success stories

Book: God Underneath: Spiritual Memoirs of a Catholic Priest
Author: Edward L. Beck
Publishers: Doubleday, New York, 2001

Excerpt from Foreward

When we tell our experiences as a series of stories, they become a string of beads, a necklace we wear that expresses who we are and introduces us to others.

And when these stories are memories of people, places, and times that awaken us to our own spirit and to the surrounding darkness and undeserved light we call God, then we have fashioned a sacred string of beads, a life story told as both resistance and response to the subtle invitations of grace.

This book is Edward Beck’s sacred string of beads.

In the Introduction he tells us clearly, “Spirit does not desire to be separate from earth and flesh, rather, it desires to suffuse it more and more.” In the twenty-one vignettes that follow we watch this suffusing Spirit at work both in Edward and in the people he meets:

In his Poseidon father pulling him and his cousin from the undertow of the Atlantic;

In the lingering spirit of his feisty grandmother;

In a pen-wielding, frightened teenager fending off some bigots;

In a Marlboro-smokIng priest who steps between Edward and a sexual predator;

In a homeless person who persistently ask him, “Change today?” until he finally gets it;

In a wounded jogger and unflagging social activist who refuses to give up;

In a man who passionately believes God has a “Bruce Lee” side;

In an unflappable scholar-sister who urges him to be transparent;

In a woman who wants more than he is willing to give;

and then there’s mama --- complaining, funny, unpredictable --- the secret source of his own zest for life.


Chapter I -- Name recognition

Chapter II -- The Waves in which we tumble

Chapter III -- A Hebrew revelation

Chapter IV -- Stubborn Power

Chapter V -- Real life is not like college

Chapter VI -- A priest in deed

Chapter VII -- Change today

Chapter VIII -- God is friendship

Chapter IX -- Poverty, chastity, obedience .... and pettiness, too

Chapter X -- Running for justice

Chapter XI -- “So what do you do?”

Chapter XII -- Woman preacher

Chapter XIII -- Brain tumor

Chapter XIV -- A kung-fu God

Chapter XV -- A rose without thorns

Chapter XVI -- Drunk driver

Chapter XVII -- Thirty days in a hermitage

Chapter XVIII -- It didn’t play In Peoria

Chapter XIX -- The dance of celibacy

Chapter XX -- The stuff that dreams are made of

Chapter XXI -- Forty and still counting

Excerpt from book:

To keep one sacred flame
Through life, unchilled, unmoved,
To love In wintry age the same
As first in youth we loved,
To feel that we adore
Even to fond excess,
That though the heart would break with more
It could not live with less.

Author Unknown