Weekly Soul: Fifty-two Meditations on Meaningful, Joyful, and Peaceful Living
Dr. Frederic C. Craigie, Jr.
MSI Press, LLC (2020)
Reviewed by Rachel Dehning for Reader Views (1/21)
Joyful, meaningful, and peaceful living is a goal that is strived for by millions of people. To many, this goal is a struggle to achieve because of a variety of reasons. The act of meditation, sometimes through daily devotion, can be the exact tool to find your way into this type of living. Dr. Frederic C. Craigie Jr. has a background in psychology and spirituality; through his expertise, he has created “Weekly Soul” from past devotions from “Fred’s Reflections of the Week,” an email series created by Dr. Craigie that includes thought-provoking articles.
Within “Weekly Soul,” Dr. Craigie wishes to get his audience thinking about topics such as how to live a good life, what is sacred/matters, suffering and woundedness, finding joy, finding hope in difficult circumstances, and how to make a difference in the world. Each of these topics will allow the reader a better chance of enjoying a joyful, meaningful, and peaceful life. In each of the twelve sections, the included chapters start with a quote pertaining to the section title (i.e., miracles, purpose, creativity, acceptance, hope), followed by a short “sermon” of past or present events that relate to the section topic. To conclude each chapter, two to three reflection questions get the reader to think about what they just read; then a short write-up is given about the author of the quote at the beginning of the chapter.
With the author’s goal of providing a way of help and healing, he presents to have achieved his goal. His writing is smooth, and the fact that each chapter isn’t too lengthy provides more inclusivity to readers who have shorter attention spans. After each chapter, the reader will leave with new knowledge, if not about themselves, then the world and people around them, allowing change to happen in their lives. What is great about this book is that previous knowledge is not required, but the reader can simply pick up the book, start anywhere, and take something valuable away from their time spent reading. I have read other “self-help” books, but none have been quite like this one. With the reflection questions, the reader will need to expect to answer them in their head, as there are no lines to write on; this can be positive or negative for specific readers.
Initially, I was somewhat confused when I read “soul” in the title, expecting it to be a religious book. The information given in a religious book versus a “self-help” one can include both similarities and differences, as is found in “Weekly Soul” versus a true theological piece. Overall, Dr. Craigie’s work is thorough and well-done. I expect readers to be pleased when they read his work past and present.