"When I'm alone with a horse, my soul is most renewed. As I work to move a colt past his fear of the unknown, I am reminded of the tentativeness of my trust in God. When I ride a trail through the autumn woods, my spirit surges with praise. And, when a new mount moves into a smooth lope, I pray that I might train the horses placed in my care with the same gentleness that God applies to me. The saddle creaks like a pew, the rhythm of the gait flows like a hymn. All is grace."
For this priest author, grace often arrives astride a horse. Although he shepherds a congregation in a suburb of Cincinnati, he rents a stall at a nearby barn and manages to get one or two young horses under saddle each month. The combination of his horse training and religious calling provides a unique angle on how people discover grace.
The individuals you will encounter in these pages represent a wide variety of ages, occupations, and interests. Most of them are friends and acquaintances of Fr. Jim. All of them live in close proximity to horses, and many of them strive for closer proximity to God. They are ordinary people with hectic lives and full schedules. Yet, as they work with their horses, they sense an opportunity for grace in the offing. As you read their stories, you will undoubtedly gain a sharper focus on the grace waiting to unfold in your own life.
About the Author:
Jim Schmitmeyer is a diocesan priest from Cincinnati, Ohio
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Table of Contents
Introduction: Of Saddles & Sabbaths 1
Caesar, Lancelot, & Other Notables 9
A Good Impression 17
Five Smooth Stones 35
Tough Grace 41
Liturgy at High Elevation 48
Grieving with Horses 55
Bright Light on Broken Land 61
Letting Go 68
Souls at Risk 79
Blind Horse, Tin Horse 84
City Lights 89
Conclusion: A Lazy Ride with Lady Wisdom 97