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Natural Prayers Paperback – September 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 212 pages
  • Publisher: Ruminator Books (September 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1886913455
  • ISBN-13: 978-1886913455
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,365,110 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"All of my life has been a relearning to prayAa letting go of incantational magic, petition, and the vain repetition 'Me, Lord, me,' instead watching attentively for the light that burns at the center of every star, every cell, every living creature, every human heart." To that end, Raymo (365 Starry Nights) offers a beautiful breviary of his moments of deep attention to the natural world, set in three different landscapes, following the moon cycles of a year. This professor of physics and astronomy (at Stonehill College in Massachusetts) and Boston Globe columnist divides his year between Massachusetts, the island of Exuma in the Bahamas and the west of Ireland. Each short section in the book links an observation of nature with a profound question or rumination that is rendered in the complementary terms of science and poetry or literature. Raymo is struck by the interconnection of all life while, for example, watching ants maneuver a dead moth across a porch in the Bahamas. He tracks the sun's energy down to the moth and the antsAenergy that is born when protons fuse at the center of Sol. Raymo nails our sense that sun, energy and matter are one with Dylan Thomas's famous line, "The force that through the green fuse drives the flower." Celebrating the moon or dragonflies, Virginia Woolf or Thoreau, Raymo shows how scientific observation can become worship. As appealing and accessible as Lewis Thomas's Lives of a Cell, this marvelous book demonstrates how prayer can be a "meditation on the world, informed by knowledge, open to mystery." (July) FYI: In 1998, Raymo won a Lannan Literary Award.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

...meditations informed not by mysticism but by scientific knowledge, a source of infinite wonder when articulated in writing as clarion as Raymo's. -- Booklist, July 1, 1999

Out of a deep belief in science and a love for natural history, the author builds a contemplative spirituality. -- Orion, Oct-Dec 1999

Raymo's writing is passionate and compassionate, mixing his reverence for the myriad possibilities of life with his amazement at what science has revealed. -- Seattle Times, August 29, 1999

[Raymo] approaches all of creation with wonder and eloquent delight. -- Boston Globe, August 22, 1999 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 54 people found the following review helpful By R. Gluck on September 5, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Possibly the best yet of Raymo's wonderful expositions on the natural world. He waxes as poetic as Annie Dillard on the mystical quality of nature, but as a scientist by trade, also includes Lewis Thomas-like passages that could slip into a mini-science-textbook; thoughtful, beguiling commentary and questions on the cosmos and our place in it. Superb! Leaves this reader craving for more.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 20, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
How does he get science to sound beautiful? To me Natural Prayers is a science book, but in the way children like science. Through the senses. A mindful book, Chet Raymo takes natural science and important literary contibutions and comfortably delivers a number of short, easy to read discussions, for us to absorb effortlessly. This is a book I will keep at hand.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By K. Burk on March 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
I took my time to carefully read each chapter of this book and plan to purchase it in the future (I found it at my local library). Raymo is a gifted writer who makes science and nature approachable and awesome at the same time. For those of you who prefer a rational (non-religious) approach to appreciating nature, you will love this book. If you are from or just enjoy the New England area, this book has much to explain about the region. Broken down into moon cycles, earth 'holidays' and cross-quarter days, each section takes you on a journey into the natural world.
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