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Seeking God: The Way of St. Benedict Paperback – April, 2001

4.9 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

The author's limpid prose is a joy to read. She draws out of the Rule each of the crucial elements in Benedict's teaching: the use of Scripture in the practice of the lectio divina is set out in its four stages and the three vows are also elucidated and their implications outlined.
Stephen Platten, Norwich Cathedral, England


Esther de Waal was one of the pioneers in applying Benedictine spirituality to life outside of monasteries. Since she wrote Seeking God there has been a deluge of popular interpretations of Benedictine life, prompted in large part by her work. Though the pool of resources has grown mightily in the last twenty years, I still regard Seeking God as one of the very best introductions for those seeking, as she does, to bring Benedict's wisdom into the concrete experiences of daily life.
Fr. Columba Stewart, O.S.B., Professor of Theology, Curator of Research Collections, St. John's Abbey and University, Collegeville, Minnesota


As for the Rule itself, while it had attracted me from the beginning, I needed considerable help in interpreting it. I found that Esther de Waal's Seeking God was especially useful as it opened the way for me to see the Benedictine spirituality as accessible to lay people as well as monastics. The book helped me to decide to become an oblate.
Kathleen Norris, American Benedictine Review


This present edition of Esther de Waal's informative and insightful book, already acclaimed as a best-selling spiritual classic since its first publication in 1984, will continue to engage readers in ways of appropriating for their own lives the inestimable spiritual values of Benedict's sixth-century Rule. The book is enhanced by the addition of a supportive foreword by Kathleen Norris, and the author's evocative preface and updated, expanded annotated list of readings. The book has no equal as a challenging and practical guide for monastic and non-monastic alike who are searching for ways of incorporating the basic Christian Gospel values into their daily lived-out experiences.
Rosemary Rader, O.S.B., Benedict Distinguished Visiting Professor, Carleton College

About the Author

Esther de Waal is one of today's most celebrated spiritual writers. Seeking God, her classic book on the relevance of the Rule of Saint Benedict, has opened up the riches of the monastic tradition to readers throughout the world for almost twenty-five years. Greatly in demand as a speaker and retreat leader, she lives in Herefordshire, UK.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 163 pages
  • Publisher: The Liturgical Press; second edition edition (April 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814613888
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814613887
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 7.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,909 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The author was recommended to me both by my spiritual director and by a monastic. I see why. It is written simply and directly. It does not drip religiousity nor is it so esoteric that one becomes stalled in frustration. Instead, de Waal relates the Rule of St. Benedict to life in the world today. She does not compromise the Rule nor interpose her own "doctrine"- she draws from a great knowledge of writers of the Benedictine tradition from the past to the present, couples that with her experience as a wife and mother, presenting a straight forward discussion of the Rule, how it is of help to the Christian of today, and how it may be applied in the life of the individual who is seeking a rule for his or her own life. Her tradition is Anglican but one does not sense an intrusiveness- rather a calm, rational, feet on the floor contemplative guide which opens the door to further spiritual growth.
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Format: Paperback
Seeking God is an elegant, insightful, and extremely valuable treatment of the spirituality inherent in St. Benedict's Rule. The further into the book I read, the better I realized it was. Again and again I was impressed with the wisdom and psychological astuteness of the Rule as deWaal explained it. Benedict's way of moderation, humility, and balance, as interpreted by deWaal, seems one of the wisest and healthiest examples of Christian thinking that I have encountered. It is an excellent antidote to the regrettable tendency of some to want to separate body from soul and the material world from the spiritual world; Benedictine spirituality instead balances and integrates them!
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Format: Paperback
Esther de Waal has written a beautiful little book about finding God in the commonplace. My copy is highlighted with notes in the margins like "wow" and "so true". Busy, hectic lives seem to keep us away from God, but de Waal shows us that it is precisely within the rush and madness of our daily lives that God finds us and calls us by name. A book to be read and read again.
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Seeking God: The Way of St. Benedict not only explains the rule in clear terms, it shows how it can be implemented (i.e., lived) by an individual living outside of a monastic community. As a married man with children (now grown) who loves his family oriented vocation, the book gave me both insight into, and a way to live out my calling to a contemplative spirituality in a world that rarely appreciates or acknowledges such a mixed vocation. It's been more than 25 years since I first read the book and while I've only re-read it cover to cover a couple of times over the years, I have frequently picked it up to re-read a few pages or a chapter that seems relevant.
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Format: Paperback
I found Esther's book to be very insightful and concise. The only thing that trip me up a bit was the very small print and small fonts. Other than that she has a very clever way of explaining the rule of benedict and what it could mean for ones lay lifestyle. This is an excellent read for anyone wishing to become an Oblate.
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Format: Paperback
I didn't know a lot about St. Benedict, or the Benedictine Way when I selected this book, more or less at random, as a project for Lent. The idea was that learning something might be better than giving up something. As such, this was an excellent little book. It's not long, reading a chapter a day a day is not an arduous task, and Esther De Waal's prose is very accessible. On the other hand, it's more of a "how to lead a good life" than a commentary on St. Benedict's writings. After I'd started De Waal's book I found Joan Chittister's "The Rule of Benedict: Insights For The Ages" which takes the Rule itself, paragraph by paragraph and provides an analysis and commentary. Still De Waal's book, while it wasn't exactly what I was looking for, turned out to be a very worthwhile read.
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By RBO on April 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is an amazing book in it ability to provide modern day interpretation to the St. Benedict's teachings. The insights of this saint who lived in the 6th century contain uncanny wisdom and direction for us today, whether as religious, lay person, for family and business leaders. Ms de Waal's style is thoughtful, prayerful, inspiring.

I recommend it to anyone who is interested in personal, and/or societel growth.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For anyone who is interested in understanding Benedictine spirituality, this book is a must. It is clearly written, and it provides the reader with a way to think about The Way of St. Benedict as it could be applied in modern life.
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