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May I Have This Dance.

Clare vanBrandwijk is a homemaker, mother of three, and candidate for an M.A. in pastoral ministry. She has worked with the RCIA in Washington, California and South Dakota, where she organizes outreach to inactive and alienated Catholics as a pastoral worker at St. Joseph's Cathedral in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Her multilayered background made her an ideal candidate to comment on two current books. Clare notes that the Latin root of the word religion means to bind. Ideally, one's religion is that which binds together all of life.

For those feeling more bound than bound together by their Catholic upbringing, Clare recommends Fashioning a Healthier Religion, by Thomas Aldworth (Thomas More, 149 pages, $12.95 paperback). Among those things Aldworth examines are God, sin, salvation and priesthood. Spinning tales from his own life, Aldworth's storyteller style strikes Clare as both controversial and provocative, seeking to prescribe a healthy adult relationship with God. The book is a resource for those who reach out to the alienated and inactive.

Thomas Merton once described God as inviting humankind to cast our awful solemnity to the winds and join the dance. In May I Have This Dance (Ave Maria, 182 pages, $8.95 paperback), Servite Sister Joyce Rupp provides a dozen steps for the spiritual dance. This guide, says Clare, is a boon for those with two left feet and is exciting for the experienced as well.

Through 12 monthly themes, Rupp calls the prayer from the dry bones of Ezekiel to become a graceful partner in the inner dance with God. Expanding each theme are suggested scripture passages for further reflection and a variety of creative prayer ideas. These include guided meditations, art forms, journal-keeping and more.

Wonderfully in touch with the cadence of everyday life and the presence of the rhythm-maker within, Rupp has designed this book for easy adaptation by individuals or groups to suit their needs. Spiritual directors and those responsible for prayer services, according to Clare, should heed the invitation.
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Author:Graham, William C.
Publication:National Catholic Reporter
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Feb 5, 1993
Previous Article:Fashioning a Healthier Religion
Next Article:Liturgical Inculturation: Sacramentals, Religiosity, and Catechesis.

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