I'll admit first off that I did not read the entirety of this book, but for 1 hour explored thoroughly the introduction, beginnings of several chapters and the close. Speed reading! While this is not a Christian book it was written by a former Catholic monk of 12 years with degrees in philosophy, psychology, musicology, and theology. He provides a secular philosophical perspective on cura animarum, the care or charge of the soul. Although not necessarily a novice topic or idea-- after all, it is a form of self-help-- I found some tidbits in the book poignant and would like to share a few lines:
"The great malady of the 20th century implicated in all of our troubles and affecting us individually and socially is loss of soul. When soul is neglected, it doesn't just go away; it appears symptomatically in obsessions, addictions, violence and loss of meaning." -p. i
Definition is an intellectual enterprise; the soul prefers to imagine." -p. i
"Humility in the artist in his frank acceptance to of all experiences, just as Love in the artist is simply that sense of Beauty that reveals to the worlds its body and soul." -Oscar Wilde, p. 266
"We care for the soul solely by honoring its expressions, by giving it time and opportunity to reveal itself, and by living life in a way that fosters the depth; interiority, and quality in which it flourishes. Soul is its own purpose and end." -p. 304
I think the author is missing that we ourselves cannot save our own souls, even though we might be able to take "charge" of them. While he speaks truth in Western society's loss of interest and recognition of soul, I do not believe true satisfaction can be attained merely through self expression and honoring self-truth.