God Drops and Loses Things
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Liturgical Press / 2009 / Paperback
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God Drops and Loses Things

Liturgical Press / 2009 / Paperback

Expected to ship on or about 03/24/18.
Stock No: WW099248


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Product Description

Out of a lifetime of familiarity with the great biblical narratives, Kilian McDonnell draws a portrait of the biblical God charged with vitality, at once prodigal in mercy and ruthless, thunderous, and painfully silent. It is dangerous to love this God, who exacts of "the God-mad Abraham" a faithfulness beyond sanity: "If God makes a covenant in blood with you, why are you surprised to see your flesh upon the altar?" Despite our longing, such apparent capriciousness can be reconciled only in the mysterium tremendum invisible to human eyes; for Father Kilian, such is "fire's absolute autonomy that scolds me / for putting dirty sandals on glowing cinders, / but invites me to approach barefoot." Equally compelling is the character of Jesus Christ as a true son of God hungry for human contact, who likes hanging out with a fallible humankind and often happens to drop by at mealtime. The children of God who people these poems have God's own murderous prodigality in their genes. They are jealous, weak, and proud. They compete, lie, steal, cheat, betray, repent, and despair; and God loves them. Conscious of their dignity as children of God, they lie, steal, cheat, betray, repent, and despair; and God loves them. Conscious of their dignity as children of God, they and Loses Things, his third collection, the poems are by turns edgy, affectionate, gentle, deeply moving, and always compassionate.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 88
Vendor: Liturgical Press
Publication Date: 2009
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6 (inches)
ISBN: 0974099244
ISBN-13: 9780974099248

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Publisher's Description

Out of a lifetime of familiarity with the great biblical narratives, Kilian McDonnell draws a portrait of the biblical God charged with vitality, at once prodigal in mercy and ruthless, thunderous, and painfully silent. It is dangerous to love this God, who exacts of the God-mad Abraham" a faithfulness beyond sanity: "If God makes a covenant in blood with you, why are you surprised to see your flesh upon the altar?" Despite our longing, such apparent capriciousness can be reconciled only in the mysterium tremendum invisible to human eyes; for Father Kilian, such is "fire's absolute autonomy that scolds me / for putting dirty sandals on glowing cinders, / but invites me to approach barefoot." Equally compelling is the character of Jesus Christ as a true son of God hungry for human contact, who likes hanging out with a fallible humankind and often happens to drop by at mealtime. The children of God who people these poems have God's own murderous prodigality in their genes. They are jealous, weak, and proud. They compete, lie, steal, cheat, betray, repent, and despair; and God loves them. Conscious of their dignity as children of God, they are quick to take exception. Father Kilian says of the poems themselves, "I am contending with God." In God Drops and Loses Things, his third collection, the poems are by turns edgy, affectionate, gentle, deeply moving, and always compassionate.

Kilian McDonnell, OSB, is a monk/theologian of Saint John's Abbey. He is author of Swift, Lord, You Are Not and Yahweh's Other Shoe (Saint John's University Press).

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Author Bio

Kilian McDonnell, OSB, is a monk/theologian of Saint Johns Abbey, Collegeville, Minnesota. He is the author of three other books of poetry: Swift, Lord, You Are Not, Yahwehs Other Shoe, and God Drops and Loses Things (Saint Johns University Press).

Endorsements

“God’s ‘desperate love’ strides through McDonnell’s work; reading it becomes another reason to get up in the morning. McDonnell has heard the Scripture’s female voice and, like a faithful scribe, responded ‘Here am I’ by writing down her intimacies. You’ll love the sweet nectar in these poems, their earthy details, the humanness of the women and men who inhabit their rooms. You’ll want to sit at Levi’s table for his feast, and by the power in McDonnell’s words and images, you can.” - Sharon Chmielarz, Author of The Other Mozart

“If what Simone Weil says is true, that ‘unmixed attention is a form of prayer,’ then God Drops and Loses Things constitutes a poet’s breviary. Kilian McDonnell’s pure attention to the astonishing events and telling details of familiar biblical stories enables him to re-imagine them in ways that surprise and delight the reader even as they instruct. In language that is both classic and colloquial, the voices of antiquity speak to us from these pages and include the likes of Adam and Abraham, Moses and Mary Magdelyn, Jezebel and Jesus, all of whom seem as near to us as the next room. Fr. Kilian, a lifelong Benedictine monk and a learned theologian, brings intellect and imagination to bear on this rich material and offers us glimpses of the wild wisdom of God’s ways even as it eludes the speakers of his poems and the actors in the events of salvation history. The poems remind us that ours is a world in which ‘splendor barges in’ when we humans least expect it, in which ‘God drops her hairbrush in the desert’ on a regular basis and leaves it to the poet ‘to hear it . . . and write it in a book.’ In poems that are as brave as they are beautifully made, and as troubling as they are true, Fr. Kilian does just that, much to the reader’s pleasure, over and over again.” - Angela O’Donnell, Fordham University, Poet and author of MINE

