The central theme of "Six Keys to a Deeper Spiritual Life" by Therese Cirner is saying yes to God. Is the Lord inviting you to say ‘yes’ to unity with Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit? If you can’t say yes, then try saying, "Help me to say ‘yes.’"
"In hindsight, can you see how God uses suffering to bring you closer to him?" Cirner asks the reader.
As the title of her book indicates, Cirner presents the reader with six key steps that will lead to a deeper spiritual life. Those keys are real and complete. They call to us as we answer her questions from the depth of prayer to reflection.
Near the end of the book, Cirner describes her experience of coming upon a fawn that makes their back yard his home as his mother goes about looking food throughout the neighborhood. The Cirners take in the fawn until it matures; Cirner draws a message about faith from this experience.
The moving introduction to "Six Keys to a Deeper Spiritual Life" includes "First Things First;" the first key is prayer, while the second key is Scripture and other spiritual reading. After the story of the fawn and "Journey’s End," Cirner adds a bibliography from her own bookshelf.
Cirner borrows from Stephen Covey, who asks, "What would you like to see written about you when your life is over?" He encourages the readers to live every day toward achieving that end.
It’s a difficult goal, but a careful thought for all of us. Cirner admires Covey and his loving achievements.
Earlier in the book Cirner describes six spiritual habits that are necessary for all Christians. This expands the entire book, its meaning and its goals. Cirner and her husband have five children at home after losing four to various forms of death. Certainly terrible losses, but they keep their faith alive and whole.
"Jesus gives an incredibly clear map for success in his best-selling book, the Bible. He didn’t leave cryptic clues or vague directions on how to get to heaven," but rather a clear set of rules for Christian life, Cirner writes.
This book is for the "everyday" Catholic who has wondered what to do in the spiritual life. If you’ve ever asked yourself such questions as "How can I grow closer to God?" or "How do I ‘hear’ God?", then this is the book for you. With its focus on the six keys to holiness, it is intended to launch you into the essentials of Catholic life, with all the depths and richness of our heritage, Cirner writes.
The Bible is best read like a journal, with a pen in hand, and Cirner’s book carries this point completely.
"Before we explore the six keys to effective living," Cirner writes, "we need to consider what it means to surrender to God and what we might expect from a relationship with him."
I highly recommend this book for readers from teens to adults. It is full of essential advice and the care of a relationship with God.