Inspiring Books: The choices of two retired priests

Wondering what to read this Summer? Well we’ve a few suggestions for Summer reading soon, but before we get to our Summer selection we’ve a few more in our Inspiring Books series. These two choices are from two retired priests who are part of our community at St Chrysostom’s.

First of all Fr Julian writes: I am not actually recommending this book, (The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius  ed. Louis J. Puhl S.J.), but I am saying for me it is an Inspiring Book. In fact the book is as exciting as a car maintenance manual. What I do recommend is doing the exercises – under the guidance of a spiritual director. In fact the book is a set of instructions giving advice to the director. Whilst continuing to work I spent a leisurely nine months doing the exercises, praying each day. My faith told me that God loved me; but through the meditations I experienced that love, filled my heart with that love, fresh each day – and wherever there is the divine love there is great joy and spiritual freedom as well. One terrifying result oif doing the exercises was the great discomfort of losing all my doubts – ‘Then it is all true’ I said in my prayer. But when your doubts are taken away you have nowhere to hide – you give yourself totally to the service of God’s Kingdom. Later in training in how to give the exercises I came to treasure this dull foreboding book.

And our second choice is from Canon Alma Servant:  The Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal (Vintage Paperback 2010). Alma writes:

 Edmund de Waal’s book describes a journey to Japan, and all across Europe. He is tracing the history of the 264 wood and ivory carvings which he inherited from his great-uncle. His travels also uncover the story of his father’s family, dispossessed by the Nazis, because they were Jewish and rich. Of all their wealth, only the carvings, the ‘netsuke’ survive. A brilliantly researched and written book. It has won three literary prizes. One of my all time favourites.

What a wonderful variety of different books, from a wide variety of people, we are being shown in this series. This post is the ninth in our ongoing series in which different people share their Inspiring Books, for the first post, the choices of two University Librarians,  click here. and for the second, the choice of two students, click here. In the third post two women priests gave their choices here.  We crossed the sea to the US for our fourth post the choice of  two young ladies – here. Our fifth choice was from two local children and teachers, and two cathedral deans offered their choices here. Then, in our seventh choice two life sentenced prisoners gave their choices, here. And after this two bishops gave choices.


About stchrysostoms

St Chrysostom’s is an Anglican (Church of England) parish church in Manchester, UK. We’re an inclusive, diverse and welcoming faith community rejoicing in our Anglo Catholic tradition, where people of many differing backgrounds make friends. Find our Facebook group at
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