Saturday, September 24, 2011

Kenneth Leech

I have only recently become aware of a collection of Kenneth Leech's writings entitled, "Prayer and Prophecy: The Essential Kenneth Leech," edited [2009] by David Bunch and Angus Ritchie. This is a great collection for those who admire Leech's work and a helpful introduction to his teaching for those who have not read him.

Many of us were captured by him in his great book, "Soul Friend." He has over the years written other really good works on spirituality, prayer, theology, prophetic ministry, justice, and religious action in the public arena. As much as any contemporary writer, Leech has carefully and firmly made the connection between the inner life of prayer and contemplation and the vitally important place of the prophetic voice in contemporary Christianity, writing that these "are not two alternative ways of Christian witness: they are inseparable in a healthy Christian life, and history shows that where they are not held together, both decay."

 The inner life of prayer and deep spirituality is the only genuine foundation for the active prophetic ministry to which we are called as the church and as individuals. Prayer and radical action are two sides of the same person of faith who longs for the wholeness and the well being of God's people, the proclamation of the Gospel; and for their own desire to continue on this marvelous, mystical journey towards the Holy.

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