The Thorny Grace of It
And Other Essays for Imperfect Catholics
by Brian Doyle
"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, Religion Editor of Newsweek Magazine
In The Thorny Grace of It, noted essayist Brian Doyle proves that far from being extinguished, the Catholic faith—imperfect as it is—is wildly aflame in hearts and lives everywhere.
"I want you to read my essays not because I wrote them but so we can stand together amazed for a moment inside a story, awed and grateful at the gift of What Is."
"In the morning, when you rush into the shop for coffee, at least say thank you to the harried girl with the Geelong Cats logo tattooed on her forehead. At least look her in the eye and be gentle. Christ liveth in her, remember?"
"I think about the motley chaotic confusing house that is Catholicism. I think about the mad wondrous prayer of the Mass. I think about how there are such stunning and wonderful and confusing people in the clan of Catholic."
"The best writers do not write about themselves but about everyone else. The best writers are great listeners. Learn to ask a question and then shut your mouth and listen."
Doyle's vignettes do a great job of revealing divine power at its subtlest and most domestic. He captures the banter around a baptismal font, the drama in the life story of a hand-carved rosary, the piques and mercies of an enigmatic local baker.
Get the book. Keep it by your bed. Pick it up. Read it once, twice and a third time. Let the words roll over you. And be glad.
If you love beautiful writing about living life Catholic, then this small book of essays is for you.
The Thorny Grace of It pierces through the cultural battlefield, relishing it even, unafraid, sharing the insight that “Catholicism and golf are ultimately about crazy hope.”
Not a weighty tome, this is a carefree book of essays which meander through the halls of real-life Catholicism, shining the flashlight on things you knew, but which you’d never stated in just that way.