Larry Hart


Books Authored by Larry Hart

(Lawrence D. Hart)

Summaries and Purchase Information



Hell’s Abyss, Heaven’s Grace

Lawrence D. Hart

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In a stirring call for Christians to renounce violence in every form, Episcopal priest Larry Hart confronts the compromises Christians from around the world have made with their nation’s use of violence. Comparing just war theory with the United States’ national history of war and exploitation, Hart voices the need for personal transformation to live in keeping with the Gospel. At the center of his argument, Hart lifts up the images of Christian leaders around the world who have chosen nonviolence to resist oppression. Showing the real historical possibilities for peace when we bear truth, courage, and faith as our only weapons.


“We desperately need a spirituality to lead us beyond the warlike mind, and only an authentic spirituality will do the job. Religion, up to now, has largely failed. Fr. Lawrence Hart offers you a very readable but believable spirituality of peacemaking. This will console your heart and challenge your mind at the same time.”
~ Richard Rohr, OFM, Center for Action and Contemplation, Albuquerque, New Mexico


“Of all the books I have read on nonviolence and on Christian spirituality, I don’t know of any that penetrates so deeply and clearly to the heart of both. This would be enough for any one book, but then Hart goes a step further. He prophetically critiques U.S. empire and exposes the violence that lies behind this country’s many justifications for war. This is a book for anyone who wishes to love as Jesus loved and is not afraid to contemplate the political implications of that kind of love.”
~Sheri Hostetler, pastor, First Mennonite Church of San Francisco


Alleluia is the Song of the Desert

Lawrence D. Hart

May be purchased on-line at: Barnes & Noble  &


For thousands of years, deserts have been geographical centers of spiritual formation and direct encounter with God. In Christian spirituality, men and women seeking the kind of purification that leads to wisdom of heart have sought out the desert places. But the desert place is also a state of mind or consciousness, a spiritual practice, an inner place where we come to have a first-hand experience of God.


Alleluia is the Song of the Desert is especially appropriate for use as a Lenten meditation. The forty days of Lent are, of course a time of metanoia (repentance), of emptying our hearts so that they can be filled with that love and presence we celebrate at Easter. Lent can even be imagined as entering the silence of a vast and empty desert that leads to an experience of “Alleluia.” The book is designed with spiritual exercises that make it appropriate for both individual and group use.


In the Forward Jean Dalby Clift, Canon Pastor Emeritus in the Diocese of Colorado, writes, “This is no simple ‘how-to’ book, but rather a profound challenge to a totally different kind of life. Lawrence Hart approaches these life changes from several different angles – each leading to the deep kind of knowing that is God’s gift to the true seeker.”


From the Stone Age to Thomas Merton
A Short History of Contemplative Prayer

Larry Hart

May be previewed and purchased on line at: Amazon  &


This is a book about prayer, about Christian prayer, about Christian contemplative or meditative prayer as a way of simply being in the loving presence of God.

From the Stone Age to Thomas Merton, begins with prayer as that natural sense of the divine. Which has been known for centuries as the sensus divinitatis. It is that consciousness of the mystery of God that is in each of us from the time of our birth. There are many ways of praying, and they all tend toward contemplation or “mysticism.” By tracing the origins of contemplative prayer, its practice through the Old and New Testament Scriptures, then across the centuries of the Christian era to the contemporary world, it is hoped that the reader will develop a keener appreciation for the depth, beauty, and richness of the Christian spiritual tradition.


