Subscribe: Posts | Comments

The Rev. Doctor Bob Flanagan

An Episcopal priest, The Rev. Doctor Bob Flanagan teaches Christian Spirituality at General Theological Seminary in New York City and serves on the Board of Directors of  The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. In addition to these qualifications Dr. Flanagan’s openness regarding his own struggles with anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts make this an especially inspiring book for individuals coping with personal problems and the disheartening times in which we live.

Current literature indicates that the COVID-19 pandemic has increased stress levels in everyone, even those who usually cope well, and many are experiencing periods of self-doubt. Physical distancing mandates prevent friends and family from being supportive and keep those who serve others via social service from their normal activities. 

Courage to Thrive is a workbook designed to help its users tackle their issues bit-by-bit and to combine introspection, professional assistance and spiritual guidance to move forward. There are forty ‘chapters,’ each meant to be studied one at a time. Each consists of a relevant Bible verse or quotation, Dr. Flanagan’s personal reflection on the topic of the day (such as Courage, Panic Attack, Fatigue, Taking Meds, etc.), a relevant prayer, and a Prompt. The Prompts are questions that enable the users to write down specific ways to apply the lessons of the day to their own situations.

This set of devotions reflects Dr. Flanagan’s steps to recovery, shows how the mind, the body and the soul interrelate, and encourages the reader to move beyond mere survival to emotional and spiritual growth. Thriving takes courage and time—forty days in the Wilderness, if you will!

Reviewed by Sally Sartain Jane, St. Hilary’s Episcopal Church, Fort Myers, Florida

Comments are closed.