You touched me, and I am set on fire to attain the peace which is yours. Again, like Augustine, you can find many different translations and editions in English.
Wildwood: A Journey through Trees
To see the places that the Little Flower describes in her autobiography was truly moving. Her wisdom is beyond compare. Read her words, the words of a young nun who died at the age of 24 in Never have I heard Him speak, but I feel that He is within me at each moment; He is guiding and inspiring me with what I must say and do.
I find just when I need them certain lights that I had not seen until then, and it isn't most frequently during my hours of prayer that these are most abundant but rather in the midst of my daily occupations. Simple, lovely, practical and holy — the Little Flower is as much a Doctor of the Church as Augustine. Both are healers and wise persons. I would recommend the 50th anniversary edition from Hartcourt, published in , with the introduction by Robert Giroux. This will be, no doubt, a controversial choice in this list of spiritual classics.
I contend that the early Merton, with his books like The Sign of Jonas offers both an insight into the spiritual life of a man of the world who becomes a Trappist and into a unique time in the history of the Catholic Church in the United States. To be honest, I put off reading this book for many years.
When I was in the seminary, Thomas Merton was not read at all and was, in fact, more famous for his unfortunate death than any profound spiritual insights that might benefit someone in this new millennium. I took his advice and I am very glad that I did. Read what Merton, then known as Fr.
Louis his name in religion has to say about the Eucharist:. I did not even know who Christ was, that He was God. I had not the faintest idea that there existed such a thing as the Blessed Sacrament. I thought churches were simply places where people got together and sang a few hymns. And yet now I tell you, you who are now what I once was, unbelievers, it is that Sacrament, and that alone, the Christ living in our midst, and sacrificed by us, and for us and with us, in the clean and perpetual Sacrifice, it is He alone Who holds our world together, and keeps us all from being poured headlong and immediately into the pit of our eternal destruction.
And I tell you there is a power that goes forth from that Sacrament, a power of light and truth, even into the hearts of those who have heard nothing of Him and seem to be incapable of belief.
Ciszek, SJ, with Daniel L. This is an extraordinary book. First published in , it is the story of a priest who was captured by the Russians in World War II and was convicted as a spy for the Vatican and sent to Siberia to work in a labor camp. For 15 years. In the midst of brutality, he was able to offer his pains and suffering to Christ and grew in prayer, faith and in his priesthood. There is so much in He Leadeth Me from which a Catholic to learn. Ciszek writes:. No matter how close to God the soul felt, how blessed it was by an awareness of his presence on occasion, the realities of life were always at hand, always demanding recognition, always demanding acceptance.
And it was through the struggle to do this that spiritual growth and a greater appreciation of his will took place. This great Servant of God writes:. Across that threshold I had been afraid to cross, things suddenly seemed so very simple. There was but a single vision, God, who was all in all; there was but one will that directed all things, God's will. I had only to see it, to discern it in every circumstance in which I found myself, and let myself be ruled by it. God is in all things, sustains all things, directs all things. To discern this in every situation and circumstance, to see His will in all things, was to accept each circumstance and situation and let oneself be borne along in perfect confidence and trust.
Nothing could separate me from Him, because He was in all things. This is a real gem, and I urge not only priests and religious to read this patristic text, but all Christian people can benefit from it. Pope Saint Gregory was, above all, a priest and a bishop and the advice that he gives is applicable to pastoral ministry today. This Doctor of the Church was on fire with the love of God for souls.
In a troubled age like ours currently, Pope Saint Gregory the Great can be a guide to the ordained and a comfort to the lay and religious faithful. Please let me know what your choices would be! John P. Cush is a priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn. Catholic Church History. He has served as a parish priest, high school seminary teacher, and as a Censor Librorum for his Diocese, as well as a theological consultant for NET TV.
Cush is a regular contributor to the Brooklyn Tablet and the Albany Evangelist. Here is my list: 1. Confessions by Saint Augustine. May 15, Beth rated it really liked it Shelves: memoir , non-fiction , great-britain , environmental. This was a lovely piece of nature writing. It was a book that made me want to camp out under the boughs of a British forest — to rebuild the ruins of a year old timber frame house — to watch a craftsman at his lathe, turning wood into art.
