THE CLOISTER WALKEditorial Review - Kirkus - Jane Doe
Ruminations on the perennial relevance of Benedictine monastic life from Norris (Dakota: A Spiritual Biography, 1993), who acts as a sympathetic and perceptive outsider. Ten years ago Norris, a Protestant who had not been to church for 20 years, became an oblate, or lay associate, of the large Benedictine community of St. John's Abbey in Collegeville, Minn. Since then she has spent two nine-month ... Read full review
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I'm not quite finished with the book, but now is the time I find I must write.
It is easy to get caught up in categories of feminism and liberalism, in what is this side of the line and what is over the line. Yet if one does not take some chance, one has less opportunity to think and the Holy Spirit has less opportunity to hold one's own sin up against you.
Once was the time I thought I could be content with a middle middle class lifestyle and perhaps had hopes of some day rising to a lower upper middle class lifestyle. But life conspires against us and the sins of our own dispositions conspire against us and the sins of the dispositions of others conspire against us, to say nothing of the times. There is a God and a Savior who is Sovereign. He is described as Providence. And here I am. Daily I deal with my life, and I work with people of a wide variety of economic situations.
So what is it about possessions that they possess us? Is it really possible that I have accumulated too much? There is no doubt I could be content with less. Most of it just sits there occupying expensive space uncared for. A cluttered life...a cluttered spirit. I might have given more, not just stuff, not just money, but of myself.
Kathleen Norris, you make me think.