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Like the the L’Arche communities, this book calls us to a humanism that is tender, patient and present. Its humanism is rooted in the incarnation, for “the Word became flesh to bring people together” (Vanier), and is lived in the church, which proclaims a “politics of gentleness” (Hauerwas).

Poetry is often the best theology. Berry ducks “small, haughty doctrines” to seek salvation “by honester dirt.” His sage mind and poetic skill combine to skewer political arrogance, savage commercial folly, muse on growing old and lament a good dog’s death. Mindful of time and earth, of joy and love, Berry calls us to the hard work of a hope and peace and gratitude so incarnate that they rest “on the ground underfoot.”


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