Poetic, Encyclopaedic and Edgy

Article excerpt

GRACE NOTES Journeying with the Primate, 1995-2004 by Michael Peers ABC Publishing, 2005

I HOLD MICHAEL Peers in high regard--not on a pedestal but in high regard. He is a poet in his way of thinking--and a veritable encyclopaedia of history and detail. His stories come from the distance of a well-travelled life to the proximity of a family much adored, from visits in parishes to encounters with players on the world stage. He is also a man of many languages, able to converse with a variety of people in their own tongue, thereby gaining nuances of meaning and life that cannot be captured in a translator's ear-phoned words at meetings.

Grace Notes--a selection of his monthly columns, which ran in the Anglican Journal when he was primate of the Anglican Church of Canada--is a comfortable and easy night-table read or a series of thoughts suitable for the beginning of the day. Each two-page article, or what some might call a devotion, is focused and self-contained.

I was pleasantly surprised by the way each one draws us into reflection on Word or sacrament. But upon reflection, that should not be surprising. Michael is not only deliberate about his own daily office, he also takes two weeks a year in retreat, time spent in reading and reflection on those ancient yet life-giving texts and traditions in the light of contemporary practices.

"Who am I?" is one of the "look inside myself" reflections that calls for commitment on our part. …