NOEL DERMOT ODONOGHUE
Title: Heaven In Ordinarie : Prayer as Transcendence
Book Condition: New
Publisher: Templegate Pub November 1979
0872430855 / 9780872430853
Seller ID: 20070707116383
Lifted from a line in a poem by George Herbert, Heaven In Ordinarie is a series of rather intense meditations-what O'Donoghue calls a kind of method-for refusing 'to accept the finite or negative as final.' Or to put another spin on it, the infinite and the finite are mutually illuminating and one without the other becomes a distortion-either 'vague transcendentalism' or 'demoralizing.fixation.' A Catholic priest and former professor of ethics and philosophy, Fr. O'Donoghue has assembled a collection of short and rather poetic essays with such titles as 'Vocation,' 'Playfulness,' 'Response,' and 'Belonging' that work both as 'separate and separable' meditations and a 'unified and unifying' experience. His method, however, is not one of transcendence but of descent or 'descendence'-'a pressing of the finite to its own limits where the infinite reveals itself within it.' At this junction is the artist, whose task it is to express the infinite with only the materials 'finity' has to offer. 'God walks among the pots and pans,' said Saint Teresa, just as Jorge Luis Borges wrote of Ulysses-'wearied of wonders / wept with love on seeing Ithaca / humble and green. Art is that Ithaca / a green eternity, not wonders.' But it is not only the artist who attempts this plenary sort of existence. Prayer is everyman's calling out of his immediate needs and desires into communion with God-a response which illuminates the commonplace, making it eternally and sacrificially present in a future God begs our help in creating. Jacket shows some edgewear, all else pristine.