In my 45th year, I “came to my senses in a dark forest." Somehow my life had once again veered out of control, though not in the usual sense: not morally. In that sphere, I was looking pretty good. I was teaching at a university and was a published writer. After a challenging stint as a single mother, I’d made a go of it with a new marriage. Most important, after a decade of deliberate, repetitive sinning, I’d repented and returned to the church. I was bashfully pleased with myself and content with my life.
What book would you recommend to someone eager to learn more about Christianity, someone who is just coming alive to the faith and to the power of the community of faith—the church—and who is full of questions about these matters?
Lately I’ve been getting invitations to speak to youth about the virtues, so I’ve been trying to recall my own early training on the subject. I grew up in a Lutheran church, and much of who I am can be traced back to second- and third-generation Christian immigrants who believed in using their skills to help people in need. What I learned about the virtues, I learned through doing. In terms of any formal training, however, I remember almost nothing.