Luigi Gioia's book Say it to God: In Search of Prayer was chosen as the 2018 Archbishop of Canterbury's Lent Book and welcomed by many as an honest, accessible guide to freshen their practice of prayer in the midst of busy modern life.
In Touched by God, Gioia moves on to explore the art of contemplation.
He points out that contemplation is not a more advanced way of praying but a silent and loving attentiveness to God which has nothing in common with disembodied, ahistorical and impersonal forms of spirituality. Contemplation begins when we are touched by God through Scripture and become aware of his presence in us.
Gioia shows how this happens concretely in the lives of the characters of the Gospel of John, his chosen guide to learn how to welcome God in our lives and interact with him.
Gioia's way to contemplation takes the reader not only through Scripture but also through plays and novels where God is never mentioned or is seen as absent, distant or even as an enemy.
By engaging with both religious and non-religious authors the reader can discover that contemplation is not some kind of spiritual wonderland but coexists with doubts, thrives in the middle of struggles, is discovered even in suffering, dissolves guilt and leads to authentic self-knowledge and compassion for every human being.