“Brad Karelius has mastered the art of combining a personal narrative with joyful observations of the natural world. His graceful writing adds generous helpings of both humor and humility to a story of adventure and insight gained from spending quiet time beneath the towering Western sky. Well-selected quotes from scholars and mystics underline the author’s own observations about the links between the rugged beauty of the desert and the flowering of a spiritual life. This is a book to savor and to keep at one’s bedside as an antidote to life’s anxiety.”
—Anne Hillerman, author, Cave of Bones
“I have found these personal writings of Father Karelius deeply moving and inspiring at many levels. The desert is here never less than a real place, but within its harsh and beautiful landscape we find also the wisdom of deep spirituality—learnt also from St. Ignatius of Loyola and many others. Innocence and wisdom come together in this wise for book our troubled age."
—David Jasper, University of Glasgow
“Brad Karelius has invested his well-lived life in an engagement with the Southwest desert. From that life experience he articulates deep respect for the native Americans who live there and their traditions, deep awe at the mystery of the place that he knows to be haunted in holy ways, and deep faith as he mediates between the Christian gospel and native American religious traditions. The outcome of his writing is testimony to the ‘otherwise’ he finds there, an alternative to the self-destructive ways of our dominant culture.”
—Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary
“Here find a learned and seasoned guide to the deep desert offering so much to the seeking spirit.”
—John R. Stilgoe, Harvard University.
“Part memoir, part travelogue, and part self-help guidebook, Desert Spirit Places relates how the soul of one inquisitive man finds solace and experiences healing in the harshest of landscapes—and shows how others can also experience that grace.”
—Richard Francaviglia, author, Believing in Place
"There are deserts or dry places of the earth and deserts or dry places of the soul. Brad Karelius knows the dark beauty of both. Once we learn to enter them without judgment, we discover the other half of a life from which fear had deprived us. This is a book for more than lovers of the Southwest. It sings in multiple tongues.”
—Belden Lane, Saint Louis University