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Daniel Berrigan: Essential Writings (Modern Spiritual Masters) Paperback – November 15, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
This book answers, well, yes, you really do. I have both, but I need all the help I can get.
This collection includes much previously unedited and unpublished material for the first time, as instructive and strengthening and edifying for us now as then. It is published within the Orbis Modern Spiritual Masters Series, which includes Pope John XXIII: Essential Writings (Modern Spiritual Masters), St. Therese of Lisieux: Essential Writings (Modern Spiritual Masters Series), and several other saints, as well Mohandas Gandhi: Essential Writings (Modern Spiritual Masters Series) edited and introduced by this same editor, the Reverend Father John Dear SJ.
This collection therefore gathers for the first time in print several essential writings from Father Berrigan. The editor notes on page 35: "For these essential writings, I gathered some of Daniel Berrigan's classic texts from bestsellers like ...Read more ›
Reading and hearing his poems confronts, inspires, uplifts and heals. They offer hope to those struggling with cultural despair. That to me is the best clue to his poetry. Dan invites us to hope. He insists on hope. Despite all. And he can do this because he himself essentially hopeful. He keeps a long haul view toward the resurrection. (28)
All of Dan's writing confronts and inspires. I had the opportunity to attend a retreat with Dan and his sister-in-law, Liz McAllister several years after I attended a retreat with John Dear. In his early 80s then, I found Dan to be a gentle, humble giant. (As I write, a gentle snow is falling in our mountains--gentle like Dan.)
As Dear explains, Dan's activism is firmly grounded in his spirituality which includes daily immersion in the Scriptures. Conforming his life to Jesus' life enables Dan to be gentle and yet ever so strong and forceful when injustice must be confronted.
John, Dan, and Liz have had a big influence on me. Had I not met them and Emmanuel Charles McCarthy I would not now be a peace activist. I look forward to savoring the selections included in the book.
Like Isaiah, Dan and John can envision a day when the People of God will weep no more. Advent is hope. We know that God is merciful. God will hear us. God will give us bread and water. God walks with us through the valley of darkness and death. God is ever at our side.
"God will heal the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds.Read more ›
Regardless, this book was a fascinating read. Long chapters of prose reflections and narrative are bookended by beautiful poetry. While the story inside the book is quasi-linear, the ideas bounce around quite a bit, carpet bombing the reader with Berrigan's convictions. This is not a biography, but it's not meant to be.
This book moved me. It made me think and reflect on my faith in ways that few books about faith have managed to do. Whether or not you agree with Berrigan's tactics and history of resistance, I would think it hard not be moved to, at the very least, reflect on one's own beliefs about the relationship between faith and culture, faith and violence, faith and resistance.
My suggestion: read the book cover to cover. Then, give the book to a friend, who will then also read the book cover to cover. Finally, seat yourself across a table from the aforementioned friend in order to discuss both your shared and unshared thoughts about the book. Reach deep inside yourself and really question what you think and what you would and should do in the midst of wars and social upheaval. You won't be disappointed.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
John Dear writes an excellent introduction about his friend, Dan Berrigan, then gathers wisdom from Berrigan's many writings to share in this collection.Published on October 24, 2013 by patricia normile
I met him once or twice in the 60's/early 70's when we were protesting what we are, alas, still protesting because we seem not to learn. Read morePublished on March 4, 2013 by Maryanne Schrank