Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889) is the featured spiritual master in this volume in Skylight Paths' The Mystic Poets series. Born into an English Anglican family, he became a Roman Catholic and entered the Jesuits. As Father Thomas Ryan points out in the preface, Hopkins was very taken with the sacramental principle whereby ordinary objects and experiences can become a sign of an encounter with the Divine. This is all possible because of the incarnation of the Word of God in Jesus Christ.
Hopkins was a lover of the natural world, and he has given us some of the most memorable poems on the presence of the Creator in the creation. As he wrote in "God's Grandeur," "The world is charged with the grandeur of God / It will flame out, like shining from shook foil." He was able to see the holy everywhere. In "As Kingfishers Catch Fire" he writes: "For Christ plays in ten thousand places, / Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his / To the Father through the features of men's faces."
This handy little collection of his poems also contains a short introduction to his mysticism, excerpts from his sermons, and selections from his writings about poetry.