Mary C. Earle is an Episcopal priest, writer, retreat leader, and spiritual director. Her books include Celtic Christian Spirituality and The Desert Mothers.

Sadly Christians down through the centuries have not had a positive view of their bodies. This, in turn, has been picked up by American culture to such an extent that theologian Sallie McFague has written, "The most prevalent spiritual disease of our time is not wanting to be here, not wanting to be in a physical body."

Earle, who has battled a painful chronic pancreatic condition, sees the body as the temple of God and a worthy vehicle for Divine revelation and spiritual transformation. She begins with a paean of praise for all of the miracles and marvels of the body. Then she gives thanks for "the life of God (that) creates, sustains, and renews our cells day by day."

These first two chapters are a substantive prelude to the core of the book — a series of meditations on the major organs of the body including the heart, the lungs, the liver, the pancreas, the stomach, the kidneys, the skin, the bones, and the blood. Here you will find prayers and practices to deepen and enrich your explorations and dialogue with these organs of the body.

The final section of Marvelously Made opens doors to ways in which we can embody our gratitude for our physical being. Earle suggests working for clean water for all, arranging for organ donations, mindful eating choices, and giving blood.

Earle closes this edifying work with the following:

"May you begin to listen to your body. May you honor this body that is God's own wonderful work. And may you regard the bodies of others as God does — worthy of creation, beautiful in arrangement, home to the One in whom we live and move and have our being."