A Dynamic God: Living an Unconventional Catholic Faith

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9780807077320: A Dynamic God: Living an Unconventional Catholic Faith

God doesn't saunter in once for all and settle like a large cat plumping herself into your favorite rocker with an air that says, "Here I am! Now your life is complete!" God dances beyond the threshold and must continually be enticed into our dwelling. I hope these essays remind us all to extend that invitation, clean all the corners and polish the windows, throw wide the door.

When acclaimed essayist Nancy Mairs published her spiritual autobiography, Ordinary Time, Kathleen Norris greeted it in the New York Times Book Review as "a remarkable accomplishment," calling Mairs "a relentlessly physical writer, as fiercely committed to her art as to her spiritual development."

In A Dynamic God, Mairs returns to the subject of religion and spirituality and gives us a passionately individual book of meditations on a life of engaged faith.

Raised Congregationalist in New England, Mairs is a convert to Catholicism. She is also liberal, feminist, and outspokenly activist-and all that in an increasingly conservative church that scorns her brand of progressive iconoclasm.

A Dynamic God explores through beautifully written personal essays the question of why and how Mairs became and remains a Catholic ("despite all odds"); what she finds to love in that tradition; and more broadly, as she writes, how she experiences the holy in her life and in the world.

Mairs gives a wonderful picture of the community of worship she belongs to in Arizona, the Community of Christ of the Desert. They celebrate mass in each others' homes, and Mairs writes about the energy that flows from "the intimacy of crowding together, the creativity of our liturgy, the surprise and humor that bubble up in our dialogue." In the Latino image of the Virgin of Guadalupe she finds inspiration for a commitment to social justice, which she writes about in an essay called "Coveting the Saints." There are essays here on sin and abundance; on understanding vocation in a life circumscribed by multiple sclerosis; on enacting a life of faith through activism.

In her unmistakable, vibrant voice, at once nonconformist and devotional, Mairs offers a book not only for progressive Catholics seeking to reimagine their lives of faith, but for all readers hoping to deepen their experience of the holy in the everyday: "God is here."

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Nancy Mairs is author of several acclaimed books, including Ordinary Time, Carnal Acts, Remembering the Bone House, and Plaintext.

From Publishers Weekly:

Mairs is an extraordinary woman. The acclaimed author of the spiritual autobiography Ordinary Time suffers from multiple sclerosis, yet is able to write with passion about a God that others in her position would have walked away from a long time ago. A convert to Catholicism, Mairs often finds herself on the other side of the political and ideological fence from her church's hierarchy, but her gift for finding the sacred in everyday life is so steeped in a Catholic worldview that she must keep practicing her faith. The author draws strength from prayer and some religious devotions, but she focuses that strength through her political activism in a world that needs justice. Her self-deprecating humor is wonderful—much like the writing of Anne Lamott, although Mairs manages to create her own style. As one who suffers from a debilitating disease, Mairs has been continually challenged with the spiritual truth that it is who people are rather than what they do that makes them worthy of divine love. This is a tough but integral lesson for anyone who takes spiritual matters seriously. Through her writing, Mairs illustrates the difference between orthodoxy and faith. She chooses the latter, and given her life experiences, she should know. (Sept.)
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Mairs, Nancy
Published by Beacon Press (2007)
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Mairs, Nancy
Published by Beacon Press (2007)
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