|About the Book|
When we think about the lives of the saints, we can easily forget that they were people just like us--with all the same struggles, temptations, joys, and sorrows we experience in life. They were not born saints- they became saints. And in the courseMoreWhen we think about the lives of the saints, we can easily forget that they were people just like us--with all the same struggles, temptations, joys, and sorrows we experience in life. They were not born saints- they became saints. And in the course of their journeys through life, other people helped them become the people that God wanted them to be. A Sheltering Tree offers stories of faith, fidelity, and friendship from both Christian and non-Christian writers that explore the importance of friendship to psychological and spiritual development. These stories show how friends became special graces, special gifts given to us by the Lord to help us grow in holiness. Contemporary stories of ordinary people illustrate fifteen lessons about friendship in our own time to help us understand the grace of friendship in our lives. These stories are a source of encouragement and inspiration for each of us on our personal journeys, leading us closer to each other and to the Lord who has called each of us his friend. A Sheltering Tree provides remarkably rich insights into friendship and love, beginning with the writings of both saints and classical authors. The subsequent real-life stories are as shining jewels of human friendship, love, joy, sadness, and mystery, shared with the author as psychotherapist and friend. The lessons he derives are universal. This deceptively short volume provides a wealth of clearly accessible truths into our humanity and its deepest callings. --Ron Bashian MD, former pediatrician, Arlington, VA A thoughtful book on friendship and love. Peter is a gifted writer who unites themes of friendship, presenting stories of people whose lives were animated by a profound awareness of the divine presence in all. Friends, loving God and each other, demonstrate that human life is the arena where the divine is made visible. The fifteen lessons are especially powerful, emphasizing our oneness. Friends help us grow into wisdom and to practice loving kindness and compassion. Buy this book! Gift it to your friends! --Regina McPhillips, spiritual seeker, Ellicott City, MD A Sheltering Tree is a thoughtful and compelling way to understand and strengthen our spiritual connections to God through our friendships. Stories and writings from saints, historical figures, and spiritual teachers (i.e., Aristotle, St. Therese, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Thomas Merton, Dorothy Day, etc.), and from Wilcoxs thirty years as a psychotherapist, illustrate how our Christianity, humanity, and friendships intersect. The highlight for me was the fifteen practical lessons, tools, and ways for me to improve my relationship to Christ through my relationship with my treasured friends! I recommend it to all spiritual seekers. --Bob Connolly, geriatric social work consultant, Ellicott City, MD Peter C. Wilcox, STD, has been a psychotherapist and spiritual director for over thirty years. He holds a doctorate in theology from the Catholic University of America and has taught at the Washington Theological Union, Loyola University Maryland, and Saint Bonaventure University. He has directed retreats and conducted seminars on personality development and spiritual growth for many years and is the author of John Henry Newman, Spiritual Director 1845-1890. Dr. Wilcox lives in Millersville, Maryland, with his wife and daughter.