“Larry Hart writes as one who has had long years of experiencing and thinking deeply about the mystery of contemplation. He observes that contemplation is as natural and universal to the human person as eating, drinking, working, and sleeping. It is not only something we can and do often experience in human life, but it is something that is at the very core of what it is to be human. . . . This book is at the top of my list for those who are seeking an introduction to the contemplative life.”
~ Peter Hickman, ECC Bishop of California, author of The Pastoral Writings of Bishop Peter Elder Hickman


“This latest book by Fr. Larry Hart is engaging and illuminating. It is filled with simple and memorable spiritual insights that help listeners and readers discover those ‘thin places’ where ancient Celtic Christianity thought the distance between heaven and earth grows thin and the Sacred is most easily seen. . .  He illustrates what we all want and ought to know: that each of us continues to encounter the mystery of God, that we desire nothing more deeply than to experience the presence of God firsthand.”
~ Marcia Davenport, Episcopal Priest, Pastoral Counselor, and Spiritual Director, Ireland


“Contemplative prayer is ‘grown up’ prayer and Fr. Larry, in his inimitable way, explains and educates us on the way of contemplative prayer. His writing revisits many of the writers, thinkers, and believers that have been, and continue to be, learned masters of the practice. Fr. Larry’s book is accessible, informative, and personal. I would highly recommend reading this book as a companion on the continuing spiritual journey.”
~ Jon Connor, Priest, Pastor, and former professor of Spiritual Development Black Urban Studies.


The Annunciation
A New Evangelization & Apologetic for Mainline
and Catholic Churches in Postmodern North America

Larry Hart

May be previewed and purchased on line at: Amazon &


The Annunciation explores how the Christian faith can be communicated in a way that will form in the spiritual consciousness of postmodern men and women. In doing so, it explores our twenty-first century context. Which is the human condition itself, as the catalyst for spiritual awakening, spiritual practice. Also, an apologetic that will be comprehensible to the postmodern mind while remaining within classical Christianity.


“Larry Hart engages us in a most interesting conversation with ideas presented from a wide variety of sources. His conclusion is simple and wise: Effective evangelizers are those who have had a personal experience of God’s power and presence, and who become witnesses to that experience through story. Hart models what he encourages his readers to become–deeply spiritual, well-informed people who share their stories with others.”

~ Margaret Nutting Ralph, Director of Pastoral Studies at Lexington Theological Seminary and Instructor, Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology. Author of: Why the Catholic Church Must Change: A Necessary Conversation and And God Said What?: An Introduction to Biblical Literary Forms.


“It is hard to write a book these days about evangelism, especially for an audience of Mainline Protestants and progressive Catholics. Yet this is what Hart has succeeded in doing. Taking seriously the objections to traditional faith, he offers a new way of thinking about evangelism and engaging in apologetic conversation. In doing so he makes a valuable contribution to the ongoing conversation on evangelism and the development of a postmodern apologetic.”
~Richard V. Peace, PhD, Robert Boyd Munger Professor of Evangelism and Spiritual Formation, Fuller Theological Seminary; author of Noticing God (2012)


“Hart has produced a refreshing and helpful invitation to articulate and renew the way we express our faith in ways that can be lovely and beautiful for others. This book has given me the language with which to understand what I have been working with intuitively for a very long time. It is one of the best books I have read this year.”the Chapel, Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Berkeley


~ Randal Gardner, Canon for Congregational Life, Grace Episcopal Cathedral, San Francisco; Dean of the Chapel, Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Berkeley



Reflections on the Mystery of Preaching

Lawrence D. Hart

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In a noisy world where words whirl around us from so many media modes, it’s hard for ministers to suppose preached words mean much in God’s purposes. Contrarily here’s Larry Hart’s Numinous and page by page his book will restore in you a sense of preaching within the mystery of God’s presence. Once more, you will be in awe before the God who has chosen to speak through your speaking.

~ David Buttrick, Ph.D., Professor of Homiletics and Liturgies Emeritus, Divinity School at Vanderbilt University


Numinous is much more than a book about preaching. Father Larry invites you to take a journey with him to explore the depths of your experience and be open to see your world with new understanding. It is a journey that brings you deeper into a personal relationship with God and enables you to more fully bear witness to the wonders of grace. It is a journey you will want to return to again and again. Each time discovering new insights. Lawrence Hart’s varied experience, his ability to draw on his very wide range of reading in religious studies, homiletics, psychology and counseling. His skills in guiding contemplative prayer, inform this book, making it one you will want to keep readily at hand.
~ Elaine McLevie, Ph.D., College Vice-President (Ret.)


