Synopses & Reviews
Extraordinary Time appeals to people who have suffered serious illness or traumatic loss and are seeking a hopeful approach to healing from trauma, pain, and grief. The author recounts her harrowing one-year experience with cancer and its aftermath, the death of her spouse, and a major life transition. Extraordinary Time illustrates how a person faces significant life changes with courage and recovers through drawing on the wellsprings of faith, the love and support of community, and the full resources of the Christian spiritual tradition, including the mystics and Communion of Saints. The great themes of suffering, healing, death, and the afterlife are explored from a spiritual teacher's deeply formed angle of vision through which a wide range of readers will find encouragement, consolation, and inspiration for dealing with their own extraordinary times. ""In Extraordinary Time, Laura Dunham invokes a scriptural question: What sort of person ought we to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness? Dunham's writing reveals her to be a person of uncommon humility and spiritual maturity. Yet the illness, love, loss, and change on which she reflects ground Dunham's insights in real life, making this a meaningful book for anyone seeking God in hard times. An extraordinary meditation on faith, highly recommended."" --Rachel M. Srubas, author, pastor, Benedictine oblate ""Few people write with more credibility about the nature and meaning of suffering than Laura Dunham. Over the course of little more than a year, she experiences challenges that would break the endurance of most of us. She writes with a journalist's clear-eyed precision and the compassion of a person deeply steeped in Scripture . . . Dunham leaves us with the assurance that 'nothing that happens is without gifts through the grace of God.'"" --Judith Valente, author of How To Live: What The Rule of St. Benedict Teaches Us About Happiness, Meaning and Community ""Dr. Dunham quickly captivates her readers as she weaves in the story of an extraordinary year of her life. This is followed by a profound yet accessible set of reflections on suffering, healing, death, and the afterlife. Practical advice is paired with inspiration, all with clarity that is infused with wonderful bits of self-effacing humor."" --Ellen Dauwer, SC, Executive Director, Religious Formation Conference ""Lots of painful things came Laura Dunham's way all at once . . . In a disciplined way Laura has asked herself, 'What have I learned?' She shares generously with us what her contemplation has taught her about suffering, healing, death, and the afterlife. Come and meet my friend, Laura, in these pages. If you don't get to know her in this life, you'll enjoy meeting her in the next."" --Nathan Castle, OP, author, workshop facilitator, retreat director Laura Dunham, a retired Presbyterian minister, now Catholic, founded the ecumenical Friends of Christ School for Christian Spirituality in 2012. A Studium Scholar and oblate of St. Benedict's Monastery in Minnesota, Dunham is the author of Path of the Purified Heart: The Spiritual Journey as Transformation (Cascade Books, 2012). Dr. Dunham teaches, leads retreats, and writes about Christian spirituality. She lives in California and invites inquiries about her work through www.laura-dunham.com.