An electrifying book from the first line. No one interested in Christian spirituality and its relation to contemporary problems can afford to miss this powerful witness to the power of living faith in Christ founded on an intense life of prayer. - Benedict J. Groeschel, O.F.M. Cap. Many people fear that the process of secularization will end by undermining faith and that, as a consequence, life with God will continue to diminish until it is completely extinguished. My personal impression is exactly the opposite. Secularization could be compared to the dark night of the senses. It is the most radical purification of the image of God. As a result, the believer of the secularized age will finally be able to live with pure and unadorned faith, without its false supports... God is t the maternal womb that liberates us from the risks and difficulties of life. After creation, God very quickly cuts the umbilical cord, leaving us alone in the open struggle for liberation and independence, and He comes to us saying, Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. (Gen 1:28). The true God, then, is t One who alienates but a Liberator who makes great, mature, and free individuals and nations. This secularization, we insist, is thus a true dark night of the senses. From w on, faith and life with God will be a risky adventure... Those who return from this adventure will be figures sculpted by purity, strength, and fire. Transformed by the ecstatic closeness of God, above them will appear the living and illuminating image of the Son. They will become the transparent witnesses of God. from Sensing Your Hidden Presenceby Ignacio Larranaga, O.F.M. Cap.
Ignacio Larranaga, O.F.M. Cap., was born in 1928 in the Basque region of Spain. He entered the minor seminary of the Capuchin Order at age twelve and finished both his secondary studies and later his ecclesiastical studies with them. Upon ordination, his special gifts for preaching and for music were recognized. He had always felt an attraction for Chile and, at age thirty, he was assigned there. Thus began a full and effective mission with the founding of the Center of Franciscan and Pastoral Studies for Latin America, an educational and publishing community. In 1974 Fr. Larranaga felt specially called to awaken among the clergy the desire to encounter God. He began a series of retreats whose object was to find the living and true face of God and to introduce the retreatants to a deep experience of God. The Encounters with God movements was begun and has since spread from Chile throughout South America, to Central America, to Spain and now to the United States. It is estimated that a hundred and thirty thousand people have attended these week-long retreats. Sensing Your Hidden Presence (originally published as Muestrame Tu Rostro) is Fr. Larranaga's seminal work and has sold two hundred thousand copies in its various editions. His other titles (presently available only in Spanish) are The Silence of Mary (El Silencio de Maria), The Brother of Assisi (El hermano de Asis), Climb with Me (Sube Conmigo), From Suffering to Peace (Del sufrimiento a La Paz), Psalms for Living (Salmos para la vida), and Encounter, A Prayer Book (Encuentro, Manual de Oracion)--with combined sales of more than a million copies. In addition, An Adventure of the Spirit (Una adventura del espiritu), a book about Fr. Larranaga's life and work, has recently appeared in Chile.