to Ignatian spirituality and praying with the Scriptures. 
The book teaches how to pray with the Bible as older adults, for example retirees, widows and people with illness and included Scriptures passagers and prayers suggestions. 
It was very interesting the author shows that the Bible offers examples of men and women who were called to new ways of holiness in later lifer. 
All of us is called to be a saint and to start a spiritual life with prayer.
Thank you Netgalley and publisher for free ARC in exchange of honest review. All thoughs are my own.
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