Barrett, Mark 1957-
BARRETT, Mark 1957-
PERSONAL: Born 1957. Education: London University, doctoral study.
ADDRESSES: Home—West Sussex, England. Office—Worth Abbey, Turners Hill, Crawley, West Sussex RH10 4SB, England. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Morehouse Publishing, P.O. Box 1321, Harrisburg, PA 17105. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Writer. Worth Abbey, West Sussex, England, Benedictine monk.
Crossing: Reclaiming the Landscape of Our Lives, Morehouse Publishing (Harrisburg, PA), 2002.
SIDELIGHTS: A Benedictine monk living in London, England, Mark Barrett has written a book that examines monastic spirituality, including the Divine Hours (specific points in the day reserved for prayer). In Crossing: Reclaiming the Landscape of Our Lives Barrett uses the Divine Hours of the monastic tradition, from the early vigils to nightly vespers, to explain the cycle of life and death and as markers of the spiritual journey.
Barrett discusses the writings of St. Benedict, W.H. Auden, William Blake, and James Joyce, as well as contemporary films such as American Beauty, as he takes readers through the cycle of a day. He also reveals that Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy provided him with a context within which to understand his own life. Barrett compares midday prayer to a labyrinth, a point at which things can go wrong, and describes compline, or night prayer, as "a reminder of the mystery of death that awaits us all." He also sets forth how readers can discover "the action of God in the events and experiences of our lives." A Publishers Weekly contributor called Crossing "bold, intelligent, and uncompromising."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Barrett, Mark, Crossing: Reclaiming the Landscape of Our Lives, Morehouse Publishing (Harrisburg, PA), 2002.
Publishers Weekly, February 25, 2002, review of Crossing: Reclaiming the Landscape of Our Lives, p. 62.
Spirituality & Health Online, http://www.spiritualityhealth.com/ (March 24, 2004), Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, review of Crossing.