The Thorny Grace of It: And Other Essays for Imperfect Catholics (Paperback)
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Best-selling and award-winning essayist Brian Doyle knows that the heartbeat of Catholicism is found not in papal decrees and pageantry, but in the parish halls, potluck dinners, and the believing community. In this spirited collection of more than 40 essays, Doyle employs his trademark wit, candor, and gusto for life and faith to reignite readers’ excitement for Catholicism as he plumbs some of the stickier and trickier elements of the Catholic character.
From preparing for his first confession with a fake laundry list of sins to his young observations of President Kennedy’s assassination, Doyle’s passionate writing makes for a heartfelt, genuine, and often laugh-out-loud read. The Thorny Grace of It reaffirms that the Catholic faith—imperfect as it is—is wildly aflame in hearts and lives everywhere.
“It is a boon, a blessing, to have Brian Doyle’s vagabond essays now rubbing elbows in a single, handy, and altogether delightful volume."
- Kenneth L. Woodward, author of The Book of Miracles
Brian Doyle edits Portland Magazine at the University of Portland in Oregon, called “the best spiritual magazine in the country” by Annie Dillard. Doyle is also the author of 13 books of essays, fiction, and poetry; among the honors for his work are the Christopher Medal and a Catholic Press Association Book Award. He lives with his family in Portland.
"Whether he’s writing about marriage or a basketball game in the park or a cherished rosary, his vivid prose carries you along for an unforgettable ride. His essays can make you laugh out loud and make you cry in recognition of the very beautiful human experiences and faith stories he shares. Every little essay is a complete and perfect world in and of itself."
- Ginny Moyer, author of Random MOMents of Grace
"The Thorny Grace of It contains Doyle’s signature reflections on faith, fatherhood and family, delivered in a tone that alternates between puckish humor and open-hearted emotion."
- The Christian Science Monitor
“The range of these essays portrays a man who understands that a full life includes a spiritual life. He is a man who understands the meaning of family, of community, and of our eternal destiny. But he is also a writer who understands the power of a revelation to be found in a single moment, a moment we may all have experienced but most likely have never thought of again.”-Robert A. Parker, Ruminate Magazine