​LORRAINE KISLY writer, editor, journalist

The 10 chapters are loosely arranged around topics such as taking joy in creation, bearing one another's annoying faults, sacrificing self-will and cultivating a spirit of contemplation.        

Kisly's italicized introductions are almost astonishingly sparse, leaving the reader to enjoy the fruitful spiritual work of making sense of the passages she has chosen. 

        Each chapter takes an intricate journey from the surface to the depths, spiraling ever downward into more challenging and, at first glance abstruse, passages. The book offers some of the usual suspects of Christian spirituality (Catherine of Siena, John Donne, Augustine, Kierkegaard and the Desert Fathers), but also some relatively obscure Christian sages such as Simeon the New Theologian (949-1022), and other aesthetes Kisly is clearly fond of, including T.S. Eliot and Vincent Van Gogh. (Eliot's poem on desiring nothing reflects perfectly the ironic tension of Kisly's chapter on "Having Nothing, Possessing All Things.") 

       This is a book to be savored slowly, marked up thoroughly, and made one's own.

Ordinary Graces: Christian Teachings on the Interior Life

Published by Bell Tower/Random House, 2000.

Hardcover, 264 pp.

Signed copies, $12.00, including shipping.

"Ordinary Graces, like grace itself, brings to the reader an unearned abundance....An essential collection." 

Nora Gallagher, author of Things Seen and Unseen: A Year Lived in Faith.



Ordinary Graces: Christian Teachings on the Interior Life

Lorraine Kisly, Editor, Philip Zaleski, Introduction. From Harmony/Random House.

       This collection, drawn from two millennia of Christian writings, deserves to become one of those nightstand favorites that readers will discover multiple times, drawing comfort from the wisdom of shared experience and being spiritually challenged by its more didactic passages. Kisly, a former publisher of Tricycle and Parabola, wants to provide readers with ""ordinary graces"" that can bless their lives.