Thoughts in Solitude
Thoughts in Solitude
As my monastic spiritual quest unfolds God continues to put amazing books in my path. Each leads to another and on and on they go. My Amazon account is grateful to be sure!
In early 2014 when I was looking for books to use with my Lectio Divina and Liturgy of the Hours practices, I started reading Phyllis Tickle’s book series The Divine Hours. She spoke about the history of The Hours and how years ago monks (and some still today) would chant the Liturgy vs. speaking it.
A light bulb moment hit and I began looking for a book on chanting. Then voila’! I discovered Cynthia Bourgault’s book Chanting the Psalms. The perfect answer to my search.
Not only is this book an incredible history of chanting but it is a beautiful teaching tool of music and worship. The best part is the instructional CD that is included to help you learn the chants.
Don’t worry if you’re not a musician or a singer. Cynthia has all that covered. She does an awesome job putting us at ease with our uncertainties and inexperience. As a novice with chanting I need lots of practice. But that’s where our spiritual growth comes through our practice.
Originally published November 26, 2014
St. Benedict’s Toolbox: The Nuts and Bolts of Everyday Benedictine Living
As the title suggests St. Benedict’s Toolbox is just that… an excellent tool for applying The Rule of Saint Benedict to lives outside the monastery wall.
Jane Tomaine does a incredible job laying out the chapters in a user friendly fashion with ideas and resources that will blend with your personal lifestyle and faith practice.
If you were to buy only one book to help you begin applying The Rule you must buy St. Benedict’s Toolbox: The Nuts and Bolts of Everyday Benedictine Living by Jane Tomaine!
I’m crazy about Jane’s book and plan to use it for years to come! Every time I open it I get more excited about putting it into practice. Thanks Jane!
Originally published Aug 27, 2014
It’s always exciting when I discover a book that has fresh concepts and approaches to the subject of addiction recovery. Breathing Under Water by Richard Rohr is just that and more.
I’ve been using this book in my own recovery walk for over a year now. With every chapter I get new insights that help me get up and take my daily baby steps again.
Though himself not a recovering addict, Fr. Rohr has a sweet way of lining up our hurts and issues with the spirituality and healing we all long for.
Breathing Under Water, like all of Richard Rohr’s books, is beautifully written and is one of my favorite books. I highly recommend this book to anyone who struggles with addiction of any type.
by Anthony Marrett-Crosby (Editor)
2003 Canterbury Press Norwich
by Gervase Holdaway OSB (Editor)
2008 Canterbury Press Norwich
Monk Habits for Everyday People:
Benedictine Spirituality for Protestants
When I first began to explore the roots of contemporary Benedictine monasticism, it dawned on me that in one sense Benedict belongs to Roman Catholics no more than he does to Protestants. His life preceded the Reformation by a millennium, and the same Protestants who revere and learn from Augustine (b.354) may just as legitimately, and without feelings of betrayal and guilt, appeal to Benedict (b.480).
In Monk Habits for Everyday People Dennis shares stories of his retreats to monasteries. He digs deep into the basic tenants of Benedictine spirituality: Listening, Poverty, Obedience, Humility, Hospitality, Stability, and Balance while giving practical application to all.
If you are at all curious about Benedictine monastic practices I highly recommend this resource. Monk Habits for Everyday People is a great beginning place for anyone interested in learning Benedictine ways. One of my favorite things in this book is the list of simple suggestions that help us begin practicing Benedictine spirituality in our every day lives.
Twelve Steps to Inner Freedom: Humility Revisited
How to Be a Monastic and Not Leave Your Day Job:
An Invitation to Oblate Life
Brother Benet Tvedten
How to Be a Monastic and Not Leave Your Day Job is a great place to start if you are considering the life of an Oblate. This was the first book on the monastic lifestyle that I read two years ago. At 119 pages with short flowing chapters it’s a easy introductory read.
Br. Tvedten does an excellent job giving us historical background to Benedictine spirituality, the values for daily living and what it actually means to become an Oblate. He includes a wonderful list of Benedictine titles many of which I have read and will be reviewing here in the future.
I highly recommend How to Be a Monastic and Not Leave Your Day Job: An Invitation to Oblate Life by Brother Benet Tvedten. It was after reading this book that I knew without a doubt the Benedictine spiritual path was where I belonged.
Only recently introduced to Richard Rohr’s writing, I was pleasantly surprised to read concepts often represented by Eastern religions or New Age philosophies shown in our Christian traditions.
In The Naked Now Fr. Rohr literally teaches a new way to see. He helps us move from the all or nothing; either / or thinking, to more inclusive both / and views. An excellent book to help bridge the gaps we see so much in our culture today. I love that he isn’t afraid to quote other religious teachers: Zen Masters and The Dali Lama for instance.
One point he made that I have seen in my own life is that many Christian denominations focus so much on doctrine but don’t give us the vision or practices that can help us actually experience the truths. Most awesome is the appendixes that teach us how to practice The Naked Now!
What a fresh word! I’m ready to read this book again!