In , he moved to Suffolk and bought the ruins of a Tudor-era oak-framed farmh This was a lovely piece of nature writing. In , he moved to Suffolk and bought the ruins of a Tudor-era oak-framed farmhouse which he renovated board by board — at times sharing his space with the many creatures who had found a safe haven among the timbers and moss. In his descriptions, I felt the history and intimacy of the wood itself. Certain details linger with special significance, such as the fact that the usual width of homes in 16th century England were based on the height that trees in the area had to reach before their boles were large enough to become weight-bearing beams.
As an American who grew up in the woods of Appalachia, I was unfamiliar with practices such as coppicing, pollarding, or the grooming of hedgerows. Deakin spends several chapters describing these practices: coppicing involves cutting young trees down to ground level and allow new shoots of growth to grow up like small groves until they too are ready to harvest, while pollarding involves pruning back the upper branches of a tree, both to maintain a certain tree height and to promote new growth for use as fuel.
I was intrigued to learn of forestry practices other than the clear-cutting and re-planting that have been part of my experience. It was the descriptions of the people who love trees and have let their lives be shaped by the woods around them. Some of these are artists, such as Margaret Mellis who fashions collages out of driftwood or David Nash who creates large scale sculpture in wood.
Deakin gives a glimpse as well into the relationship between mankind and the woods on a global scale. In his travels, from New South Wales to Kazakhstan, and numerous places in between, he paints detailed images of the people he sees and the woods they live in. View all 6 comments. Apr 25, Simon rated it really liked it. A really beautiful book. Even the din on a packed rush-hour bus in downtown Chicago couldn't banish the magic that Deakin conjures up. I felt transported to a forest at dusk, and could hear the wind in the trees.
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I think the word "enchanting" is overused in book reviews, but in this case I think it's the perfect adjective, this book is literally enchanting. I did not like the first chapter of this book where the author dwells on his geneology and the link of his family names with words related to plants and forests. I was sarting to feel disappointed with my decision to purchase it, when the second chapter about housesheds began and I loved it. Then came a description of the author's study, all the objects in it and te memories they stirred. This one was mostly OK, although I found it a bit boring at times.
The book went on like this for a while, I did not like the first chapter of this book where the author dwells on his geneology and the link of his family names with words related to plants and forests. The book went on like this for a while, alternating between chapters I loved and others that I didn't find all that interesting and often resulted in my mind wandering somewhere else.
But then, when I was more or less one third into the book, something happened. I don't know if I've got more used to Deakin's rich vocabulary, which I found a bit challenging in the beginning, or if the chapters became more interesting. Maybe it was a combination of the two. Anyway, I suddenly found myself deeply enjoying every single chapter and craving any spare time to go through a few more pages. Through this book, I discovered several wonderful artists John Wolsely having become a favourite among them , I travelled through central Asia and then back to the UK where I followed the author to his own eden and shared his deep love for the countryside and all things related to trees.
This is a beautiful book and now I understand why so many people loved it too. View all 3 comments. Jul 22, Meaghan rated it really liked it Recommends it for: fellow tree-huggers. Recommended to Meaghan by: caught my eye at the book store, read the reviews on the back. I am often apprehensive about reading nature writing because I am afraid that it won't hold my attention.
I think in many cases something is lost in translation from the organic to the intellectual. Our inside and outside selves are kept separate entities these days. I have struggled recently with finding a way to bridge these two parts of my self the nature-loving, spontaneous part with the studious, hard-working, methodical part. Deakin offered hope that it was possible to do this. Throughou I am often apprehensive about reading nature writing because I am afraid that it won't hold my attention. Throughout "Wildwood" he connects prominent elements of society with the natural world as he has experienced it.
I would have given this book five stars except that I think that it was written for a British audience and a few references were lost on me. Neverless, I have learned to look at not only the natural world but also the built world in new ways. Definitely give this book a chance yourself.
View 1 comment. Jul 15, Mark rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites , the-natural-world. Once again, this book was a total inspiration. I now so want to go and find a little cabin somewhere in the midst of a wood so as to experience something of this man's wonder. I love this book so much! I haven't finished reading it yet, because I want to savour it gently and slowly.
I'm a country woman, born on the egde of a wood, brought up on the edge of another - and I felt as if Roger Deakin was telling me things I'd always known but never articulated properly. I have enjoyed exploring some of his themes - the woodcraft of David Nash, the painting of Mary Newcombe - I feel educated by the onw book. This is a book which has made me grow! I borrowed it from the libr I love this book so much!
