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The Thorny Grace of It: And Other Essays for Imperfect Catholics

4.66  ·  Rating Details ·  44 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
Best-selling and award-winning essayist Brian Doyle knows that the heartbeat of Catholicism is found not in papal decrees and pageantry, but in the parish halls, potluck dinners, and the believing community. In this spirited collection of more than 40 essays, Doyle employs his trademark wit, candor, and gusto for life and faith to reignite readers’ excitement for Catholici ...more
Paperback, 188 pages
Published October 1st 2013 by Loyola Press (first published September 1st 2013)
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Julie Davis
Nov 18, 2013 Julie Davis rated it really liked it
I'd give this 4-1/2 stars.
I think about the motley chaotic confusing house that is Catholicism. I think about the mad wondrous prayer of the Mass. I thing about how htere are such stunning and wonderful and confusing people in the clan of Catholic. I think about how we are all several kinds of people at once and hardly know ourselves let alone anybody else. I think about how possible the Church is, and how possible we are. I think about how really the Church is lots and lots of us mulish miracle
Oct 08, 2013 Judy rated it it was amazing
If you only read 2 or 3 of these essays it would be worth the price of the book. His work is astonishing - grace, redemption, poignancy, and humor all rolled into one. highly recommended.
Jonathan Hiskes
Aug 31, 2014 Jonathan Hiskes rated it really liked it
A character in Doyle's Mink River speaks of fighting depression through "a ferocious attention to things." Doyle demonstrates that quality in this brief essays aimed in countless directions -- the past, public events, the minor characters of his neighborhood life, the private moments of worship services. These essays are short enough they could be blog posts, but Doyle shows that brief and casual needn't mean careless. The successful pieces (which are most of them) have intricate transitions, hu ...more
Mar 08, 2014 Robbie rated it it was amazing
Brian is at his best when writing on overtly Catholic subject matter. His prose makes me want to be a better man, quicker to laugh, more attentive to the stories of lives.
Mar 21, 2015 Ruth rated it liked it
I loved some of these essays. A quick and easy AND worthwhile read.
Mar 29, 2014 Ginny rated it it was amazing
I love Doyle's breathless style. His writing is Catholic without even thinking about it; his sacramental worldview is present even when he's writing about non-religious topics. These essays are moving, funny, and utterly delightful.
Jun 25, 2016 Lisa rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this book! Easy to read. Some essays are funny, others are insightful and really make you think. I like that I can read a chapter at a time without feeling like I have to finish right away
Feb 16, 2016 Debbie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, essays
I think the reading of these essays has made me more attentive to the heartbreaking beauty and holiness of everyday life. This is a book I will return to over & over again.
Tim Muldoon
Mar 07, 2016 Tim Muldoon rated it really liked it
I love Brian Doyle's quirky, meditative, sacramental vision of the world--he finds occasion for both laughter and prayer at the same moment.
Nov 13, 2013 Bridgett rated it it was amazing
Shelves: essays, non-fiction
I love Brian Doyle's essays. He always helps me remember why I love a church so flawed and human and still filled with people of grace.
Colette Walden
May 29, 2016 Colette Walden rated it it was amazing
I'm not Catholic and greatly enjoy this work. It's not a theology text.
Aug 02, 2015 Doris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lovely essays: some funny, some touching, some both, all faith-filled.
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Doyle's essays and poems have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, The American Scholar, Orion, Commonweal, and The Georgia Review, among other magazines and journals, and in The Times of London, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Kansas City Star, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Ottawa Citizen, and Newsday, among other newspapers. He is a book reviewer for The Oregonian and a contributing ess ...more
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