I am delighted to share my friend Nicholas Amato’s second book, Moving from Stress to Joy is now available.
A Catholic priest since 1970, Amato has served more than 20 years as a pastor. He is a graduate of the Shalem Institute in Washington, where he served as adjunct faculty member and is also an Associate of Mepkin Trappist Abbey in South Carolina leading contemplative retreats there. Over the years, he has served on the Spiritual Formation staff of Saint Luke Institute in Maryland and is the co-creator of the Mepkin Priest Wellness Program.
He has studied in Rome and Jerusalem. His full-time ministry includes leading days of recollection, retreats, and parish missions. He has Masters degrees in Counseling and in Theology, and a Doctorate in Educational Administration. His prior work on spirituality is Living in God: Contemplative Prayer and Contemplative Action published by WestBow Press, 2016.
Endorsements of Moving from Stress to Joy
“At the very least, we should be able to presume that the Gospel creates healthy and happy people, especially among those who speak in God’s name. Yet we know this is not the norm and even the opposite is often the case. Nicholas Amato describes what is often the heart of the problem and shows us the way through and forward.”
“Msgr. Nicholas Amato’s second book guides those in ministry and others from stress to joy. His spiritual mastery honed over nearly five decades of priesthood encourages the reader to seek God’s voice within; to find God in all; and, to build bridges in all seasons despite set-backs or failure. Like Simone Weil in her Notebooks, he grasps that ‘waiting patiently, in expectation, is the foundation of the spiritual life.’ He embraces joy, humor and laughter as constitutive elements of spiritual growth. Msgr. Amato emerges as a true spiritual father whose contemplative bent and rich pastoral history yield a vision gentle in manner and resolute in approach.”
“The second Abbot of Mepkin, Father Christian Aidan Carr, was fond of saying: ‘Where there is more truth, there is more joy.’ What better words could be found to describe Father Amato’s newest book? Wedding psychology and contemplative prayer can bring us into the realms of both more truth and more joy. As an Associate of Mepkin Abbey, he has opened us monks to the joy which resides at the deepest levels of our hearts, a joy which is only released when we bring our daily lives with all its pains before the loving presence of the One God.”
Rev. Stan Gumula, O.C.S.O, Abbot of Mepkin Abbey
“This isn’t just a book; it’s a two year course in contemplative prayer. It’s a very thorough and erudite discussion and explanation of prayer life.”
Dr. Robert McAllister, Retired Psychiatrist, Professor, Author
“Do you want to reclaim the inner joy that God has planted within you? Pleasure is in the body; happiness is in the mind, but joy is a deeper reality at the center of who we are. God unconditionally loves us and wishes that we will discover this inner joy that bubbles below the surface of our lives. Nicholas shares practical tools that will help us identify and manage our daily experience of stress so we can more easily move into contemplative prayer and reclaim God’s gracious gift of inner joy.”
Rich Lewis, Author and founder of SilenceTeaches.
“Like his earlier book, Living in God: Contemplative Prayer and Contemplative Action, Monsignor Nicholas Amato’s latest offering, Moving from Stress to Joy, rewards the reader with a feast of reason and a ow of soul. Amato’s four decades of parish ministry, retreat work, parish missions, spiritual direction and counseling result in this warm and inviting book, reminiscent of such spiritual guides as Morton Kelsey, Henri J.M. Nouwen, Anthony deMello, S.J., Joan Chittister, O.S.B., John Sanford, Rose Mary Dougherty, Gerald May, M.D., Thomas Keating, O.C.S.O. and James Martin, S.J. Amato writes with a flair, popular in the best sense. He invests his work with insights and awareness born from the experience of a pastor ‘who knows the smell of the sheep.’ His close contemplative ties with a Trappist monastery and long-time staff affiliation with a clinical psychiatric center yield rich insights, awareness and applications. In this stress-filled era, like Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J. Amato reminds us: ‘Joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God.’”
Rev. Gerald S. Twomey, Editor. Thomas Merton: Prophet in the Belly of a Paradox (Paulist Press), Remembering Henri: The Life and Times of Henri J.M. Nouwen (Orbis Books)
“Father Nicholas has written a well-researched look at the reality of stress in the lives of modern people, as well as reflection on contemplative presence as a way to hold stress and go deeper to a place of true joy. He offers a practical approach to developing contemplative prayer, as well as practicing contemplative experience as awareness of God’s joy-producing Presence in the midst of daily life.”
Sr. Mary Therese White, O.S.F. Former Provincial, Franciscan Sisters of Baltimore
“Moving from Stress to Joy is a book I have been waiting for, (even without naming) for quite a while. Seeing the words stress and joy together is comforting knowing that God is in the midst of both. Contemplative presence and stress reduction are tangible tools – gifts from God. God is not only in the joy but as we open ourselves and take the necessary steps will lead us beyond the stress. As Fr. Amato, reminds us “we were created out of joy!” We need to claim that gift.”
