Tuesday, August 04, 2009


for the



These have been busy times at our monastery. One sister was hospitalized for a while but is home and on the mend. Two sisters had the joy of visiting their families. And now we have a sister with us who is considering a transfer to our community. Just like any family we have our busy and our quieter periods and also times when everyone has to pitch in more than usual. And, as in any family, these times reveal the strength of our bonds with each other and with our God, for whom, in an ultimate sense, we do it all.

But my work as Vocation Director continues; answering requests for information via, mail, phone and internet; corresponding with and talking to those who are wending their way through the discernment process. Lately, a few have asked about what they might be reading to further inform themselves. My recommendations come from the point of view of contemplative monastic life. Yet these books also hold wisdom for the broad spectrum of vowed religious life and interested laity.

Thomas Merton
- The Basic Principles of Monastic Spirituality
- New Seeds of Contemplation
- The Inner Experience
All of Merton's writing is powerful reading that withstands the test of time. He died in 1968. These three works speak not only a particular life style and its spirtuality but to the totality of the contemplative dimension and its call to live out of the true self.

Michael Casey, OCS
- Strangers to the City: Reflections on the Beliefs and Values of the Rule of St. Benedict
- A Guide to Living in the Truth: St. Benedict's Teachings on Humilty
- Fully Human and Fully Divine (Christology)
- Lectio Divina (Sacred Reading)
Michael Casey is a Trappist monk of Tarawarra Australia. His writing is total gift.

Barbara Fiand, SNDdeN
- Refocusing the Vision: Relgious Life into the Future
An experienced religious and writer of depth locating religious life in our time.

John Neafsey
- A Sacred Voice is Calling: Personal Vocation and Social Conscience
Wonderful comparatively new book concerned with the philosophy of discernment of vocation in general stressing the sacredness of personal call.

Sandra Schneiders, IHM
- Finding the Treasure: Locating Catholic Religious Life in a New Ecclesial and Cultural Context
- Selling All: Commitment, Consecrated Celibacy, and Community in Catholic Religious Life.
The third book in this series is eagerly awaited by those who read the first two. Sr. Sandra is a first class scholar whose writing makes demands on the reader. The first volume situates religious life in the context of its history and experience extending into our current time. The second volume concerns itself primarily with the vow of chastity. The third volume, yet to come, will focus on poverty and obedience.


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