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Peace Be with You: Monastic Wisdom for a Terror-Filled World Paperback – August 1, 2011

4.0 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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About the Author

David Carlson is the founder of Young Adult Money which is a personal finance and lifestyle blog focused on helping those in their 20s and 30s to make more, save more, and live better. Forbes Magazine called it "One of the Best Blogs For Teens, College Students, and Young Adults."
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (August 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0849947189
  • ISBN-13: 978-0849947186
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #983,932 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By William A. Bridges on August 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
David Carlson's Peace Be With You is a truly remarkable book. It begins as a look at the reaction to 9/11 in monastic communities, but broadens into an examination of the power of radical forgiveness. It is also the story of Carlson's own spiritual journey, and his descent into and recovery from depression during the writing of the book.

Carlson interviewed monastics at a desert community in the Southwest, at a tiny Ukrainian monastery in the Minnesota woods, and at the famed Gethsemani Trappist abbey in Kentucky, once the home of Thomas Merton. (Merton's vision of Christ in all people figures largely in Peace Be With You.)

It was Carlson's unexpected and long interview with Gethsemani's abbot that turned this book from simply an examination of reaction to 9/11 toward something much deeper and more personal. And something which, while aimed initially at Christians, has much to say to people of all faiths.

Radical forgiveness of our enemies as the way forward in a dark world is the heart of this beautifully and modestly written book. I read it the week of Osama bin Laden's death. On my porch, struggling, I directed a prayer of forgiveness for this terrible enemy--and left him, so far as my imperfect nature allows, to the judgment of God.

This is a book to read and re-read, by lectio divina, the spirit of divine light.

William Bridges, professor emeritus of journalism, Franklin College.
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By Steve on September 30, 2011
Format: Paperback
After I finished this book I found myself asking one question. That question is, Is America Christian in name only? The views that were presented caused me to question some of my own beliefs about dealing with those who have wronged me, hurt me, or despitefully used me. I found that if I am going to represent Christ I must be like him. This means that I must learn to overcome evil with good and leave getting even to God. One of the interviews that David Carlson presented really brought this idea of being Christ like means that we must respond to evil like Christ did and our heavenly father did at Calvary with forgiveness and restoration. I would recommend this book to anyone who maybe questioning "Why do we as American Christians feel we have the duty to destroy those who attack us?"
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Although many consider monasticism an anachronism, monastics are not isolated from the world. They are involved in the world, and often monks and nuns see more clearly than those of us who immediately react to something. The monastic response to the events of 9/11 are more thoughtful, more measured, and--shall we say?--more holy than ours. Their call to pray and to forgive resonates in the Christian heart. I was most grateful for this book.
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Format: Paperback
For a generation that has grow up in the "Age of Terror", the question of what it means to be Christians, to be Americans, both, or none puzzles many young people, and just as many of older generations. In Peace be With You: Monastic Wisdom for a Terror-filled World, Dr. David Carlson attempts to provide a "word of life" for all of us through the lens of monks and nuns around the country. In this, he partially succeeds.

Through a series of interviews, Carlson goes on a journey to understand how people in monasteries responded to 9/11 and what their context and training helped them to do and how to reflect on it. These brothers and sisters who have sworn vows of stability, obedience, and renounced pursuit of possessions for the sake of prayer and the good of their neighbors have many helpful insights and a love for God and people that is inspiring. And, yet, Carlson often misses the opportunity to see that the Gospel itself is radical enough without having to indulge some of his own less orthodox tendencies. It's a good read, but one that requires discernment.
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Format: Paperback
Peace Be With You by David Carlson delves into the monastic life from an unexpected angle. After a series of seemingly disconnected promptings Carlson set his mind to travel around to a number of monasteries--a practice that was already familiar to this convert to Greek Orthodox--to find a word of life, much like those pilgrims long ago who sought out the desert Fathers.

Carlson sought to understand the world after 9/11 and to do so he looked to the monastic traditions hoping their separation from the world would grant a unique perspective, something fresh and clean and Christian, not the stale and spoil of our modern world, our false conservatism, that says instead of "return not evil for evil," but, "You got me I'm gonna get you."

Over and again Carlson is given an answer of peace, an answer of love, and not one of retaliation, the response most often heard in the media, and even among our peers. This is a read that will be painful for many, or if not painful, then revolting and rejected out of hand. Such is the way that darkness hates the light, yet the call within these pages is like that of Christ's Sermon on the Mount, that we would love our neighbors and pray for our enemies.

At one point toward the end of Carlson's monastic circuit he comes to the conclusion that 9/11 ought to be seen in light of the death and resurrection. For me this was one of the most powerful moments of the narrative. He says that God the Father, when Christ gave up the ghost, had a choice to make at that very moment--and that this choice is the same we each make every time that we are wronged--whether to retaliate or to forgive, to seek vengeance or to grant love.

Yesterday I saw a headline that said the number two man for Al-Qaeda had been killed.
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