Ed Cyewski is a freelance author. He is roughly my age, a stay at home Dad, a seminary grad and from what I have read, I think we would get along. I have read four of his books (links below) and picked this one up right after it came out. Although it took me months to get around to reading it.
Cyzewski grew up nominally Catholic, but came to a real faith as a teen through Evangelical outreach. He left the Catholic church and rejected it, partially out of Evangelical bias against Catholicism, but also because of some of his own history.
This book is focused on making contemplative prayer accessible to Evangelicals. For Cyzewski, that has meant coming to terms with some of the Catholic practices that he rejected earlier. My own movement toward contemplative prayer is less about coming to terms with than discovering as new.
I started reading this immediately after Jan Johnson’s book on Contemplative Prayer. They are very different books even though they cover roughly the same topic. Cyzewski’s approach is much more overtly open to non-Evangelical practice, although Johnson’s book isn’t against non-Evangelical practice as much as not really engaging with it.
Both are as much about prayer in general as contemplative prayer in particular. Flee, Be Silent, Pray has more particular instruction, and is a bit shorter, than When the Soul Listens. But When the Soul Listens, is a bit more distant from the learning about contemplative prayer (Johnson is much older than Cyzewski). I can’t really pick which I think is better. Just that they are different approaches and I think fit well together.
I appreciate the very personal touch that Cyzewski uses when writing. He is in the book and he is writing the book because it is important to him personally. Because he is an independent author, his books are low cost ($2.99 on Kindle as I am publishing this.) And because he is independent there is not the same pressure to make a 200 page book out of a 100 page idea. Several of his books are 80 to 100 pages and don’t have the 50 pages of filler that is in a number of Evangelical books. (Flee, Be Silent, Pray is 131 pages.)
Flee, Be Silent, Pray is lendable on kindle if you want to borrow it. (Lendable kindle books can be borrowed by one person for free.)
- The Ancient Path: Old Lessons from the Church Fathers for a New Life Today by John Michael Talbot with Mike Aquilina
- First Draft Father by Ed Cyzewski
- Coffeehouse Theology: Reflecting on God in Everyday Life by Ed Cyzewski
- Why We Run From God’s Love by Ed Cyzewski
- A Christian Survival Guide by Ed Cyzewski