Magazine article First Things; A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life

A Monk's Alphabet: Moments of Stillness in a Turning World

Magazine article First Things; A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life

A Monk's Alphabet: Moments of Stillness in a Turning World

Article excerpt

A MONK'S ALPHABET: MOMENTS OF STILLNESS IN A TURNING WORLD by JEREMY DRISCOLL, O.S.B. Shambhala, 208 pages, $19.95

Driscoll is a monk at Mount Angel Abbey in Oregon and the author of one of the best contemporary explanations of the Mass, What Happens at Mass. In his latest book, he collects a set of very short essays organized alphabetically and covering an engagingly idiosyncratic list of subjects-from airplanes and psalms to a deceased abbott named Zerr.

In A Monk's Alphabet, piquant and profound observations abound. "The final judgment?" he writes. "How is it that we are all so sure nowadays that it is going to turn out alright? Such an easy, friendly thought. But is it correct?"

Or on saints: "What or who but the Catholic Church remembers so many, many men and women long since dead, remembers them and calls them by name, counts them friends, and recalls their deeds? …

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