TITLE: In God's Holy Light: Wisdom from the Desert Monastics
AUTHOR: Joan Chittister
PUBLISHER: Cincinnati, OH: Franciscan Media, 2015, (144 pages).
In this book, a collection of 35 stories have been put together with a commentary from Joan Chittister, a Benedictine monk who has written a lot on all things spirituality and a respected voice for justice and peace. Each chapter can stand on its own. There is no necessity to read straight through from cover to cover in order to be touched by the wisdom in the pages. Imagine a room with thirty five doors in front of us. It does not matter which door we opened for every door opened will shine light on the path ahead and behind us. More importantly, it shines into our hearts to reveal our weaknesses and the need for us to remain humble. Here is how I would recommend the use of this book.
At the start, read the short story and pause. Do not be distracted by technicalities or words that you are not familiar with. Some of the things may appear quite bizarre like Serapion who gave away everything including the Word. It is not the things he did outside but what is motivating his outward actions that matter more. Slowly but surely, the unassuming and gentle advice given by the desert fathers help us see ourselves more clearly. When ready, go ahead to read Chittister's commentary on the story. There are lots of gems and insights which should stretch our mind and our learning. If we think we have understood the sayings of the desert monks, let Chittister show us another perspective or more. The stories and the lessons are easy to read. Letting the truth sink into our hearts is not so easy.
Rating: 4.75 stars of 5.
This book is provided to me courtesy of Franciscan Media and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.