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Samples of
Christ-Centered Literature
at New Moon Books, Crystals & Candles, Inc.

by Domenic Leo, Ph.D.

Hildegard of Bingen receiving the divine flames of inspiration while her confessor takes dictation.


All too often it is forgotten that the “New Age” movement embraces all forms of spirituality that lead to peace and enlightenment. Certain buzzwords like “metaphysical” and “wellness” are by definition vague enough to umbrella a broad range of religious beliefs and practices. These qualities have been used by skeptics to counter this spiritual movement as something imaginary and unfounded in reality. For example, here is one explanation of the word metaphysical: what cannot be reached through objective studies of material reality. The outcome can oftentimes be an abuse of these terms.

At Creative Medicine, we try to avoid this type of labeling. This is most evident in our library, which includes books on many religions or beliefs that serve as pathways leading to Creator. For us the maxim “All gods are one God” applies directly to our method of constantly expanding our book collection. This ranges from self-help books to Magic, from Neo-paganism to Christianity.

I would like to point out books in our library that encourage readers to respect and draw from Christ-centered spirituality. Here is a list of four books that I will review:

1. The Unvarnished New Testament
2. Select Writings of Hildegard of Bingen
3. Incandescence: 365 Readings with Women Mystics
4. African Saints: Saints, Martyrs, and Holy People from the Continent of Africa

 


The Unvarnished New Testament, translated by Andy Gaus
In my opinion the best translation of the New Testament is: The Unvarnished New Testament, translated by Andy Gaus. Unlike other translations, Gaus’s does not employ the chapter and verse numbers, which are later additions that served as a means for specific referencing. The outcome is a beautiful flowing text. Gaus never glosses over grammatical errors and humble sayings. One example is his use of “breath” to replace the modern word “spirit.” My favorite part of this book is the prayer known to Christians as the “Our Father”:

Father,
Let Your name be sanctified,
May Your kingdom come.
Give us day by day the next day's bread,
And absolve us of our wrongs,
For we too absolve all those indebted to us.
And do not expose us to temptation.


Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179)
Next, I would like to introduce you to the mystic Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179), a formidable force both politically and spiritually in a time when men ruled. She was prolific, producing both writings on herbalism to gemology as well as composing music (you can find a recording of her music in Creative Medicine’s selection of CDs) and painting her own manuscripts. There is a passage in her writings which may surprise you. Remember that she wrote this in the 12th century. These prophetic writings - perhaps as a shock to the New Age community – concern the power and use of crystals:

Precious stones…contain energy…within them and they have many powerful qualities and effects, so that many actions can be carried out with them. These actions are nevertheless good and honest and useful to human beings.  (I quote this passage from Hildegard of Bingen: Selected Writings, translated by Mark Atherton).


Incandescence: 365 Readings with Women Mystics
One common genre of books is day-by-day quotes or meditations to be read throughout the year. The Christ-Centered book of this type in our library is Incandescence: 365 Readings with Women Mystics. It introduces us to the “Ascended Women Masters” of the past who received their revelations by direct contact with the Creator. For December 20th, we find the following meditation by Umiltà of Faenza:

Those who want to be able to listen well to God’s speaking must enclose themselves in great silence.


African Saints: Saints, Martyrs, and Holy People from the Continent of Africa,
by Frederick Quinn. Manche Masemola  

Finally, I would like to present the awe-inspiring book, African Saints: Saints, Martyrs, and Holy People from the Continent of Africa, by Frederick Quinn. Manche Masemola was a simple little girl who became a South African Martyr (1913-1928) for her Christ-Centered beliefs. Her parents, for a number of reasons, killed her. In 1919, an Anglican monk established a mission where Manche attended services and Christian schooling. “This created family strife because her parents feared she would leave them and not marry the person they would select as her husband.” Her parents abused and beat her mercilessly every time she returned from the church. Eventually “her parents led the teenager to a lonely place, where they killed her.”


These are just a few samples from our library. I invite you to come read our books and explore further. New Moon Book’s purposefully eclectic collection of books will introduce and, perhaps, remind you of the deeply moving and inspirational message of Christ-inspired spirituality.

 

Domenic Leo, Ph.D.


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