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An urban woman artist arrives in a small southwestern town near the Mexican border at the invitation of the town priest. She has come to paint murals in his church, not knowing that the church has burned down in a catastrophic fire. The artist becomes the catalyst for the town's release of its collective guilt, allowing the rebuilding of the church & a truce between the Catholic priest & the town's old woman healer. In the process she faces her own terrifying nightmares, their source & the resolution of her sexual identity. A wonderful, fast-paced novel by a new talent.
Langley offers comfort and encouragement to those struggling with recent loss or grief, helping them find language for complex emotions, and open their hearts through poetry. Send My Roots Rain is a companion full of stories--sometimes wry and funny, always observant and accepting--for letting grief unfold and teach us. Langley invites a keen awareness that the passage through grief is the navigation of a narrow strait, requiring patience, skill, and worthy companions. These poems can be those companions on the journey. Langley has carefully selected 60 poems and arranged them in a meaningful arc, beginning with the shock of early grief, leading through a sensitive exploration of a new inner space. She introduces each section, encouraging the ongoing embrace of the healing power of poems, writing, and entry into the grieving process. Each poem is followed by a brief meditation and quotation, with questions for contemplation, journaling, or group discussion.
Megan McKenna has long been well known in the Catholic community as a writer, speaker, and teacher. In her lectures and writings, McKenna focuses on the central place of storytelling in the spiritual life and on the role of the storyteller as a teacher. She explores the illuminating power of stories, examining both traditional and contemporary tales that are integral parts of Christian, Zen, Jewish, Sufi, Native American, and many other spiritual traditions.
The pressure of expectations often means that priests fail to care for themselves and neglect their own spiritual life. Thinking they must be able to do it all, the need to be constantly available, to achieve and succeed, to cope with difficult people, to defend church teaching they question, lack of time for prayer, unresolved doubt and personal difficulty can all cause spiritual malaise. Send My Roots Rain explores these pressures and offers realistic and supportive ways priests can address them while nurturing their own wellbeing and spiritual development. Christopher Chapman draws on more than thirty years’ experience of spiritual direction, formational training and retreat leading, as well as his own experience of priesthood, to offer a host of simple, life-giving practices and personal disciplines for spiritual health. Full of wise advice from someone who understands, this is a book that priests will turn to again and again.
This book is about my journey from flesh to spiritual freedom through sermons, poetry and short stories - I open my life to you. I took the wide road to salvation and was knocked off course by fear, addiction, and low self-esteem. I stopped listening to God and tried to do what people wanted me to do. Now I realize my life is not controlled by man, "It's Just Between God and Me." If you have been looking for yourself through the eyes of God then this book is for you.
The ministry of the Rev. Stephen F. Dill was forged in the turbulent civil rights years when he stood for social justice and spoke against racial segregation. In this collection of sermons-many from his 20 years as pastor of Dauphin Way United Methodist Church in Mobile, Alabama-Dill reflects on the implications of his faith for the lives of individuals and for the life of the world. Robin Wilson, one of Dill's successors at Dauphin Way, praises "the bold humility" of his message, and author Frye Gaillard, in the book's introduction, offers this description of Dill and his sermons: "Almost inevitably, the poetry of his preaching caught the quick of my imagination and quietly, inevitably made me think." Appropriately, the publication of The Poetry of Faith coincides with the 100th anniversary of Dauphin Way. But these challenging and reassuring sermons resonate far beyond those walls. As Methodist educator Gorman Houston put it, this is the Christian faith at its finest, for Stephen Dill has always been "one of those ministers ... able to see the church as it should be and not as it was."
An insightful and inspirational biography of the heroic and spiritual poet. Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844?1889) may well have been the most original and innovative poet writing in the English language during the nineteenth century. Yet his story of personal struggle, doubt, intense introspection, and inward heroism has never been told fully. As a Jesuit priest, Hopkins?s descent into loneliness and despair and his subsequent recovery are a remarkable and inspiring spiritual journey that will speak to many readers, regardless of their faith or philosophies. Paul Mariani, an award-winning poet himself and author of a number of biographies of literary figures, brilliantly integrates Hopkins?s spiritual life and his literary life to create a rich and compelling portrait of a man whose work and life continue to speak to readers a century after his death.