Numinous is a book about preaching, but it is also a book of Christian mysticism. Those who see these two perspectives as one reality and indivisible will greatly appreciate this effort by Lawrence Hart. At the same time, anyone interested in either subject for its own sake alone will also find this book profitable reading.
~Ruth Ann Lee, Ph.D., Executive Director, The Omega Project, Inc



A Little Book of Sanity
Finding Serenity in the Age of Anxiety

Lawrence D. Hart

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A mystic’s reflections shared through his own down to earth voice highlight the power of this little book to impact us. Hart’s words ring true as they emerge from his own journey of making meaning within this highly anxious world. His deep and profound Christian faith, guide his words and speak to us, who also seek to integrate the spiritual into our day-to-day lives. Acceptance, mystic willingness, self-surrender, stillness, faithful trust, grace, and giving, gain new meaning. Hart offers time honored, spiritually and psychologically. Presenting sound suggestions on how to live life fully, given the many worries and anxieties that can hinder, if not paralyze, us. I will suggest this book to people who wrestle with anxiety, seek God, and want to live life fully and gracefully in a world that often seems insane.

~ Rev. Dr. Garrett Starmer, ACPE Supervisor Clinical Pastoral Educator, Franciscan Health System, St. Joseph Medical Center.


Fr. Larry Hart offers a powerful message of encouragement for those who seek a deepening of their spiritual being in relationship with their divine Creator. Larry gently and wisely leads people beyond the obstacles to holy living. He reminds us that we cannot create or sustain the deeper reality that brings serenity and peace by ourselves. He offers ways to release our driven desires, so that we can embrace a contemplative, active and prayerful way of life. Which restores us to wholeness, as God made us to be.
I look forward to sharing his teaching with my faith community.
~The Rev. Dr. Judith Allison, Associate Rector for Pastoral Care, St. Bartholomew Episcopal Church.



A Children’s Book of Common Prayer

Lawrence D. Hart

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A Children’s Book of Common Prayer seeks to take children, 
and their spiritual growth and formation, seriously. A good many 
people wish that as children they had been taught prayers that 
are accessible but not “babyish.”

This book is an attempt to fulfill 
that desire for today’s children. It is also intended to function as 
a kind of ladder to the Book of Common Prayer, after which it 
is modeled. Among its more unique features is “A Service for 
the Burial of A Pet,”. Also a chapter on “Wisdom: Things to Think 
About While Growing Up,”. It can be extremely helpful for 
children in learning to think about life in healthy minded ways. 
A Children’s Book of Common Prayer is for children age five to 
twelve. The introduction notes the level of parental participation 
that may be needed at each age.




God and You
Discussing Big Questions with Young Readers

Lawrence D. Hart

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This is a wonderful book for children who ask big questions about Christian beliefs at an earlier age than most. Father Larry is able to answer difficult questions about faith in a way that is respectful to the sophistication of the child’s mind, but acknowledges the limitations of their theological background.
~ Andrea Dee, Educator, Children’s Ministry, Mother

As both my grandfather and as a priest Father Larry has answered many of my spiritual questions and has helped me to find a faith of my own. All over the world people of all different religions have known that there is something greater than them. Mistreated children have often felt that there is an unknown being watching over them. These children came (in a way) to have a faith of their own. Anyone can come to a faith that suits him or her as Father Larry proves in this book. ~ Autumn, Age Ten





Becoming Christian

Larry Hart


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This little essay is meant to serve as a kind of primer for both serious inquirers and the merely curious as to how one becomes a Christian. In its attempt to explain this spiritual becoming, it describes a six-step process.

Once we realize that Christianity is about more than saving our skin, it frees us from mean attitudes toward other religions. It allows us to see and learn from the beauty and truth they possess. At the same time, it helps us to appreciate the differences which expose the beauty and depth of the Christian tradition.