“It is a blessing to have another collection of poems by Kilian McDonnell, his third in just a handful of years, and to find in it so many which speak with such clarity to anyone struggling to live an authentic spiritual life. Struggle and imaginative risk-taking are everywhere in these pages, both in the often gloriously subversive, scriptural understories characteristic of this poet, where we are taken inside the lives of anguished personae such as Hagar or Judas or Isaac—“And I must ask what kind / of deity is this who asks this horror, / whose will lies in the absurd / and in the abyss beyond?”—but also, and indelibly, in the vividly personal writing to be found in the third section of the book, “At Dusk,” where poem after poem resonates with unprecedented depth of feeling and frankness of disclosure. With pieces such as “Hiding,” “The Wolf Will Wait,” “Do You Love Me?” “In Search of Trust,” “Cosmic Lazarus,” “Places I Have Rested” and “At Dusk,” to name a few, Kilian McDonnell, in laying bare his soul, has laid up some treasure for his readers, whose numbers will surely continue to grow on the appearance of this brave, revealing collection.” - Michael Dennis Browne, Morse-Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor of English, University of Minnesota

Editorial Reviews

Biblical characters, including Jesus, are modernized and portrayed very humanly in the poetry book by Benedictine monk, Kilian McDonnell. Those who know the Bible and want another view of its characters, as well as other faithful people, may appreciate this work.
Emmanuel

. . . the author has fun with words. . . . It is no surprise that a late poem suggests the poet draws inspiration from Seamus Heaney, Emily Dickinson and Robert Hass. They would welcome him as a brother on the road.
America

If you’ve ever wondered what the experts mean when they say that the Bible in so many ways is about you, the title poem in Benedictine Father Kilian McDonnell’s God Drops and Loses Things should clarify the matter completely—even more so if you happen to be a parent.
The Catholic Review Online

This is religious poetry in its highest form.
Sojourners

God’s 'desperate love' strides through McDonnell's work; reading it becomes another reason to get up in the morning. McDonnell has heard the Scripture’s female voice and, like a faithful scribe, responded 'Here am I' by writing down her intimacies. You'll love the sweet nectar in these poems, their earthy details, the humanness of the women and men who inhabit their rooms. You’ll want to sit at Levi's table for his feast, and by the power in McDonnell’s words and images, you can.
Sharon Chmielarz, Author of The Other Mozart

If what Simone Weil says is true, that 'unmixed attention is a form of prayer,' then God Drops and Loses Things constitutes a poet’s breviary. Kilian McDonnell’s pure attention to the astonishing events and telling details of familiar biblical stories enables him to re-imagine them in ways that surprise and delight the reader even as they instruct. In language that is both classic and colloquial, the voices of antiquity speak to us from these pages and include the likes of Adam and Abraham, Moses and Mary Magdelyn, Jezebel and Jesus, all of whom seem as near to us as the next room. Fr. Kilian, a lifelong Benedictine monk and a learned theologian, brings intellect and imagination to bear on this rich material and offers us glimpses of the wild wisdom of God's ways even as it eludes the speakers of his poems and the actors in the events of salvation history. The poems remind us that ours is a world in which 'splendor barges in' when we humans least expect it, in which 'God drops her hairb
It is a blessing to have another collection of poems by Kilian McDonnell, his third in just a handful of years, and to find in it so many which speak with such clarity to anyone struggling to live an authentic spiritual life. Struggle and imaginative risk-taking are everywhere in these pages, both in the often gloriously subversive, scriptural understories characteristic of this poet, where we are taken inside the lives of anguished personae such as Hagar or Judas or Isaac—"And I must ask what kind / of deity is this who asks this horror, / whose will lies in the absurd / and in the abyss beyond?"—but also, and indelibly, in the vividly personal writing to be found in the third section of the book, "At Dusk," where poem after poem resonates with unprecedented depth of feeling and frankness of disclosure. With pieces such as "Hiding," "The Wolf Will Wait," "Do You Love Me?" "In Search of Trust," "Cosmic Lazarus," "Places I Have Rested" and "At Dusk," to name a few, Kilian McDonnell, in l

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