The Literary Agenda is a series of short polemical monographs about the importance of literature and of reading in the wider world and about the state of literary education inside schools and universities. The category of 'the literary' has always been contentious. What is clear, however, is how increasingly it is dismissed or is unrecognised as a way of thinking or an arena for thought. It is sceptically challenged from within, for example, by the sometimes rival claims of cultural history, contextualized explanation, or media studies. It is shaken from without by even greater pressures: by economic exigency and the severe social attitudes that can follow from it; by technological change that may leave the traditional forms of serious human communication looking merely antiquated. For just these reasons this is the right time for renewal, to start reinvigorated work into the meaning and value of literary reading. In this fascinating addition to the Literary Agenda series, David Constantine argues that poetry matters. It matters for individuals and for the society they are members of. He asserts that poetry is not for the few but for the many, and belongs and can only thrive among them, speaks of and to their concerns. Poetry considers both the writing and the reading of poetry, which Constantine views as kindred activities. He examines what goes into the writing of a poem and considers what good there is in reading it. Constantine also considers translation, arguing that great benefit comes to the native language from dealings with the foreign; also, that all reading is a form of translation - of texts into the lives we lead. Altogether, Poetry is an attempt, with many quotations, to show how poetry works, what its responsibilities are, and how it may help us in our real circumstances now.
While a rational consciousness grasps many truths, Gananath Obeyesekere believes an even richer knowledge is possible through a bold confrontation with the stuff of visions and dreams. Spanning both Buddhist and European forms of visionary experience, he fearlessly pursues the symbolic, nonrational depths of such phenomena, reawakening the intuitive, creative impulses that power greater understanding. Throughout his career, Obeyesekere has combined psychoanalysis and anthropology to illuminate the relationship between personal symbolism and religious experience. In this book, he begins with Buddha's visionary trances wherein, over the course of four hours, he witnesses hundreds of thousands of his past births and eons of world evolution, renewal, and disappearance. He then connects this fracturing of empirical and visionary time to the realm of space, considering the experience of a female Christian penitent, who stares devotedly at a tiny crucifix only to see the space around it expand to mirror Christ's suffering. Obeyesekere follows the unconscious motivations underlying rapture, the fantastical consumption of Christ's body and blood, and body mutilation and levitation, bridging medieval Catholicism and the movements of early modern thought as reflected in William Blake's artistic visions and poetic dreams. He develops the term "dream-ego" through a discussion of visionary journeys, Carl Jung's and Sigmund Freud's scientific dreaming, and the cosmic and erotic dream-visions of New Age virtuosos, and he defines the parameters of a visionary mode of knowledge that provides a more elastic understanding of truth. A career-culminating work, this volume translates the epistemology of Hindu and Buddhist thinkers for western audiences while revitalizing western philosophical and scientific inquiry.
Advocates and demonstrates women's path to personal wholeness and self-healing through an eco-feminist, reader-response analysis of four fictional narratives.
This beautiful gathering of contemporary lyric poems by best-selling author and poet Luci Shaw celebrates both the magnificence and the meaning of water in its myriad forms. "Water Lines" includes sixty-three new and selected poems by Shaw, all reflecting the evocative nature of water. The steady hush of falling rain, the white noise of a waterfall, the glittering sounds of a fountain, the washing of ripples against rocks in a clear northern lake, the surging of a mountain stream -- Shaw shows how these watery wonders refresh the ear and eye and, further, penetrate the soul. As with all her poetry on creation, Shaw sees the invisible, thinks the universal, and finds in the natural world superb metaphors for human life: I think it's the fluidity of water -- the way it constantly renews itself -- that reminds me of the possibility, and the need, for change and renewal. "Water Lines" vividly captures water's effects on our senses and invites us to explore this persistent reality, which pools in the Creator's hand, Shaw says, and falls, like blessing, on all our heads. Filled with luminous images and insights, "Water Lines" is a book to give, to receive, to savor.
First published in 1978, Silences single-handedly revolutionized the literary canon. In this classic work, now back in print, Olsen broke open the study of literature and discovered a lost continentthe writing of women and working-class people. From the excavated testimony of authors letters and diaries we learn the many ways the creative spirit, especially in those disadvantaged by gender, class and race, can be silenced. Olsen recounts the torments of Melville, the crushing weight of criticism on Thomas Hardy, the shame that brought Willa Cather to a dead halt, and struggles of Virginia Woolf, Olsens heroine and greatest exemplar of a writer who confronted the forces that would silence her. This 25th-anniversary edition includes Olsens now infamous reading lists of forgotten authors and a new introduction and author preface.
"In his life and writing, Michael Yankoski walks a tightrope between action and contemplation, and, behold, in ways we can all learn from, he manages to find a sort of essential balance." —Philip Yancey, author of What's So Amazing About Grace "This book is a joy to the soul and a delight to the heart. It is destined to become a classic within the genre of contemporary spiritual and religious writing." —Phyllis Tickle, compiler of The Divine Hours Frustrated and disillusioned with his life as a Christian motivational speaker, Michael Yankoski was determined to stop merely talking about living a life of faith and start experiencing it. The result was a year of focused engagement with spiritual practices—both ancient and modern—that fundamentally reshaped and revived his life. By contemplating apples for an hour before tasting them (attentiveness), eating on just $2.00 a day (simplicity), or writing letters of thanks (gratitude), Michael discovered a whole new vitality and depth through the intentional life. Guided by the voice of Father Solomon—a local monk—Yankoski's Sacred Year slowly transforms his life. Both entertaining and profound, his story will resonate with those who wish to deepen their own committed faith as well as those who are searching—perhaps for the first time—for their own authentic encounter with the Divine.
