Monday, March 4, 2013

LOVE AND SALT: A SPIRITUAL FRIENDSHIP SHARED IN LETTERS


"A letter always seemed to me like immortality because it is the mind alone without corporeal friend."
--Emily Dickinson

I keep meaning to post on this book I read last year and that I liked very much.

From Loyola Press:

When Amy Andrews and Jessica Mesman Griffith met in a creative writing class in graduate school, they both confessed to writing about God. They bonded one night while reading the Book of Ruth and came to truly understand the unlikely friendship of Ruth and Naomi. In these two Old Testament women, they witnessed a beautiful spiritual friendship and a way of walking with one another toward God.

But how could they travel this path together when they would be separated by distance and time and leading busy lives as they established marriages and careers? They decided to write letters to each other—at first, for each day of Lent, but those days extended into years. Their letters became a memoir in real time and reveal deeply personal and profound accounts of conversion, motherhood, and crushing tragedy; through it all, their faith and friendship sustained them.

Told through the timeless medium of letters—in prose that is raw and intimate, humorous and poetic—Love & Salt is at its core the emotional struggle of how one spiritual friendship is formed and tested in tragedy, tempered and proven in hope.


From Amy--

"Lately, I've been trying to think of spiritual truths more like the laws of physics than like human laws. If we are selfish, it is not that God will punish us or that we would be just fine if God eased up the rules a bit. It's that being selfish chips away at our happiness the way a river washes away a rock. Coveting our neighbor's book deal eats away at our own souls with the same certainty and inevitability as the tendency of our bodies in motion to stay in motion. It's physics, not punishment. If we really believed this--that the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes, et cetera, are true not because God enforces them like some sort of noble dictator, but because they were woven into the fabric of creation--how would we behave then?"

From Jess--

"Thomas Merton said that a monk should want to be irrelevant. Monks should have no real purpose. They should be useless, so that they can be, exclusively, men of God. From this perspective, they should have a critical sense of the world's failure to provide people with "lives that are fully sane and human." They must be in creative tension with the world, removed from the world and yet obsessed with its problems and hopes. It gave me a way to think of living [near Notre Dame University] that I might be able to bear. I've always been attracted to the stance of the contrarian."

EMILY DICKINSON LETTER,
BEGINNING,  "DEAR FRIEND"...

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