Andrew Greeley dons his scholastic hat in this lively and colorful discussion of the Catholic religious imagination. Basing his thoughts on on extensive surveys and some of David Tracy's ideas, he shows how Catholicism is "a verdant rainforest of metaphors." The book opens with this breathless paragraph: "Catholics live in an enchanted world, a world of statues and holy water, stained glass and votive candles, saints and religious medals, rosary beads and holy pictures. But these Catholic paraphernalia are mere hints of a deeper and more pervasive religious sensibility which inclines Catholics to see the Holy lurking in creation. As Catholics, we find our houses and our world haunted by a sense that the objects, events, and persons of daily life are revelations of grace."

Greeley begins with a commentary on sacred places — specifically the Dom in Koln, Germany, a cathedral housing paintings and relics. He then examines Catholic culture with wide-ranging assessments of community, festival, structure, and hierarchy. Greeley's survey of the important role of Mary in the Catholic perception of God as loving, tender, and nurturing is excellent. Best of all is the author's overview of grace in the Book of Kells, the films of Martin Scorsese, the novels of David Lodge, the music of Mozart, Graham Greene's novel The Power and the Glory, and Lars von Trier's film Breaking the Waves.