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The Ear of the Heart: An Actress' Journey from Hollywood to Holy Vows Hardcover – May 7, 2013
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"The Ear of the Heart is a story of courage, sacrifice, dedication, and fulfillment. With grace and good humor in a voice as clear as the mountain spring, Mother Dolores Hart illuminates her lifelong quest for a state of tranquility and the joy of living in the presence of God.The book will lift your heart and mind in admiration. A call to a religious life is filled with mystery and wonder and at long last understanding and acceptance. Mother Dolores Hart shows us with her energy, word, and deed that her journey has led her to a live she could not have lived any other way. The truths she has found for herself resonate like the bells of the morning." -- --James Drury,The Virginian
"A beautiful movie star gives up a successful Hollywood career to enter a traditional cloistered monastery. Can't happen? It did. In this heartfelt and moving memoir, Mother Dolores Hart explains how by listening with the 'ear of the heart' she heard God's call and dared to respond. Her journey powerfully demonstrates that we must be willing to lose our lives and forfeit our plans to discover our true purpose. The fascinating story of Dolores Hart also teaches us to be seek God regardless of where we are-in a summer storm, in prayer, or even in front of a camera." -- --Raymond Arroyo, New York Times Bestselling Author, Host of The World Over Live and EWTN News Director
About the Author
Mother Dolores Hart, O.S.B., is prioress of the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, Connecticut. A former actress, she remains a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
For many years Richard DeNeut was a publicist for the Hollywood firm Globe Photos. He co-authored actress Patricia Neal's autobiography As I Am (Simon and Schuster, 1988) and wrote the text for Inside Hollywood: 60 Years of Globe Photos (Konemann, 2001).
- Publisher : Ignatius Press; 1st edition (May 7, 2013)
- Language: : English
- Hardcover : 539 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1586177478
- ISBN-13 : 978-1586177478
- Item Weight : 1.97 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.25 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #522,027 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
"A timely novel highlighting the worth and delicate nature of Nature itself." -Delia Owens Learn more
Top reviews from the United States
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Reverend Mother Dolores, along with longtime friend Richard DeNeut, details her decision that was anything but overnight, and draws us into her search, meeting some truly marvelous people along the way. Her struggles with life as a young actrress and later, her life as a young novice are poured out for us as she bares her soul for all to see. She talks of the tears she shed at night wondering if she did indeed make the right decision to enter the religious life, or if she made a terrible mistake, and how, after many years, realized that she's in the right place.
After 39 years of correspondence with this special lady, I was anxious to find the answers to questions I never asked her in my many letters to her. My letters were written to a young nun who was a former actress, and I dwelt on her current career, not the one from which she retreated, although I wanted to know, "What was it like working with this person or that person?" Nor have I ever once, in all those years, sent her an item to sign, although I had several as I began collecting memorabilia from her movie career in the mid 1970's. I was rewarded with that discretion by having my name published in the Acknowledgments section of her book, MUCH to my surprise! I am now forever linked with a friend I have never met face to face but have shared most of my life with, bonded by that priceless gift of prayer. I have purchased the hard copy of this book, I have it on my Kindle, and I've purchased additional copies and Kindle versions for friends and family members.
I am forever thankful for Reverend Mother Dolores' decision to take us on her incredible journey with this well-written book. I encourage anyone to read it. You, too, will meet a friend for life.
There are two voices in print. Richard's text in regular typeface tells the story third-person and is interrupted by Mother Hart's first-person voice shown in italics. The result is, I think, clear enough and encourages a conversational narrative that is lively and--as the book waxes long--refreshing. There are many photos of good quality; they occur in two different sections, one for the Hollywood Dolores and the second for her years at the Abbey of Regina Laudis. Plus, there is an Index.
The story is told well by these two authors; it's engaging, candid, full of specifics about the many people who either loved, acted with, influenced, kissed (Elvis), or otherwise had some impact on Dolores' life. Her childhood was marred by alcoholism at home and marked by a conversion to Catholicism that revealed faith; her acting and beauty were quickly endorsed by Hollywood fame; a conflict between worldly success and a mysterious call to religious retreat came to dominate her early twenties. She finally acted fatefully but with unexpected and continuing psychological distress evidenced by years of nightly weeping. Eventually she suffered even more. But at no time did she leave the Abbey behind or give up her chosen vocation.
There is always a hole in the donut. And as other reviewers have suggested, there remain things unspoken about which many readers have questions. I suspect these issues are intensely private for Mother Dolores, so it feels unfair to want to probe her about them. After reading the book twice, I've come to the view that it's unfair to ask her to speak about what she does not know, did not do or experience, cannot tell about sex, marriage and children, the golden life of growing old surrounded by family, estate, rewards, etc. She chose a different, arduous path at a relatively youthful stage of her develpment and paid dearly for it. This is her story. And like any veteran deeply and irrevocably wounded at that early stage, she found ways to cope with everything that followed. God love her.
It was her calling that her faith and devotion be as great as her grief. She found ways to combine her acting and love of theatre with her vocation and, in her unfolding history, these things became gifts she gave to her community, helping to preserve and advance its life. She reveals in her book that, though roughly challenged, she never fell to the base earth but found glory within her shadowed life. It's worth anyone's time and attention to learn how she did it.
Top reviews from other countries
From Elvis, to a role as Mother in a Monastery!
Interesting pictures from all aspects of her life..
She must be so admired for her frankness and truth.
I really admire the story of Mother Dolores from A to Z.
Who could fail to love her? Even her illness does not stop her life. Wonderful!
God bless you Sister.