Reply to Cathy Grenier

Hi Everyone

Cathy Finnegan-Grenier is one of my dearest friends.  She and her husband Joe are true pioneers in Pennsylvania, long after the time of pioneers is supposed to be gone.  I shall be telling you all about them shortly, and meanwhile  I’ll put a link to them below on this post.

Cathy has just written a really wonderful piece on Facebook, all about Look and Grow Mindful, and asked me tell a bit more about the book. I’ve just done so, and it’s up on Facebook now. But I thought I might as well post it here as well. But first, here is what Cathy wrote:


Friends, I’ve just added a very dear and beloved friend to our CCC Facebook group. David Rice joins us from Ballina/Killaloe, County Clare in Ireland. In addition to welcoming him here among us, I want to share a bit myself about him. David is a priest, author, and photographer, and has a beautiful new book on contemplation which he just had published on Kindle, and has uploaded 3,000 of his pictures to use for mindfulness along with reading his book. You can visit his book’s page on FB, but better yet is the book’s website and David’s blog where the pics are located. This current work is a part of his own spiritual aging process, sharing the wisdom he himself has gained and continues to gain, especially through nature and science. I highly recommend his work, AND ask the favor that those who visit his page and/or read his book PLEASE tell your friends about it. I have a personal commitment to David, and would do anything in the world for him. He’s written several books, but the one that touched our lives personally was SHATTERED VOWS about RC priests who married. We became fast friends over that and the documentary based on that book/story. David’s current book , LOOK AND GROW MINDFUL: is the one I’m plugging without reservation now! Please give David a warm welcome!


So here is my reply:

Hi Cathy

I’ve just found your comment on my book and its benighted author (me). After reading it I had to go and look at myself in the mirror to see if I was really that person you so enthusiastically described. I can’t believe I know me ! Thank you so much for such kind words, and for telling everyone about Look and Grow Mindful. You are a true friend.
Getting started on Facebook makes me feel like the new little boy at school.  I haven’t a clue, and I’m trying not to put a foot wrong. Of course I will — put my foot in it, I mean. Actually I’ve been theoretically on Facebook for a while, but just left it unused because I didn’t know how to use it. But I just got a wonderful book called Facebook for Seniors, by Carole Matthews, and it’s really opening things up for me. Anyhow, you asked me to introduce myself. So here goes:
Hello everyone, and it’s great to be here on Facebook. Cathy wants me to tell you about myself. What more could I tell, after all she has said? (Except to say, don’t believe the half of it !) Well, first, about the book (Look and Grow Mindful).
Last night I was glancing through the mountain of my notes for the book and I found the date on one of them was 16 years ago. So I have been thinking about and planning the book for 16 years. The idea has been with me almost every moment since then. Essentially the idea is this –  Helen Keller said the greatest calamity that can befall us is “to have eyes and not to see”. Over the years I felt we were all so blind to the beauty of the world around us — in our skies, trees, fields, rivers, oceans, in living things, in all of creation. I started by calling the book “The Joy of Looking”, but then I realised that such joy can lead us directly to Mindfulness, by locking us into the NOW where such beauty is found. And such awareness of beauty can bring us directly to the Creator of that beauty.
I wanted to back up the ideas with my photos, of which I now have more than 102,000 on my various hard drives.  But pictures make for a very costly book, and one which is usually dumped on the nearest coffee table and not read. So to keep the cost down, and to produce a really readable paperback (and Kindle too), I got the wonderful idea of a website to go with the book, that would carry all the  pictures. This led to So the book now has 3,000 pictures to illustrate every possible idea in it. And those pictures have brief extracts from the book to link them in — just click on THE BOOK’S PICTURES, and run the cursor over each picture.. I’ll be adding lots and lots more pictures during the coming weeks and months.
Maybe I’m a bit daft, but I regard this book as my ministry. For if it can open people’s eyes to the marvels of God’s creation, that can lead to wonder, to joy and even to Awe. Then maybe I won’t have such empty hands when I shall have crossed the bar “to meet my Pilot face to face”,  as Tennyson put it.
Dear friends, would you share that ministry with me? Would you just tell three people about the website and its book? And maybe get them to tell three more? I have this wild notion that if the book is any way worthwhile, it might just go viral. Wouldn’t that be a dream — to get thousands or even millions of people to see for the first time the wonders of the world around them?. (I remember my first time — when I was 17  – it’s described in Chapter One.)  I keep half remembering what St Thomas Aquinas said — that the beauty of creation is our first experience of God. Can anyone remember his exact words?
Thank you for reading this. And thank you, Cathy, from my heart.
~ David
PS I think I’ll just paste this into my blog post on the website. Might as well share it with everyone.
PPS And here is the link to Cathy and Joe —
One Response to “Reply to Cathy Grenier”
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