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A Monk's Alphabet: Moments of Stillness in a Turning World [Paperback]

By Jeremy Driscoll (Author)
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Item description for A Monk's Alphabet: Moments of Stillness in a Turning World by Jeremy Driscoll...

In the tradition of Thomas Merton, Henry Nouwen, and Kathleen Norris, these are contemplations of a Benedictine monk who is also a poet, a critic, and a theologian of renown.

Publishers Description
From the time of the desert fathers to our own "post-Christian" age, the literature of monastic wisdom has provided inspiration for those of us who lead ordinary lives in the world. Father Jeremy Driscoll, a poet and theologian who is also a Benedictine monk, brings the genre into the twenty-first century with this exquisitely written collection of reflections on life from a monastic perspective. Whether reflecting on the details of the cloistered life, or observing the weirdness of American culture, explaining a fine point of Catholic theology to a child, or meditating on the flight of a seagull over the glittering ocean at sunrise, Fr. Jeremy's voice both enchants and provokes us to further contemplation. The 187 meditations are arranged by short titles in alphabetical order to emphasize that the reader should approach them in random fashion, without preconceived ideas, in order to be open to where they lead the heart and mind.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: New Seeds
Pages   210
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.4" Width: 4.84" Height: 0.59"
Weight:   0.48 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Dec 11, 2007
Publisher   New Seeds
ISBN  1590304624  
ISBN13  9781590304624  

Availability  0 units.

More About Jeremy Driscoll

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Jeremy Driscoll, O.S.B., is a priest and monk of Mount Angel Abbey, St. Benedict, Oregon. He is a professor of theology at Mount Angel Seminary and at the Pontifical Athenaeum Sant' Anselmo in Rome. He is the author of several books of theology and poetry.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Worship & Devotion > Devotionals
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Spirituality > Devotionals

Reviews - What do customers think about A Monk's Alphabet: Moments of Stillness in a Turning World?

A monk's alphabet  Jun 20, 2008
It's quite the read. One hundred eighty short essays/observations, some as short as one or two sentences, some as long as three pages, arranged in alphabetical order by topic. It's very much like a journal, or even like an exceptionally well-written and entertaining blog in terms of its many-ness of subjects! The author is a monk of Mount Angel Monastery in Oregon, but spends five months of the year teaching at the Pontifical Athenaeum Sant' Anselmo in Rome. Some of the paragraphs are about his travels, some are theological ruminations, some might qualify as prose-poems about the natural world.

I was worried, before buying this book, about the publisher. (New Seeds is a division of Shambhala Books, who print a lot of Buddhist authors, etc.) But I don't discern any heresies in A Monk's Alphabet (the paragraph on "Judgment," in fact, is somewhat pointed!) nor, conversely, do I discern any disaffecting narrowness of spirit or mind. Nothing that departs from the truth.

A poor "review," this, but I'd probably have to begin quoting from the book to give a truer picture of what magnetizes this reader.
Appreciation  Feb 12, 2007
I would love to meet Father Jeremy and say thank you to him for this wonderful little book. It is so well written and thoughtful and tender and at times humerous. He makes you think aobut life in general, your life in particular and some of the essays you will read over and over again just to digest them fully. He writes the way I write so I appreciated his efforts and they are a gift to anyone who picks up these special messages.
A MONK'S ALPHABET is a grand little book by Father Jeremy Driscoll, a Benedictine monk. It is an alphabetized list of short reflections, stories and observations. Whimsical humor infuses many of the pieces; a few are downright funny. There are "Ah-ha!" moments of serious truth, expressions of fear and doubt regarding faith, and insight into the human condition no matter what the faith. What binds them all is a refreshing combination of the author's innate dignity and naked honesty.

The dust cover of A MONK'S ALPHABET says that the book's 210 pages contain 187 "meditations." I'm sure that's what they are, but I read them as good literature and got the unencumbered joy that comes from that.

"First Love," a childhood memoir from the middle of the book, is light and airy and so readable you almost slip past the surprise--love cannot survive a lie. Then you realize this cold truth has haunted every life you know. Under Z the last entry is breathtaking in its evocation of friendship and death, sorrow and soaring hope.

You can read the entire book in one sitting, but the letters in A MONK'S ALPHABET: MOMENTS OF STILLNESS IN A TURNING WORL by Jeremy Driscoll, OSB, are best taken in moderation, like caviar and vodka before dinner, and a chocolate or two after.

I bought five copies of the book. One for myself and the other four as gifts for special friends who think about life and would rather celebrate much of it rather than just pass through, bitching and moaning.
Lovely and meaningful writing  Jan 7, 2007
I found this book through a recommendation in a magazine, and am so glad I bought it. This monk takes each letter of the alphabet and does a meditation on a word beginning with it. Sometimes several words.
You do not have to be "religious" to appreciate this book. The writing is superb.
I plan to read one letter a week, twice this year.

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