Christians have been drawn to monastic life nearly as long as Christianity has existed. Dedicating themselves to prayer, meditation, and good works, men and women in many diverse times and places have been willing to abstain from marriage, sexual relations, and personal ownership to serve God singlemindedly. In this overview of the Latin tradition, Peter King, emeritus senior lecturer of medieval history at Saint Andrew's University, leads readers quickly but deftly along the rugged monastic road from late antique Egypt to the present day, passing through spectacular expansion in medieval Europe, dissolution during the Reformation, retrenchment at the Counter Reformation, condemnation during the Enlightenment, destruction at the hands of revolutionaries, refoundation and new vigor during the nineteenth and the ecumenical twentieth centuries.
While monasteries and convents have left written records of their own history, Father Rippinger's particular contribution lies in weaving those strands into their religious, social, political, and cultural context.
In thirty short reflections, Abbot Jerome Kodell of Subiaco Abbey provides a lifetime of wisdom on living the Christian life. Drawing on Scripture, the Rule of St. Benedict, and other spiritual writings, Kodell helps us to realize that our common human desires and struggles make life in the monastery not so very different from life in the world. His encouragement and reassurance gives us hope that we can pray, experience God's loving presence, and stay faithful to the commitments we've made. Among the many themes he addresses are holiness, freedom, service, money, hospitality, and silence. Appropriate for anyone still searching for God, as well as for those trying to live as Christians in the world today. Insightful and beautifully written. "We respond where we are called. Sometimes this is to a very busy and hands-on service of others, and sometimes it is to a very secret search for God in silence. But always a true Christian vocation reaches out to others in love." -From Life Lessons from the Monastery
Some evangelicals perceive monasticism as a relic from the past, a retreat from the world, or a shirking of the call to the Great Commission. At the same time, contemporary evangelical spirituality desires historical Christian manifestations of the faith. In this accessibly written book Greg Peters, an expert in monastic studies who is a Benedictine oblate and spiritual director, offers a historical survey of monasticism from its origins to current manifestations. Peters recovers the riches of the monastic tradition for contemporary spiritual formation and devotional practice, explaining why the monastic impulse is a valid and necessary manifestation of the Christian faith for today's church.
Bestseller! For over fifteen hundred years St. Benedict's Rule has been a source of guidance, support, inspiration, challenge, comfort and discomfort for men and women. It has helped both those living under monastic vows and those living outside the cloister in all the mess and muddle of ordinary, busy lives in the world. Esther de Waal's Seeking God serves as an introduction to this life-giving way and encourages people to discover for themselves the gift that St. Benedict can bring to individuals, to the Church, and to the world, now and in the years to come. Through this definitive classic Esther de Waal has become known as an authority for the lay person on the Rule of St. Benedict. Her ability to communicate clearly the principal values of the Rule when applied to lay people is the ultimate strength of this book. She follows each chapter with a page or two of thoughts and prayers, contributing to its meditative quality. Esther de Waal is an Anglican lay woman, married with four sons and a number of grandchildren. She lives on the Welsh Borders where she grew up and spends her time gardening, writing, traveling, and taking retreats. She became interested in Benedictine monasticism as a result of living for ten years in Canterbury and has written several books on the Rule of St. Benedict including a life-Giving Way, published by The Liturgical Press, 1995. She holds a PhD. from Cambridge and was given an honorary doctorate from St. John's University for her contribution to Benedictine studies and for her ecumenical work. She was awarded the Templeton Prize for having started the Benedictine Experience weeks which are now widely held throughout America and England.