Sunday, September 01, 2013

Atchison Blue: My Review

About the Book:
In this meditative spiritual memoir, Judith Valente, celebrated PBS religion journalist and celebrated poet, invites readers along on her transformative pilgrimages to Mount St. Scholastica monastery in Atchison, Kansas. The Benedictine sisters who invited Valente presented her with a view of monastic life and wisdom that brought spiritual healing to her fast-paced life--and promises to do the same for her readers.

The first time Judith Valente arrived at Mount St. Scholastica monastery, she came prepared to teach a course on poetry and the soul. Instead, she found herself the student, taking lessons from the Benedictine sisters in the healing nature of silence, how to cultivate habits of mindful living, and the freeing reality that conversion is a lifelong process. 

With the heart of a poet and the eye of a journalist, she tells how her many visits and interviews with the Benedictine sisters forced her to confront aspects of her own life that needed healing--a journey that will invite readers to healing of their own. A beautiful and heartfelt work that crosses The Cloister Walk with Tuesdays with Morrie, Atchison Blue will resonate with readers of Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen, Mary Gordon, and Anne Lamott.

My Comments:
I think a great word to describe our modern world is "busy".  We go from the time we get up in the morning until the time we go to bed at night (and we usually go to bed later than we should).  Judith was like most of us; busy most of the time, but she met the sisters at Mount St. Scholastica and learned slow down and appreciate both the people in her life and God's creation.  We learn about the life of the sisters and how Judith was able to learn from that life, even though she make her living as a journalist.  Theses ladies are not contemplatives who pray all day, but working women who have learned to integrate prayer, work, and play in a way many of us would do well to imitate.  

I want to share a little of the wisdom with you (realizing that the final copy may be different than the digital ARC I had.
People who are all about action might never find God.  And those who are only interested in contemplation might never build the kingdom of God.
Death is the price we pay to be reunited with those who have gone before us in faith. 

I'd like to thank the publisher for making a review copy available via NetGalley.  Grade:  B

You can read more about the Benedictine Sister at their website.

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