I borrowed it from the library, and have bought 2 copies for my sister and my son. I need to buy myself a copy - I can't be without this book in my house! Apr 09, Lori rated it really liked it. A great book, very detailed. The author takes you a very detailed journey with him through the woods, desert or wherever he is. It was like an escape, I read it in winter and I felt like like I was right there with him looking at nature. Would highly recommend for any nature lover of trees and fauna. I hope to read another book he has also written. Robert Deakin's writing is wonderful.
He makes the many subjects of wood and the woods so interesting, something that could easily have been very bland. This book covers many aspects of wood and should be read more as a collection of essays rather than a running whole. Some of the chapters do follow a logical storytelling order, although others do not.
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Also take in mind that you won't find everything Deakin talks about to be interesting, he covers a wide array of subjects surrounding wood, and s Robert Deakin's writing is wonderful. Also take in mind that you won't find everything Deakin talks about to be interesting, he covers a wide array of subjects surrounding wood, and some things are just more interesting than others. I would say I found the majority of the book very interesting, there were only a few chapters that didn't do it for me.
The book contains a wide variety of genres, from travel log to very descriptive nature writing, to explanations on how certain woodworking is done. The chapters on wood in other countries outside of Britain were particularly interesting and gave a nice impression of the nature in places such as Kazakhstan. One of the things I loved about the book was all the references to literature and art, which gave me lots of inspiration on other things to read and lots of artwork I would love to get printed out and hang in my house.
Deakin's voice is like that of a knowledgable old friend with wonderful tales to tell. Another inspring read which falls in with other books I've read recently, with lots of references to self sustainability and the like. View all 4 comments. Sep 06, Kate rated it did not like it Shelves: read-in , england , nature-writing , abandoned , essays.
In Deakin's glorious meditation on wood, the 'fifth element' -- as it exists in nature, in our culture, and in our souls -- the reader accompanies Deakin through the woods of Britain, Europe, Kazakhstan, and Australia in search of what lies behind man's profound and enduring connection with trees. Along the way, he ferrets out the mysteries of woods, detailing the life stories of the timber beams composing his Elizsabethan house and searching for the origin of the apple.
Given this description, it should have been 5 stars plus. I'm a rabid environmentalist and nature writing and natural history is one of my favorite genres. But this one One of the essays I read was a reminiscence of his student days, and then a return to that area of New Forest; in both essays I wasn't able to connect with the subject.
I struggled through pages without the least bit of inspiration or bonding, so decided to give it up. Reading that description from the book cover, I wonder if I threw in the towel too soon? Perhaps I should dip into the book further along What a wonderful journey into the world of trees and woods thanks to a brilliant writer! It is often the simplest of paragraphs that manages to capture the essence of the love affair many of us have with trees, and the magical places that forests and woods are. Through his own experiences we are taken on a fascinating look at the ways in which trees enchant us all through art, woodcraft, literature and more.
I'm off to hug a tree!! Mar 13, Luke rated it liked it. I don't know what I was expecting from this book. Maybe an insight into the mythological impact of woods and how they have shaped our culture and our way of life. Instead we have a sort of biography from a slightly odd old hippy who has a wooden railway carriage in his garden. The slightly make-shift nature of his house reflects the makeshift nature of the book, it flits from wood to wood and never really gets under the skin of the wood.
Neither is his life very interesting.
He seems to be a bit I don't know what I was expecting from this book. He seems to be a bit halfway between the wood and the town, living as he did as a furniture maker, with his family seeming to be very much townies. You're seeing a slice of British countryside, but it's very much a middle class slice- hanging out with lepidopterists, sculptors, eco-house guys and makers of gardens. Throughout I was asking myself- where is the real wood?
What about yarrow and its association with death?
Holly and its association with life? The poor coppicers who made their living from cultivating branches.
Well, the later do make an appearance, largely as a historic curiosity. Apparently later in the book, he goes to woods overseas, but after around pages I couldn't bring myself to read anymore. If you want to read a good cultural analysis of woods without the boring biography element, I recommend "The New Sylva" instead. Jun 22, Christopher rated it it was amazing Shelves: non-fiction , to-buy , nature. Not only is it fantastically well written, but it is such a simple and honest book about the pleasures of the woodlands, and of the experience of being in and around trees.
