USC Book Club: Simple Faith
Simple Faith: Moving Beyond Religion As You Know It to Grow in Your Relationship with God
By Margaret Silf
By Margaret Silf
Quick, can you name 10 popes off the top of your head? OK, maybe you can, but how about explaining the difference that each one made in the church and in the world? That might be more of a challenge.
Brian Doyle must have been listening intently when poet Mary Oliver proclaimed, “Attentiveness is the beginning of all prayer.” In this collection of 37 essays, Doyle, whom readers will recognize as a frequent contributor to this magazine, dives into the odd and ordinary moments of daily life, plumbing their spiritual depths. “I lucked into work that has everything to do with listening and hearing stories and catching stories,” Doyle writes. “[A]t age 50 I conclude that I was born and made for stories.”
Chuck Prophet has been known in the alt-rock world since the mid-1980s when he signed on as chief guitar-slinger for a great alt-country ensemble, Green on Red. Since then Prophet has managed to stay self-employed as a solo artist, session man, producer, and songwriter. Based in San Francisco, off the music industry’s beaten path, he’s a journeyman American artist with a broad musical palette, a personal vision, and an eccentric voice.
By James Martin, S.J.
If you ever got in trouble as a child for laughing in church, prepare to be vindicated. In Between Heaven and Mirth, Jesuit Father James Martin reveals that God never intended for us to take ourselves, or our spirituality, quite so seriously. Joy and laughter aren’t contrary to a life of faith, but as Martin demonstrates, they are integral to it.
Jonathan Safran Foer’s 2005 novel about a 9-year-old boy whose father is killed on 9/11 angered and touched a lot of readers. Director Stephen Daldry’s film has set off its own minor firestorm among critics and viewers, a reminder perhaps that the wounds left by that day may still be too raw for cinematic exploration.
Baseball can conjure up nostalgic images of peanuts and crackerjacks, sunny days, and cornfields in Iowa. But Bennett Miller’s Moneyball, set against a backdrop of palm trees, depicts what really motivates American professional sports: money.
My seventh-grade English teacher once asserted that although the word gorgeous usually referred to women, some men were drop-dead gorgeous. I knew from other comments that she was thinking about Cary Grant in that moment. For more than a decade many moviegoers have pictured George Clooney when that expression comes up.
“Home is the sailor, home from the sea, and the hunter home from the hill,” wrote Robert Louis Stevenson in his poem “Requiem.” But when, we have wondered since Homer penned The Odyssey, will the soldier be home from the war? Will those who come back from war ever really get all the way home? This is a question that haunts our greatest contemporary filmmaker.
Planning to watch the Academy Awards this weekend? We've got movie reviews for some of the best picture nominees, as well as plenty of other films that weren't nominated, but were considered top films for 2011 by our regular culture columnist, Pat McCormick.
Did you see a film that recieved a nomination but isn't reviewed here? Let us know what you thought of it in the comments. You can also send film reviews to firstname.lastname@example.org at any time.