KW writes: “The deacon of my church recommends reading books from Terry Hershey. I have not read any of his books. Are these books considered New Age? I couldn’t find anything about this in your blog.”
I have not read any of his books but what is available online does not appear to be New Age; however, we like to warn everyone to be on their guard with any motivational writer/speaker these days because this area is so heavily infiltrated with New Age ideas. This blog will give you some pointers on what signs to look for to determine if a speaker is New Age.
As for Terry Hershey, he was raised in southern Michigan and has degrees in Philosophy and Theology. He spent some time working as a Protestant Minister, a personnel director and a public relations officer. During this time, he was a self-described work-a-holic who didn’t learn how to slow down and enjoy the present moment until his marriage fell apart. He eventually learned his lesson and started Hershey & Associates in 1984, an organization that provides workshops and seminars dedicated to helping people slow down and lead more balanced lives.
He is now the author of 10 books on the subject, with the latest being The Power of Pause: Becoming More by Doing Less (Loyola Press). Judging from the reviews, his writings are centered on ways to help people discover and savor the things in life that really matter. Having been a Protestant minister, I was surprised to find so little mention of Christ in any of his writings (at least those that appear on line)
For example: “There are two kinds of pause. One is passive: I stop, I let go, I’m still, and I breathe out. The other pause is active: I’m attentive, I’m conscious in this moment, I take responsibility for the life I have right now, and I breathe in. . .There is power in our awareness that our choices do in fact make a difference (from the The Power of Pause).
One of his “quotes for the day” is from the famous God-hating atheist Friedrich Nietzsche who apparently once said: “I would believe only in a God that knows how to dance.”
Here’s another quote from Hershey’s blog about when the heart is made soft:
“It happens when. . . we allow ourselves to feel, fully and wholly; without a need to defend, justify or explain . . .we allow ourselves to receive love and kindness without suspicion. . .we are free to embrace a core of strength and courage that resides inside of us; and let it spill to those around us.”
This should give you a taste of what Terry Hershey is offering.
However, rather than recommending Terry Hershey, your Deacon might want to read (and then recommend to others) a Catholic classic that teaches us how to achieve an even more perfect state of quiet and inner peace. It’s called The Sacrament of the Present Moment and it was written by the great spiritual master, Jean-Pierre De Caussade.
Surrendering to God’s will as it appears in every moment of our lives is the key not only to Christian perfection, but to perfect peace and, ultimately, to eternal bliss.