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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Orthodox Crafts: Making the perfect Orthodox gift, or a personal aid in your spiritual struggle, our prayer bracelets are beautifully crafted to be kept for a lifetime. Strengthen your relationship with God by wearing these bracelets and praying at any time and place during the day. Enjoy my post, How I Use My Prayer Bracelet.
I am currently taking on clients for Centering Prayer One on One Coaching sessions. I am happy to setup weekly, bi-weekly or monthly sessions with you over the phone or skype to help you go deeper into your centering prayer practice and integrate it into your daily life. Contact me for more information. The rate is $50 – $75 per hour. The first session is 1/2 off.
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I am currently reading Grateful: The Transformative Power of Giving Thanks by Diana Butler Bass.
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Contemplative Practices: 5 Ways of Consenting to the Divine: Learn methods practiced by Christian mystics for centuries to consent to the action and presence of God within, including Centering Prayer, The Examen, Lectio Divina, Christian Meditation, and the Jesus Prayer.
Contemplative Perspectives: Frameworks for the Divine: For anyone who craves to deepen their contemplative process and more fully embody and integrate the the higher stages of the mystical path, Contemplative Perspectives offers an opportunity to travel through the various states of awakening and understand the territory. With the historic practice of The Jesus Prayer as a jumping off point, we explore the experiential aspects of the Purgation/Illumination/Union path of Christian Mysticism.
The Divine Transformation: Essentials of Christian Mysticism: This is a combined course of both Contemplative Practices and Contempative Perspectives.
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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.
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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.
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