cover image CANTICLES OF THE EARTH: Celebrating the Presence of God in Nature

CANTICLES OF THE EARTH: Celebrating the Presence of God in Nature

F. Lynne Bachleda, . . Loyola, $14.95 (206pp) ISBN 978-0-8294-1732-6

"Humanity has always sought the sacred in creation," writes Bachleda in the introduction to this lovely collection of 160 devotional readings that explore nature and faith. Bachleda, a PW freelancer, carefully chooses selections from men and women from a variety of different faith traditions, including Buddhist, Catholic, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Protestant, Shinto, Native American and others who defy any "particular" category. The readings are arranged conveniently for those who engage in fixed-hour prayer (dawn, day, dusk and dark), and the book's compact size ensures that it can be "comfortably toted" along in a backpack or tucked into a car glove compartment to use when short snippets of quiet time present themselves. Poems, excerpts, quotations, hymn lyrics and prose are included from such diverse writers and spiritual leaders as Rainer Maria Rilke, Julian of Norwich, Barry Lopez, William Wordsworth, Jesus, Buddha, John Burroughs, Thomas Merton, Wendell Berry, Terry Tempest Williams, Chet Raymo and Matthew Fox. The author also contributes more than a dozen of her own finely crafted musings, and there's a welcome index of titles and first lines at the end of the book. Nature lovers will discover a shopping list of new writers to explore. Bachleda's thoughtful compilation is sure to become a well-thumbed-through companion for those who delight in seeing God through the lens of creation. (Oct.)