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FRSC, Distinguished Senior Fellow, Baylor Institute for Studies in Religion

Fr Robert Crouse was one of the great spiritual mentors of the twentieth century. In this delightful series he gracefully and perceptively brings the spiritual depth and intellectual brilliance of pre-Christian classical and biblical traditions into high relief, revealing the striking mutuality in their on-going conversation to be highly worthy of Christian meditation. Here are beautiful examples of his theological workmanship; the book is a spiritual treasure.


Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity, University of Oxford, and Canon of Christ Church Cathedral

Where is our home? Robert Crouse’s answer is a firm but humble one: it is not here and will never be found in this mortal life; it is a place we have lost and which we will regain, in an even more glorious way, in the life to come. Here we are on the way; we are pilgrims, journeying in faith hope and love towards our homeland; moved and compelled by the faith, hope and love which God inspires within us. This is the God who has created us in His Word, and — when we turned away — condescended in the incarnate Word to share our dark and fragile humanity, so that we might turn back to Him, who is our beginning, our way and our end. Crouse’s meditations convey the wisdom that comes from dwelling with great souls — pagan, and Christian. He appreciates the nobility and confidence of Homer and the philosophers; but is utterly persuaded that they lack the one thing necessary: the love of God which breaths through Christian authors. Like his subjects — the authors of Scripture, Augustine and Dante — Crouse catches us up and draws us into the love of God returning to its source, enabling us to join their pilgrim souls on the journey towards the heavenly homeland. There is much in his humbly confident, profoundly direct, eloquently simple reflections, and the images of pilgrimage which he sets before us, to encourage, sustain and inspire the life of prayerful devotion by which we journey through the trials and tribulations of the wilderness towards the heavenly Jerusalem.


Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, and former Archbishop of Canterbury

Robert Crouse was in every sense a classical theologian — steeped in the literature of the ancient world, but also deeply rooted in the central traditions of Western Catholic devotion and thinking within the Anglican spectrum. These meditations — quietly authoritative in tone, unfussy and measured in style — show why he was such an important figure for so many, a touchstone of spiritual and intellectual integrity.


Senior Editor: Touchstone, Writer, and Translator of Dante

Father Crouse, whom I am deeply thankful to have known, has a gift that is only to be found in the greatest of essayists. He can, without strain, take you to a summit whence you can view from above, in all their mutual relationships, the woods and fields and farms and towns below, which otherwise you would know only singly and in part. In this concise and powerful work, he shows us both how the pilgrimage is essential to being human and how the Christian pilgrimage is yet something other, not least because it is God and not our brains or legs who carries us home, and it is to God that we journey. All paganism ends in despair, and so should we end too, but God, himself a perichoresis of love, has come down to us in Christ. He it is who spreads a table in our wilderness.

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