Life From Our Land is an easy, compelling read. It is half story, half persuasive essay to encourage readers to live from the land.
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Life From Our Land: The Search for a Simpler Life in a Complex World came into my hands towards the end of a long winter. As most northerners can attest to, February brings with it a longing for warm weather. Seed catalogues arrive, chicks show up at the local farm store, and the coming spring finally feels like a reality.
Life From Our Land weaves together these realities of living in the natural world with the reality of life in Christ. For Grodi, the farm is not just a place for the body, but balm for the soul. This is a book of deep gratitude towards the Creator, not simply another “back-to-the-land” novel. It is about simplifying our lives and rooting ourselves in good soil to reach up toward heaven.
Marcus Grodi writes about his family’s move onto land inherited from his grandfather. He was not a farmer when they moved to the acreage, but over the years the land and barn invited him to join the rhythm of the natural seasons. This is a book that welcomes and encourages the reader to come “back to the land”. We are encouraged to eschew the fast pace of modern life, full of technology, and embrace the slower, constant rhythm of the agrarian world.
Life From Our Land by Marcus Grodi Summary
In Life From Our Land, Marcus Grodi discusses what he and his family discovered after moving from the city onto twenty five acres of Ohio farmland. Grodi brings us into life on the farm and writes about the initial move and building the house. He eventually realized that, as stewards of the land, we are meant to nurture it. A desire to improve the land for Grodi, first came when looking at a 100-year-old sheep barn. This realization lead him on a journey through raising sheep and cattle, picking abundant berries from the forests, and planting the family garden.
Our Economic Future (and Limits Theory)
The middle of Life From Our Land holds a chapter titled “Our Economic Future (and Limits Theory)”. This chapter itself makes the book a worthwhile investment. In a mere twenty-three pages, Grodi succinctly outlines how technological advances have spiraled out of control over the past decades. With that loss of control comes a loss of grounding. This chapter is not just a pining for years gone by, but a dire warning about our future if we do not change our trajectory. It is in this chapter we learn why Grodi renounced the constant acceleration to technology for a simpler life on his land.
In the chapter titled “Our Economic Future” Grodi explains both how and why we should turn away from the ever increasing pace of technology. He recommends a six-step process to remove oneself from the break-neck speed of modern life. The goal of these six steps is clear: to make more time in one’s life for God. He urges the reader to slow down, question whether the technologies we rely on daily are good for us and to leave those technologies behind if they do not lead us to our ultimate goal of life in Christ.
Life in Christ
Life From Our Land: The Search for a Simpler Life in a Complex World closes with Grodi explaining how he found truth in the Catholic church. This is a nod to his popular Journey Home program on the EWTN television network. This last chapter also reminds us the true goal in returning back to the land: a deeper life in Christ. Grodi’s time as a minister is becomes evident here. He eloquently ties the idea of farming and the Church together with the idea of “home”. He is at home, finally, on both his farm and in the Catholic Church.
Life From Our Land is the Grodi’s story about finding a closer connection to Christ through farming. Have you had a similar experience? I would love to hear about how Christ has drawn you into his heart through creation. Please share your story below!
Marcus Grodi Author Bio
Marcus began his career working as an engineer for six years after recieving his BS degree from Case Institute of Technology in Polymer Engineering. He then received his Master of Divinity Degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and was ordained to the Protestant pastoral ministry. He spend fifteen years in youth, young adult, and pastoral ministry. In 1992 Marcus, along with his wife and older two sons, was recieved into the Catholic church. His third son entered the Church through baptism.
Today, Marcus serves as the founder and president of The Coming Home Network International, a Catholic non-profit apostolate that seeks to help other Christians explore and understand the Catholic Church. He hosts The Journey Home, a weekly live television program and Deep in Scripture, a weekly live radio program both on the EWTN network. Marcus is the author of five books and is a regular contributor to The Catholic Answer magazine as well as other Catholic publications. He has taught courses at Franciscan University of Steubenville and the Pontifical College Josepninum.