Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Characteristics of the Soul—Plus Vitamins.
I very much like this book—this collection of essays from different authors. It’s called Handbook for the Soul, and so far, I have appreciated each chapter. Until today. Today? The chapter by John Grey was a bit underwhelming.
I am sorry. Here I am, apologizing to John Grey without even knowing what his greater body of work is. All I do know—since I’ve never read anything else he’s ever written—is that I don’t particularly care for parts of this brief essay about the soul.
However, I did appreciate certain other parts. For example, he talks of “intrinsic virtues of the soul,” “qualities of the soul” and “attributes of soul growth.”
Grey mentions two of the soul’s “intrinsic virtues.” He says, “I am challenged to strengthen my soul through forgiveness. By forgiving the person who hurt me, I strengthen my soul.”  And again, “By forging ahead and trying something new—even when I am scared—I perform an act of courage. This act of courage strengthens my soul and strengthens my character.”  As he speaks of forgiveness and courage, I can see how these “virtues” or attributes help in causing a person to grow more as a person. And, to grow and expand on their soul, too.
When he mentioned spiritual “vitamins” on the last two pages, that’s where I was especially lost. And, I couldn’t even begin to tell you. Right here, we have another bigger-than-life experience. Sort of like Isaiah in the Temple. So awestruck, so amazing.
You can’t beat the vision the prophet had, in terms of audience ads. It kind of makes up for all the other, more questionable stuff. Isaiah definitely had a soul-stirring experience. That is what is important—for the prophet, as well as his readers..
Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.
 Handbook for the Soul, Richard Carlson and Benjamin Shield, editors. (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1995), 56.
 Ibid, 57.