I am delighted to share 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!
this link may contain affiliate links
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.
Sounds True has titles by teachers and authors such as Thomas Keating, Cynthia Bourgeault, James Finley, Richard Rohr, David Frenette, Parker Palmer , Adyashanti , Eckhart Tolle , Michael Singer , Jon Kabat-Zinn , Marianne Williamson to name a few.
Contemplative Light offers courses on contemplative practices (Christian Meditation, Centering Prayer, The Examen, Lectio Divina, The Jesus Prayer), the Christian mystics (ancient and current) and spiritual writing. Peruse their wonderful offerings.
Ignatian Spirituality for Everyday Life by Margaret Silf: This e-course invites you into a journey of exploration into this practical, real-world approach to Christian spirituality. Discover something of the real Ignatius. Let him guide you into the creative power of your own desires and offer you tools for making wiser choices. Try out some of the methods of prayer and reflection that he suggests, and engage with the power of scriptural meditation. Learn to notice what is moving in your heart, and discern which movements are coming from the deepest core of your being, where God is indwelling.
Thomas Berry: Prophet and Mystic of the Earth by Kathleen Deignan, Kevin Cawley: In this exclusive e-course developed for Spirituality & Practice, Kathleen and Kevin will draw out the contemplative depth and call to practice in Berry’s works. They will focus on foundational themes from his life — like Storyteller of the Universe, Mystic of the Meadow, and Master of Creation Spirituality — drawn from Thomas Berry: Selected Writings on the Earth Community, published by Orbis in 2014.
Thomas Merton’s Abiding Legacy by Kathleen Deignan: In this exclusive e-course developed for Spirituality & Practice, Kathleen draws from the rich diversity of Merton’s legacy. The course covers such themes as: Awakening to Living Presence: Fostering the Contemplative Mind, Learning to Live in The Presence: Cultivating the Contemplative Heart, A Vow of Conversation: Engaging Contemplative Practice, Being a Gardener of Paradise: The Flowering of Contemplative Vocation.
David Frenette’s book The Path of Centering Prayer re-energized the Centering Prayer tradition with its fresh insights and teachings. This 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, and then guides us experientially through core prayers and meditations.
The Contemplative Journey (Volume I) is Father Thomas Keating’s great masterwork: a complete curriculum devoted to a Christian path for achieving the still point of resting in God.
Learn More About:
- The complete history, theory, and daily practice of Centering Prayer
- What the medieval saints knew about resting in God
- The sacred word that revitalizes your prayers
- How to heal the irrational drives that can sabotage your spiritual growth
“In case you haven’t noticed, you have a mental dialogue going on inside your head that never stops.” This is the opening sentence of Michael Singer’s book, The Untethered Soul. Since its publication in 2007, I’ve been inundated with questions about why that inner voice is always talking, why so much of what it says is negative and stressful, and most importantly, how you free yourself from it. In this course, we will put to rest any questions you have about that inner dialogue. Not just about quieting it down—but about how to steadily remove the root cause of its existence.
The story of Jesus has not waned in its power to change lives. Although many of us grew up in a culture suffused by the mythos of Jesus, today we feel disconnected from the essence and vitality of his teachings. With Resurrecting Jesus, Adyashanti invites us to rediscover the life and teachings of Jesus as a direct path to what may be the most radical of transformations: spiritual awakening.
The Enneagram and Grace: 9 Journeys to Divine Presence by Richard Rohr and Russ Hudson – Fr. Richard Rohr and Russ Hudson offer a deep study of the Enneagram as a powerful spiritual tool. The Enneagram has become many things to many people, but its roots are profoundly spiritual and are based in the studies of the Desert Fathers, the world’s first Christian monastics. At its core, the Enneagram addresses the question of how we fail to recognize the presence of Grace in our lives. It helps us see the psychological issues that cause us to forget the Divine Presence here in each moment.
The Cosmic Christ by Richard Rohr – In this teaching, Fr. Richard gives profound insight into the nature of the historical Jesus and what the resurrected Christ really means. We are reminded that the material and spiritual worlds are part of the same universal reality. As the Body of Christ, we are all called to participate in relationship with the Divine Trinity.