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A Monk's Alphabet


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About the Author

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.


What do the following words have in common-O'Keeffe, Orchard, Oyster? Not much apart from their initial letter, and therein lies a problem with this book of alphabetical meditations. Driscoll, a Benedictine monk who commutes between an abbey in Oregon and a seminary in Rome, claims Marcus Aurelius, Evagrius Ponticus and Blaise Pascal as his literary models (they all wrote "short, provisional essays... to provoke thought") and promises that "the many and varied thoughts come together and begin to sketch certain patterns, not created by ourselves trying to remain in control, but formed from a deeper logic." The book's introduction is actually quite fascinating. But by the time readers hit Bluntly, Breathless, Bugs, they may be longing for Kathleen Norris's Amazing Grace or Frederick Buechner's Wishful Thinking, abecedarian books with fresher insights and more focused ramblings. Much of Driscoll's writing is highly personal, as if lifted from private journals; depression is a recurring theme. Though he tends to belabor the obvious and is sometimes annoyingly self-absorbed, he tells a few good stories, asks some thoughtful questions and will appeal to readers who have always wanted an unedited peek inside a monk's head. Mistakes, Monastic, Moose. (Aug. 8) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

"Driscoll asks some thoughtful questions and A Monk's Alphabet will appeal to readers who have always wanted an unedited peek inside a monk's head."--Publishers Weekly

"With 187 entries ranging from paragraphs to pages of reflections and meditations, Jeremy Driscoll elicits both smiles and tears in these gems from A Monk's Alphabet."--The Oregonian "A Monk's Alphabet calls forth the reader's ardor, breadth of spirit, curiosity, devotion, and envy of the life well lived, the thing well made."--Paul Elie, author of The Life You Save May Be Your Own: An American Pilgrimage "A rare peek into the world of a committed monk who knows how to have fun with his ABC's. His alphabet will help you find the words of your own religious experience and search for God."--Edward L. Beck, author of God Underneath: Spiritual Memoirs of a Catholic Priest

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