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In this deceptively simple allegorical tale, author and sought-after retreat speaker Paula D'Arcy recounts her own spiritual journey in a way that will echo in your heart long after you finish the book.
In the town of Status, across the river from Quo, nothing ever changes. Children are taught to memorize facts, but not to think for themselves. Adults live by the motto, "Work, produce, stay the same." And as long as everyone follows the rules, there is harmony in the two communities. The shops hum and all ceremonies for the worship of God are appropriately formal and well-organized. The past is revered and the future seems to be secure.
Then the Stranger comes to town.
Bringing tales of love and of the Great Being, the Stranger captivates the local children with his joy and delight in life. They dance, fly kites, and disrupt the established rhythm. But Status and Quo's town elders disapprove, and soon force the Stranger to move on.
And so the townspeople return to their comfortable, predictable lives—all except for Anastasia, a young girl who can't forget the lessons the Stranger taught. When she reaches her seventeenth year, she begins to feel restless and recognizes within herself a deep longing. A tragedy sets the wheels turning for Anastasia's quest to find the Stranger whose words once captured her heart.
The Divine Spark is a work of visionary fiction for anyone who has ever felt called to leave a place of comforting familiarity in search of the unknown.
Paula D'Arcy, a writer, retreat leader, and conference and seminar speaker, travels widely in the United States, Canada, and abroad. She is also president of Red Bird Foundation, which supports the growth and spiritual development of those in need as well as those invested in the opening of the heart and the healing of this world. Her work includes leading workshops and retreats related to spirituality, writing, women's gatherings, (including women's initiation and rites of passage), and creating venues where men and women experience an opening of the heart and a change in their way of being in the world. In recent years she has teamed with Richard Rohr to present seminars on the male/female journey and spirituality for the two halves of life. Paula also serves as adjunct faculty at Oblate School of Theology and Seton Cove Spirituality Center, both in Texas.