Discusses 20 biblical themes, such as creation, the hero, and death and the afterlife, and relates them to a wide range of literary works commonly read by students.
Provides coverage of literary and historical quotations. An easy-to-use keyword index traces quotations and their authors, while the appendix material, including Catchphrases, Film Lines, Official Advice, and Political Slogans, offers further topics of interest.
The Irish Times described Frank Duff as 'the founder of the largest international association that has originated in Ireland. Yet he has been, among Irish leaders of his generation, the least publicised.' Duff was not only a major religious figure; he also had a distinct influence on the evolution of modern Irish society. A friend of Irish leaders including Michael Collins, W. T. Cosgrave and Éamon de Valera, he avoided the cult of celebrity which might well have befallen him as the founder of an organisation which today has over four million active members and ten million auxiliary members in more than one hundred and seventy countries. Like most saintly people, his greatest opposition came from local Church figures and this is a vital part of the story.
Ahalya Ghai and her younger sister Sita are as close as sisters can be. But their loving and secure childhood ends abruptly one day when a tsunami rips through their village on India's Coromandel coast. Their home is swept away, and Ahalya and Sita are the sole survivors of their family. Destitute, their only hope is to find refuge at a convent in Chennai, many miles away. A driver agrees to take them. But the moment they get into that car their fate is sealed. The two sisters - confused, alone, totally reliant on each other - are sold. Worse, they are separated. On the other side of the world, Washington lawyer Thomas Clarke is struggling to cope after the death of his baby daughter and the collapse of his marriage to Priya. He takes a sabbatical from his high-pressure job and accepts a position with the Bombay branch of an international anti-trafficking group. Thomas is now on a path that not only involves saving himself and his marriage, but the lives of two sisters who cannot bear to be apart. Spanning the globe, A Walk Across the Sun is an unforgettable tale of the transformative power of love, even in the face of unimaginable obstacles.
In Civilizations, Felipe Fernández-Armesto once again proves himself a brilliantly original historian, capable of large-minded and comprehensive works; here he redefines the subject that has fascinated historians from Thucydides to Gibbon to Spengler to Fernand Braudel: the nature of civilization. To Fernández-Armesto, a civilization is "civilized in direct proportion to its distance, its difference from the unmodified natural environment"...by its taming and warping of climate, geography, and ecology. The same impersonal forces that put an ocean between Africa and India, a river delta in Mesopotamia, or a 2,000-mile-long mountain range in South America have created the mold from which humanity has fashioned its own wildly differing cultures. In a grand tradition that is certain to evoke comparisons to the great historical taxonomies, each chapter of Civilizations connects the world of the ecologist and geographer to a panorama of cultural history. In Civilizations, the medieval poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is not merely a Christian allegory, but a testament to the thousand-year-long deforestation of the trees that once covered 90 percent of the European mainland. The Indian Ocean has served as the world's greatest trading highway for millennia not merely because of cultural imperatives, but because the regular monsoon winds blow one way in the summer and the other in the winter. In the words of the author, "Unlike previous attempts to write the comparative history of civilizations, it is arranged environment by environment, rather than period by period, or society by society." Thus, seventeen distinct habitats serve as jumping-off points for a series of brilliant set-piece comparisons; thus, tundra civilizations from Ice Age Europe are linked with the Inuit of the Pacific Northwest; and the Mississippi mound-builders and the deforesters of eleventh-century Europe are both understood as civilizations built on woodlands. Here, of course, are the familiar riverine civilizations of Mesopotamia and China, of the Indus and the Nile; but also highland civilizations from the Inca to New Guinea; island cultures from Minoan Crete to Polynesia to Renaissance Venice; maritime civilizations of the Indian Ocean and South China Sea...even the Bushmen of Southern Africa are seen through a lens provided by the desert civilizations of Chaco Canyon. More, here are fascinating stories, brilliantly told -- of the voyages of Chinese admiral Chen Ho and Portuguese commodore Vasco da Gama, of the Great Khan and the Great Zimbabwe. Here are Hesiod's tract on maritime trade in the early Aegean and the most up-to-date genetics of seed crops. Erudite, wide-ranging, a work of dazzling scholarship written with extraordinary flair, Civilizations is a remarkable achievement...a tour de force by a brilliant scholar.

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