11 October 2008

September Greetings

Only two books for September. What with family members having babies, a full work schedule, fall semester starting and changing residences, I seem to have not had much time for personal reading. I really must get my priorities straightened out.

Book I: "Unveiled" by Cheryl Reed. The author traveled to various monastic institutions, hung out and asked a few questions. She picked a diverse group of places to visit and so she develops a broad range of experiences to write about. Some of the Nuns are quite traditional and others are less than conventional to say the least. It was interesting to read all in all, although, I can't think of any link to English History except that it was about Monasticism.

Book II: "Wisdom of the Benedictine Elders" by Mark W. McGinnis. I very much enjoyed this one.This author went to thirty different monasteries and interviewed the same number of Benedictine elders, some of whom have passed away. I was struck by the humble strength they all had. I have a soft spot in my heart for the geriatric set anyway, but, these folks were quite endearing. I bought the book and read it while I was on retreat at Mt. Angel (Oregon). One of the gentlemen that was interviewed of the book, Fr. Bernard, resides at Mt. Angel. He spoke of how... "accepting people's differences and weaknesses is a way to become holy." That's a nice turn of phrase. Some folks have a hard time with spirituality because they mistakenly think you have to be this exceptionally perfect individual before your good enough for God. That's just so opposite to how God works. Anyway, I highly recommend this book for those of you that are monastically inclined. As for the nod to English History, um, well again there isn't any. We'll see how next month lines up but until then, cheerio.

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