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The method was developed in the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland with great assistance and input from members of the area Quaker community. The Society of Friends influence shows prominently, as the main focus of the process (and it is a process, as opposed to a goal in and of itself) is to discover and arrive at consensus regarding God's revealed will through reflective prayer rather than convince anyone of anything via cerebral justifications. For this group, the method became the first step in the ordination process, though they are quick to note that the method need not be limited to those seeking ordination, but rather can be used by anyone seeking a discernment of God's will for his or her life.
Listening Hearts is replete with quotations and an exhaustive bibliography. At the very least, it serves as a starting point for someone considering a time of discernment. The book is not discouraging of ordained vocations, but instead acknowledges that often discerners too quickly latch onto ordination as the only answer to a vocation in the Church. The method emphasizes prayer and heartfelt reflection as the main means of determining God's will, which is as it should be.
Those seeking a time of discernment should read this book for "the other side" of the discussion -- a viewpoint which urges caution, deliberatation, and openness to the multiplicity of God's purposes. It provides a strong balance, essential to any spiritual journey.
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The book has beautiful word-play and rhythm, along with classic sketched illustrations - A keeper for all time.
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