Books on spiritual growth frequently leave me frustrated. While they’re inspired, they also can be abstract. Thankfully, Joe Paprocki’s down-to-earth style in 7 Keys to Spiritual Wellness (Loyola Press, 2012) provides a refreshing option for intermediate-level disciples who want to grow in holiness.
Drawing upon Catholic Tradition (particularly Ignatian spirituality), the author presents seven principles for growth. Chapter titles include:
Chapter 1 Seeing Yourself as You Really Are
Chapter 2 Actively Seeking the Good of Others
Chapter 3 Thinking Before Acting
Chapter 4 Holding on Loosely
Chapter 5 Recognizing and Setting Limits
Chapter 6 Seeking Beauty
Chapter 7 Unleashing Your Imagination
After introducing each key, Mr. Paprocki explores the most frequent problems we encounter in that particular area and then follows up with practical suggestions for applying the wellness principle to one’s life. The reader shouldn’t have any trouble finding something they can use.
The author speaks from experience and a wealth of knowledge. He’s an accomplished author and has written several other books on a variety of topics. His works all demonstrate a straightforward, readable, hands-on approach, and 7 Keys is no different.
The book is a quick read (only 113 pages). Applying its message can have an impact in your life, addressing issues like self-promotion, enhancing one’s self-image, comparing ourselves to others, materialism, individualism, distractions, cynicism, and indifference.
Potential weaknesses (which I think also represent strengths) are its brevity and the significant number of options it gives the reader to try out. To make this book work for you, you’ll need to spend some time in prayer and reflection. I consider that a plus and not a negative, because books that are too cut-and-dry don’t offer enough flexibility to customize their approach to fit you and your lifestyle.
I highly recommend you add 7 Keys to Spiritual Wellness to your library. It’s a book you’ll want to keep.