A review of kathleen norris the cloister walk

In the early s, Kathleen Norris spent nine months at the Benedictine monastery of St. As I understand it, this means living by the text of The Rule of St. Benedict, a ninety-six page volume that, as I understand it, is really the slimmest of all rulebooks for an order like theirs.

A review of kathleen norris the cloister walk

Kathleen Norris | Socrates in the City

Those of us living in the 21st century might similarly be perplexed about the application of an ancient hermit's musings to our contemporary lives. In The Cloister Walk, Kathleen Norris describes her participation at a Benedictine monastery and illustrates how very relevant the Benedictine way is to our own questions of how to live soulfully with others.

Norris' authority as a writer of Benedictine ways comes through various paths. The Cloister Walk describes her nine-month stay at the St.

A review of kathleen norris the cloister walk

John's Abbey in Minnesota where she is an oblate, one who has offered herself to God. As a freelance writer she has interviewed monks and nuns on a variety of topics, and has researched the classical writings which inform Benedictine practice.

As a Protestant she had only recently returned to her religious roots when she sought solace from vocational tensions in the discipline and rhythm of the liturgy. And as a poet, Norris is open to the wonder of the monastic liturgy that "plunges you into scripture in such a way that, over time, the texts invite you to commune with them, and can come to serve as a mirror.

Early on, Norris parallels the role of poet and prophet; both are the "necessary other," called to "reveal the fault lines hidden beneath the comfortable surface of the worlds we invent for ourselves.

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Norris, the poet prophet, speaks the paradox to our modern, post-enlightenment lives that we have much to learn by submitting to centuries-old monastic traditions and teachings.

During the fall liturgy, the prophet Jeremiah calls out, "Stop wearing out your shoes. Most young adults love the freedom gained from losing the shackles of structure imposed by school, parents or religious authority. Tradition, however, suggests that true freedom is found not in keeping all our options open, but in responding to the call of inner authenticity.

For monastics, the call to communal living removes surface choices, but deepens the freedom to learn one's intended path. Norris describes the shock of one monk upon being freed from the concerns of getting the right car, the right job and the right girlfriend.

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He spent years refocusing his concerns to learn who God wanted him to be. Similarly, we are invited to ask, "What would I find in my own heart if the noise of the world was silenced?

People who come, one Benedictine sister related, have no sense of what it means to live communally. Similarly, we hear that one of our greatest problems as individuals in society is loneliness. Benedict wrote that the purpose of individual growth is to share with others, recognizing the importance of learning honesty, trust and a communal focus within the company of others.

Although our culture can be bent on acknowledging individual success and worth, The Cloister Walk illustrates in various ways the value of being part of a community. Norris' many descriptions of feasts and celebrations, both monastic and secular, kindle our desire to share our lives with community.

Even the comparison of communal life to a rock tumbler, suggesting the benefit of having the sharp edges worn away through relationship and accountability, draws one toward community.The Cloister Walk () About book: These short essays reminded more than anything else of Annie Dillard's Holy the Firm.

Both use the poet's eye to clear away the emotion and prejudice we muddy our hearts with so that we can live our lives more simply and directly. Read "The Cloister Walk" by Kathleen Norris with Rakuten Kobo. A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER AND NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR .

Cloister Walk Paperback. A reverent study of the monastic world assesses the meaning of the cloistered life in modern times, journeying through a liturgical year to capture the relevance and spiritual significance of the religious life.

The Cloister Walk by Kathleen Norris About the Book Part memoir, part meditation, The Cloister Walk is the movingly written and thought-provoking record of a married.

Kathleen Norris, known as bestselling essayist on the spiritual life, is an award-winning poet, writer, and author of The New York Times bestsellers The Cloister Walk, Dakota: A Spiritual Geography; Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith; and The Virgin of nationwidesecretarial.coming the spiritual life, her work is at once intimate and historical, rich in poetry and meditations, brimming with.

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A review of kathleen norris the cloister walk

Our analysis is only an ESTIMATE, and not a statement of fact. The Cloister Walk From Norris, Kathleen. Reviews not yet analyzed. The Virgin of Bennington From Norris, Kathleen.

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