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This Sunrise of Wonder: Letters for the journey

Dartman, Longman and Todd, 2008

RRP $39.95

 Reviewed by Barbara Bailey, a retired Uniting Church minister.

 Written over 20 years, the Anglican priest and writer of this volume, Michael Mayne (who died in 2006) offers reflections on life to his two grandchildren.

The pages are certainly food for the journey. The reader is captivated by wonder as Mr Mayne creatively and challengingly shares his vision for life. Learn to see, learn to be attentive to the world around you is his recurring theme.

His reflections are beautifully peppered with reference to art, story, poetry and literature; he confronts today’s rather shallow expressions of reality with considered thought, deep reflection and his insistence on the value of wonder at the world and people around him. The reader can’t help but be awakened to his surroundings as if seeing them for the first time.

The twenty-three chapters of these letters to his grandchildren are full of enthusiasm and optimism.

The reader is led into subjects such as The Spontaneous wonder of a Child, The Creation as sacramental: the holy in the common and Living the Eucharist.

But for all the references from the academic, literary and artistic world, this book is deeply grounded in the spiritual.

In Mr Mayne’s Postscript he writes, “The ultimate act of seeing is that partial but authentic vision of God I see in Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of which he speaks. Its language of love is universal; its goal holiness and community; its building blocks justice and freedom, compassion, forgiveness and mercy.”

This Sunrise of Wonder speaks powerfully from the heart and mind of a deep thinker and disciple.

Take time to digest, even its bibliography will thrill.

Highly recommended.