For a seemingly limited topic, he covers a remarkable amount of ground, literally in some cases; visiting walnut forests in Kazakhstan, picking bush-plums with Aborigines in Australian outback, and even visiting the wood veneer production at the Jaguar factory in Coventry, UK. A wonderful, gentle, life-affirming book, made bittersweet by the death of the author, Roger Deakin, shortly after he finished writing it. Dec 31, Ashy rated it really liked it.
It reminded me of knowledge I already have and taught me interesting new things, and was a nice relaxed book to read gradually. There was the odd part that I skimmed over, but largely there was something about each chapter that caught my interest and kept me reading. The main reason for skimming was that I have a pile of books waiting and it has taken me three months to read this book, though it is not ridiculously long, I have just been slow.
There are some lovely parts in this book that allowed me to relive feelings of being outdoors in a way that I rarely am these days and that was lovely. I would read more of his writing, as he has an easy, sometimes amusing, yet informative style. Oct 04, Sonya rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites. This was probably my favourite read this year. It was akin, to me, of curling up in your dad's lap as a child, while he drones on about things that he adores that to you are simultaneously fascinating and mind-numbingly boring.
And, like a dad, he is given to repeating parts of stories you've already heard. I really took my time reading this, because I haven't wanted it to end, and I think the book demands it. Deakin describes woodland scenes--which I think I for one take for granted--with a pai This was probably my favourite read this year. Deakin describes woodland scenes--which I think I for one take for granted--with a painstaking level of detail that really made me think about my suburban nonchalance about "trees" and "bugs.
I'm definitely going to find my own copy for re-reading. Jul 21, Shriram Sivaramakrishnan rated it it was amazing. How shall I begin reviewing.. Once in a while generally our lifetime , we come across a book that would literally change the world that we inhabit. It makes us question the very assumptions upon which we've based our life.
Wildwood, to me, is one such! Never have I come across such a book on nature writing. In essence, it is about Wood, rather the imagination called Wood, in our lives. Here is a person who had lived where wood lived, not where the d How shall I begin reviewing.. Here is a person who had lived where wood lived, not where the dead one is decorated into furniture. The proficiency of his language elevates it to mystical levels.
Unfortunately, he is not with us anymore. Simply put, I just didn't want this book to finish. Dec 31, Bruce Hatton rated it really liked it Shelves: autobiography. Roger Deakin's second nature book explores the enduring fascination for what he calls the "fifth element". The mythical and mystical nature of woodland and the use of wood in architecture, furniture and artworks. His descriptions of the different national attitudes to woodland put me in mind of Simon Scharma's "Landscape And Memory", particularly concerning the historical and legendary impo Roger Deakin's second nature book explores the enduring fascination for what he calls the "fifth element".
His descriptions of the different national attitudes to woodland put me in mind of Simon Scharma's "Landscape And Memory", particularly concerning the historical and legendary importance of such places. As in his other books, Deakin's knowledge of nature, history and literature is very impressive and informative. Aug 14, Richard rated it it was amazing.
I just reread this book and it's a joy.
Roger Deakin lived for many years in a ramshackle house that he repaired partially and shared with birds, bats and trees that in part held the house up. He tells of the house and animals around him. He also ambles further afield and tells of how wood is almost the 'fifth element' in human life and how we in the west have lost sight of its value and of course as a consequence have devastated our native forests.
But it's an optimistic book by a man who lived a I just reread this book and it's a joy. But it's an optimistic book by a man who lived and wrote about nature so beautifully. Something you might not have considered reading but perhaps you should. View 2 comments. Some authors you imagine you'd actually like in person, not just on the page. Others, not so much. While I greatly admire Virginia Woolf's writing, e. Actually, come to think of it, I often have this feeling with regard to female authors. I assume, rightly or wrongly, that I would find them formidable or res Some authors you imagine you'd actually like in person, not just on the page.
I assume, rightly or wrongly, that I would find them formidable or reserved or unfriendly or otherwise difficult one way or another. I imagine them possessing a certain geniality, matching their literary and philosophical brilliance, that would make them easy to like, easy to get along with, easy to talk to, without any appalling posturing necessary on either side. Roger Deakin is one of the latter. As is his friend, Robert Macfarlane.