The Saint - My Autobiography

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As a child, I saw the world with a religious dimension that I have never lost.


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At its most negative, this consisted of a morbid fear that punishment would ensue if I broke the rules of Catholicism. The book is very much an intellectual narrative. One could easily believe that it is a translation.

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Dunne subtly alludes to Augustine with his reference to stealing an apple. Yet the affinities are there. The intentionally plain, intentionally removed tone of The Road to Silence suggests that what we are reading is in fact a journalist reporting on himself. But we are, for the most part, told about , rather than shown , the intensity of his spiritual anguish. It closes thus:. The city was a background with which I had grown too familiar while the sky was a vast unknown…The train pulled out, gathering speed as it went past the river on the way to Rosslare, the rhythmic movement of its wheels gathering force as it sped.

It was time for me to get out as well The authorial choice to end on a moment of decision implies that the next book, the next story, flows out of the first.

The two books provide us with, in effect, two stories. The second book stands apart from the world by design: it is the story of a soul. Much of the second book takes place in the Trappist monastery and retreat center of Mount Melleray in County Waterford, where Dunne first went on a journalistic assignment, and which becomes a place of centering and origins for Dunne, a sacred geography. His characterization of the place provides a possible window on how he conceived of the autobiographical project:. I learned that the place is not simply a set of buildings where monks live, pray and work.

The monastic sense permeates the fields, the paths and the people who walk them […]. I understood what the old Celtic monks meant when they spoke of two landscapes, one physical with its rocks and mountains, the other sacral and intensely connected with spirituality p.

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He segregates the world into two spheres, one concerned with the facts of his biography, and one that charts a parallel spiritual path. It is not unusual to encounter a sort of latent or implied platonism in the sort of popular Catholicism in which Dunne was raised, a division of the human person into spirit and flesh.

What is unusual is to find this dichotomy so clearly expressed in a mature spiritual writer. The opening chapter conveys his profound sense of dividedness, his sense of standing apart from the world. Part of the appeal of Catholicism in his early years is precisely its ability to make the transcendent real.

As Dunne came of age, Catholicism in Ireland was shifting away from its highly public identity, and moving more into the realm of a personal faith.

The Story of a Soul

Even among Irish Catholics who remained in the church, a previously unimaginable level of religious debate became possible in the wake of Vatican II. He pursues an exceptional range of literary mentors. In this context, we might note another of the stylistic oddities of The Road to Silence , which further contributes to the sense that it reads like a translation.

In the entire book, there are exactly two sentences of spoken dialogue, both unremarkable: after Fr. His first trip to Mount Melleray is taken under the aspect of Merton:. I was very excited by the prospect of my visit. My enthusiasm was fuelled by my general interest in spirituality and also by my love for the work of Thomas Merton, the American monk and poet. I had become aware of Merton in During that year, one of the most despairing I had known, I spent a long period in hospital and found that many of the books which normally pleased me were suddenly of no interest at all.

The Saint: My Autobiography by Ian St. John

Only two writers fired me: the novelist Francis Stuart, and Thomas Merton. He reveals how his life after Liverpool has been no less uneventful; his playing days in South Africa, career in management and television days with Jimmy Greaves are also explored at length.


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From this rich mix of football and life, Ian St John tells the compelling story of his journey through a game which has changed, he says, almost beyond belief. We've detected you're shopping from Finland, so we've set this as your delivery location. You may see a reduced selection of products. If your location is incorrect, please click on the country in the site menu above to change it.

The Saint: My Autobiography

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The Saint: My Autobiography - Used. Your email address has been submitted - we'll be in touch. Description This is the life story of the legendary Liverpool and Scotland s footballer known as 'The Saint'.

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