Book Review

Poetry Review: A Dream of Stones

Poetry Review: A Dream of Stones

There is a concept in Heidegger’s writing called Sein zum Tode, roughly translated as being unto death; it’s more an orientation than a concept. It’s a persistent awareness.

From that philosophical vantage point, life is given sweetness and poignancy, given meaning in ever-present awareness of its transience.

Since relocating to the West Coast of Ireland from the U.S., abbess, author, and poet Christine Valters Paintner has been immersed in Celtic spirituality, and her new collection of poems Dreaming of Stones, is an opportunity to follow her into that space as a kind of guide, but with the sensibility of a mystic.

Of Mystics, Misfits, And A Farm

Of Mystics, Misfits, And A Farm

Take a writer with a gentle sensibility, probing curiosity, and fierce intelligence with, say, a PhD in Creative Writing with a passion for the Christian Mystics, place her, her husband and children in an intentional Mennonite community in rural Ohio full of idealistic vigor, then knead, proof, bake, and cool.

A Spiritual Retreat In Book Form

A Spiritual Retreat In Book Form

The book traces the Jungian idea of the archetype as manifested in different Christian saints and mystics over the centuries with exercises for personal reflection and transformation. Each chapter provides a brief overview of the particular figure and archetype, such as Catholic social worker and activist Dorothy Day as The Orphan, Mary as The Mother, and St. Francis as The Fool.

Thomas Merton on the Christian Mystical Tradition

Thomas Merton on the Christian Mystical Tradition

One of the challenges of the contemplative life is we usually arrive in this stage of spirituality and maturity after some kind of awakening. For many that is accompanied by some kind of loss, tension, or crisis. The experience comes first and we may not have the language to make sense of it yet.

A Delightfully Foolish Little Book

A Delightfully Foolish Little Book

Book Review: The St. Francis Holy Fool Prayer Book by Jon Sweeney

There’s a little book on St. Francis I’ve been dipping into lately. No, I don’t mean the Little Flowers of Saint Francis, but good guess!

I mean Jon Sweeney’s delightful The St. Francis Holy Fool Prayer Book that I’ve kept on my desk for the past couple weeks just to sample from like a candy box when I’m in between tasks or waiting for a response or some such.