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Showing posts from July, 2009

Called Out of Darkness

I just finished a splendid book, Anne Rice's "spiritual confession." This is one of those utterly beautiful spiritual works that brings me to tears at points. Rice grasps the heart of Christianity.I have about twenty strips of paper sticking out of the book where I marked meaningful passages. The chapters are arranged thematically, and as a memoir this book is reminiscent of Eudora Welty's One Writer's Beginnings. Here are some themes I found particularly interesting. Rice sees beauty and art as redemptive. She firmly identifies herself as an artist, as someone who lives a certain way and pursues certain goals out of a belief in beauty and creativity. My favorite description in the book reflects this.My father listening to the opera on Saturday afternoons was a delightful part of our world. He would sit at a table in the back bedroom working on his woodcarvings, and the sounds of the opera would fill the house. I loved the voice of Milton Cross, who always read a…

More Mysteries!

I've gone through the Dorothy Sayers mysteries three times, read every single Agatha Christie in my county library system, and completed the Josephine Tey canon this past year by obtaining To Love and Be Wise via interlibrary loan. What shall I read? Like Cookie Monster, I wandered panicked among the library bookshelves muttering "Me want mysteries," and lighted once again upon Ellis Peters. I'd tried the Brother Cadfael mysteries twice before, and did not find them quite as perfect as Sayers and Christie nor as fetching as Tey. Nonetheless, I am now on a medieval kick and Cadfael fits the bill.

I just finished Monk's Hood and very much enjoyed the vividly described abbey and town.

Here is a helpful and attractive set of webpages by a Brother Cadfael fan, including a bibliography of the mysteries in order.

"The love that qualifies someone

to shepherd others develops only when suffering persuades us to give up our self-preserving agendas, when dark nights make Christ's presence necessary (no longer a luxury), when trials make us willing to abandon ourselves fully to Christ because we need him so badly. The profound intiimacy with Christ that only suffering can create enables us to enter other people's lives with the Spirit's healing power."

~ Larry Crabb, Hope When You're Hurting, ch. 15