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Letters from the Desert
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Letters from the Desert

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  162 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Shows that a life of prayer, a passion for justice and the spirit of solidarity cannot be separated.
Paperback, 132 pages
Published September 1st 2002 by Orbis Books (first published January 1st 1972)
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Nov 08, 2017 rated it liked it
“We often fail to realize the depth of evil, terrifying as it is. I am not speaking only of the selfishness of the wealthy, heaping up riches for themselves, or of those who sacrifice to achieve their self-selected goals. Or of the dictator who breathes in the incense due only to God. I am speaking of the selfishness of good people, devout people, those who have succeeded through spiritual exercises and self-denial in being able to make the proud profession before the altar of the Most High, “Lo ...more
Jan 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommended to booklady by: Fr. Larry Richards
Autobiographical account of Carlo Carretto's decision to join desert hermitage founded by Charles de Foucauld. Brief background of his early life and letters he wrote (mostly to his sisters) from the desert. Can be read on-line here. It's a very short work with profound insights.
Brian Robbins
When Carretto gave up a successful career as a leader of the Catholic Action Organization, work that involved “a high-powered life full of meetings and travel”, he did so to join a religious order about which he knew little. From that successful career he entered a life of poverty and prayer, living and working alongside people of the Saharan tribes. As he puts it himself, he answered a call to:

“Come with me into the desert.” There is something much greater than human action: prayer; and it has
Aug 29, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: christianity
In a day and age where following Christ has been brought down to wealth, health and a membership to all the Bless ME clubs...this book is worlds apart. Mr. Carretto has the gift of taking deep...penetrating truths...and translating them into an easily understandable read....that will change the heart and mind of any life who's sincerely hungry for a more intimate life with the Lord Jesus Christ. Mr. Carretto allowed Christ to strip him of a life of selfish...self serving, self seeking ways...and ...more
Feb 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Carlo Carretto left behind his native Italy to live in the Sahara desert as a monk. These are his collected thoughts of faith, service, and what we can learn from the solitude and challenge of his new home.
Jul 26, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in a silent God!
This is sort of a spiritual autobiography. He shares moments of reflection during his time in the Sahara Desert where he went at about the age or 40 and joined the Little Brothers where he embraced the life of Charles de Foucauld. He was born in Italy in 1910 and was National President of Catholic Youth until 1952. He shares moments and feelings of inner stirrings from living in the real desert while also living in the spiritual desert. It's a good read and gets you thinking. I felt he didn't de ...more
Charles Bell
Jan 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
The writer relates his experiences as a "Little Brother of Jesus" (follower of the example of Charles de Foucauld). He narrates his experience as he lived among the poorest in the desert area of North Africa. He offers some wonderful insights on meditative prayer in the desert and in civilization. It is short but deep enough to require several rereads.
Gerard Kelly
Sep 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Adding this now to mark the release of a new edition - though I read it as a teenager back in the seventies. I found it enormously moving then, and credit it with steering me towards the richness of contemplative prayer and desert spirituality. A classic of the genre, and still worth attention.
Ethel Reese
Jul 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Interesting read. I would love to have the time out to reflect in the desert as did the author But, unfortunately, not all can. But, still in all, he made some very good points. I did enjoy the read.
Roy Petitfils
Dec 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Corretto writes from deep in the desert yet what comes through is the depth of his inner experience.
David Morman
Aug 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Second time reading this thoughtful collection of essays.
Stephen London
Apr 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
One of the books on prayer and faith that I come back to again and again. A profound book exploring the insight that love is the goal, purpose and joy of our life following the master, Jesus Christ.
Leroy Seat
Apr 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-devotional
A fine book of faith by a man who left a prominent career as a Catholic activist to live in the desert.
Jane Johann
Apr 22, 2010 rated it liked it
Interesting at times. Some passages stirring. Clarifies purpose of one's life.
Jackie Bolen
May 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Life changing book. Absolutely soaked up each page.
Cheryl Ann Wills
one of the most heart opening works I have ever read
Aida Stuk
Aug 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
Not sure if I agree with him on every point, but he writes about faith so beautifully and simply.
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Sep 01, 2016
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Aug 28, 2008
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Jun 22, 2015
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“Love is the synthesis of contemplation and action, the meeting-point between heaven and earth, between God and humanity.” 15 likes
“God does not hurry over things; time is his, not mine. And I, little creature, a man, have been called to be transformed into God by sharing his life. And what transforms me is the charity which he pours into my heart.” 4 likes
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