the first book: Slowing Time

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from the pages of the Abingdon Press Fall & Winter 2014-2015 trade catalog…

Slowing Time: Seeing the Sacred Outside Your Kitchen Door (Abingdon Press, October 2014) is a collection of meditations inviting readers to discern the divine in the ordinary moments of everyday and live an examined life where everything is a form of prayer.

Barbara Mahany believes the sacred is all around, within finger’s reach—here to be gathered, culled, collected, through the simple yet complex art of paying attention, of savoring the moment, of cultivating stillness. Making room for God and illuminating the Godly specks in the everyday. Noticing the seen, revealing the unseen, and pinpointing the divine in both.

The book sifts through the terrain of three particular landscapes where the author most often encounters the stirrings of the Divine: under heaven’s dome; on the front lines of the homefront; and in the unspooling of the seasons. The most essential prayer, often, is the life closely examined, held up to the light.

By probing deeply the nooks and crannies of the home-front, the author points out that the reader need not venture far to find what matters most. And the questions stirred will linger, long after the page is turned.

About the Author

From the front pages of the Chicago Tribune, to her revered page-two columns, Barbara Mahany has opened her heart and told her stories and the stories of her family’s life that have drawn in thousands of readers for decades. She writes from the well of her Christian-Jewish marriage. Bracingly honest and heart-achingly daring, she explores the sacred mysteries with a voice, recognizable and clear. She is a sought-after speaker, and writing teacher. She lives in Wilmette, Illinois.

Publisher’s Weekly picked Slowing Time as one of its “Top 10″ religion books from the Fall 2014 publishing crop. Called it “balm for the hurried heart.”

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Slowing Time named Foreword Reviews’ 2014 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award Finalist

And here’s what a few blessed readers are saying:

“This is a book for those longing to find their way into the holy depths of life—precisely in the ordinary things close at hand. It is one long and exquisite hymn to life by a believer in the promise that beauty always happens for those ‘with eyes to see.’ Slowing Time invites us into that precious sanctuary of wonder in the very midst of our hurried and worried lives, refusing—with the sages and prophets through the ages—to separate the sacred from the profane. It is a book that breathes of spirit, dancing the first movements of hope into this often burdened and heavily laden world. It is a primer of the attentive heart, at once creative and practical and wise. In a world devoted to speed and managed efficiency, Slowing Time offers up the kind of poetic insight that might finally save us, page by page, moment by moment, season by season. If you are searching for that one book to deepen your soul and gentle your life and widen your heart, look no further.”

–Dr. Mark Burrows is poet, scholar, and currently professor at the University of Applied Sciences in Bochum, Germany. His recent publications include two volumes of German poetry in translation: Rainer Maria Rilke’s Prayers of a Young Poet and SAID’s 99 Psalms, both published in 2013 by Paraclete Press.

“Slowing Time is at once a quiet feast for the soul and an eloquent response to a culture that’s become obsessed with speed. With a poet’s eye for detail and the quiet assurance of a born teacher, Barbara Mahany offers lessons gleaned from seasons of profound reflection and mindful observation — a manual of sorts for anyone who yearns to do less, feel more, engage with life at a deeper level, and see the world anew through eyes refreshed by wonder. And, really, isn’t that each one of us? Read this lovely book and feel your own self soften, your heartbeat slow, your load lighten.”

–Katrina Kenison, author of The Gift of an Ordinary Day and Magical Journey: An Apprenticeship in Contentment.

“This book is an original and a treasure. Mahany uses so many varied portals: fine-grained observations of the lovely and the hidden in nature, tiny astronomy lessons, an illuminating season-by-season calendar of holy days, and recipes (I liked ‘Christmas-Eve Elves’ French Toast’), to mentor the reader in the endangered art of slowing down enough to catch the sacred.”

—Dr. Wendy Mogel is a clinical psychologist and the author of The Blessing of a Skinned Knee and The Blessing of a B Minus.

“In our hyper-e-networked world, too many of us live under the tyranny of the urgent.  With Slowing Time, Barbara Mahany reminds us how not to lose sight of the things which are truly important—the beauty, serenity, and sanity that we can find in life’s calm and quiet moments. Whether the chirping of a bird, the tingle of an autumn breeze, or the hug of a child, Mahany helps us to see that when we entertain the seemingly mundane dimensions of life, we are embracing the sacred!”

–Jonathan L. Walton; Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church, Harvard University

“Barbara Mahany writes with the eyes of a sculptor and the ear of a poet. Her words remind us of what communities of faith do best–give us the tools and perspective to see the beauty around us and find ways to bring that beauty into everything we do.”

–Rabbi Evan Moffic, Congregation Solel, Highland Park, IL, author and writer, Huffington Post, Beliefnet; named “one of 36 under 36″ Jewish thinkers to watch in Chicago.

“We need whatever we can get to help us pay closer attention, be more awake to the moment, more alive amidst the clamoring distractions of the internet age. Barbara Mahany gives us a treasure–a thorough, practical guide full of wisdom, blessings, recipes, luminous facts, and elegant language. With her as our astute and patient leader, we gain an intimate knowledge of the seasons.”

—Debbie Blue, founding minister House of Mercy, St. Paul, MN; author Consider the Birds: A Provocative Guide to Birds of the Bible. 

“I look forward to being companioned through the seasons by this book for many years to come.”

–Lauren F. Winner, author of Girl Meets God.

Peek at the Abingdon catalog and, perhaps, order paperback or e-book here or hardcover here.

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