Brian Doyle edited this appealing collection of essays which originally appeared in Portland Magazine. The quality of writing is very high with many pieces by nationally known poets, novelists, columnists, and nature writers. They explore a variety of topics all under the umbrella of God's love, including faith, sacraments, saints, doubt, and land.

Quite a few focus on water of one type or another. Given the recent controversies over this precious resource and the efforts of corporations to control it, these essays on its spiritual qualities are salutary. Nature writer John Daniel in "Holy Waters" writes about the mysteriousness of rivers as fluent bodies that are often well-traveled. Poet Pattiann Rogers in "Rain" probes how this regular event in the natural world "elucidates and distinguishes with more precision than either sun or wind." Bishop William Skylsdad in "The Waters of Life" celebrates the image of flowing water in religious traditions.

Two of our favorites are the late Andre Dubus's piece on the sacramental dimension of making sandwiches for his daughters and Louis Masson's essay on the sacred people (Daniel Berrigan and Dorothy Day) and sacred places in his life. Other authors in this anthology include Barry Lopez, Tony Hillerman, Cynthia Ozick, Terry Tempest Williams, and Kim Stafford.

Try a Spiritual Practice on Devotion