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Seeking God: The Way of St. Benedict Paperback – April, 2001
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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 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"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?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?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[short ad copy]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.
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This book is neither dense nor superficial. It draws the reader in to examine his own life, attitudes and practices. Its persistent theme is to make God the center and motivation of everything we do. It opened the idea of stability as not just adherence to a place, but to a code of values and Person. I was impressed with the argument that our spiritual and worldly senses should be woven into each other, not isolated into separate phases of our lives. I was surprised to find the Benedictine theme of finding God in all things and situations, an outlook I had associated with Ignatian spirituality.
I found this book to help direct my thoughts on my daily relationship with God. I anticipate that it will deepen my next reading of the Rule. I recommend as a valuable aid it for all God Seekers.