Sr. Patricia Kirk, O.S.B., Prioress of Emmanuel Monastery in Baltimore, MD
From the Foreword
Nicholas Amato has given us inspired and extensive, very practical help in this book for: 1) understanding and managing our physical and psychological stress; 2) moving through and beyond it to a practice of contemplative prayer, where we let go the stressed ego level of our identity and dispose ourselves to realizing our true personal identity and freedom in God’s love; 3) letting that love over flow through us into our hurting world; and finally 4) opening to the profound joy that grace raises up in us. I found it to be a hopeful book, raising up practical possibilities for moving toward a better life that we may have given up trying to find.
Rev. Tilden Edwards Founder & Senior Fellow, Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation
I encourage you to check out this wonderful book!
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One on One Coaching with Rich
Does this sound like you?
“I am bored with my life?”
“I am not doing the things that I want to do in all areas of my life:”
-career, personal, family, community.
I feel unfulfilled, like I am just going through the motions everyday.
I have dreams and goals, but I am afraid to show up and take action on them.
I don’t want years to pass and be disappointed when I look back on my life.
Integrating Centering Prayer practice with your everyday life addresses all of these thoughts.
Do you want to obtain the freedom to become your true self, the person I’m created to be?
How do I create a long lasting and sustainable centering prayer practice?
I am currently taking on clients for Centering Prayer One on One Coaching sessions.
I will work with you to setup a program designed to meet your specific needs.
I am currently reading From the Inside Out: Reimagining Mission, Recreating the World by Ryan Kuja.
Welcome to Contemplative-Life.org. Our mission is to present the best of contemplative teachings. Through contemplative awareness, one becomes open and present to the mystery of God in the here and now—in the midst of daily life.
I continue to update my Resource Page including Books on Sale that features great kindle books at low prices. It includes authors such as Nicholas Amato, J Brent Bill, Daniel P Coleman, John Eldredge, Rachel Held Evans, James Finley, Sharon Grussendorff, Philip Gulley, Thomas Keating, James Martin, John Ortberg, Amos Smith, Barbara Taylor Brown.
The Power of the Jesus Prayer: Learn a method practiced by Christian mystics for centuries to consent to the action and presence of God within.
Christian Prayer Methods: Prayer is a core Christian practice, but for many, this means “saying prayers” or asking God for various favors. In this course, we will review a variety of methods of prayer that have been used for centuries in Christianity. Whether you’re a beginner who is just learning how to pray, or a more mature Christian who has been at it awhile, this course will offer specific guidance, encouragement and support for practicing several time-tested methods of prayer.
The Way of the Wisdom Jesus: Going Beyond the Mind to the Heart of His Teaching – If you put aside what you think you know about Jesus and approach the Gospels as though for the first time, something remarkable happens: Jesus emerges as a teacher of the transformation of consciousness. In this online course, Episcopal priest, teacher, and retreat and conference leader Cynthia Bourgeault serves as a masterful guide to Jesus’s vision and to the traditional contemplative practices you can use to experience the heart of his teaching for yourself. It is based upon her book, The Wisdom Jesus: Transforming Heart and Mind – a New Perspective on Christ and His Message .
Prepare to be immersed in the 1st Century A.D. context of the life, work, teachings, and actions of Jesus. Check out Simply Jesus by N. T. Wright. It is based on his book Simply Jesus. Enjoy an article I wrote about one of the lectures on the Beatitudes.
This course is a short course based on Prof. N.T. Wright’s latest book, Simply Good News. Tom Wright will guide you through the chapters of his book through videos that suggest what some of the main points are. You will instantly get into the heart of the idea of ‘good news’ as it was understood by the 1st Century writers of the New Testament. You will be brought into their world in order to make more sense of what ‘good news’ means in our world.
Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks – This is a great way to listen to books with your cell phone while you drive, walk or relax at home. I frequently listen in my car during my commute to and from work. I’m a proud affiliate.
David Frenette’s book The Path of Centering Prayer reenergized the Centering Prayer tradition with its fresh insights and teachings. Centering Prayer Meditations: Effortless Contemplation to Deepen Your Experience of God is a wonderful companion audio program created to be equally rewarding as a stand-alone guide – gives listeners an immersive resource to learn contemplative prayer, step by step and in the moment. With clarity and compassionate presence, Frenette explains the essential principles of this contemplative practice for both new and seasoned practitioners.
Centering Prayer is a silent prayer practice that can move you toward a profound relationship with the Spirit of God within. It is a way of praying that opens the door to the Divine Indwelling—the ground of our being. With Centering Prayer, Father Thomas Keating and his colleagues Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler and Father Carl Arico present the first online course in this method for deepening your intimacy with God and ultimately consenting to the presence and action of the Divine in all aspects of your life.
Since the time of the Desert Fathers in the third century, Finley begins, Christian mystics have practiced meditation as a way of opening to the direct presence of God in daily life. Legendary seekers such as Saint John of the Cross, Saint Teresa of Avila, and Meister Eckhart explored how meditation can lead us beyond the closed horizon of the ego, to an interior and holy refuge that is always available to us. On Christian Meditation, James Finley offers a gentle introduction to this all-transforming way of life, and the ever-deepening realization of oneness with Christ it leads us to. (Based upon his book, Christian Meditation.)