Saturday, September 12, 2015

In God's Holy Light: Wisdom from the Desert Monastics by Joan Chisttister

Meet the Desert Monastics face to face or should I say heart to heart. I loved this book for the spiritual wisdom that it imparts. I learned so much about what is important in life. It's like having a spiritual director in your pocket. I realy liked the quotes from the desert fathers that were at the beginning of each chapter. Then the rest of the chapter unpacks the meaning of the quote and expands on the explanation of how this applies to each of us in modern times.
There are 35 chapters that are short and digestible but the reader might want to give time to meditate on each. This book would be good as a Lenten retreat. The first few chapters discuss what you might want to be leary of in a false spirituality. The middle chapters describe what an adult spirituality might look like. The last chapters concentrate on an individual's place in the bigger Christian world.
One of the most interesting ideas of consulting the desert monastics is that what they dealt with in their society in Egypt in the 3rd through the 6th centuries in trying to not get caught up in the materialism and selfishness in their cities is common now for our time as well. So how do we become like the monks and nuns of their time in our modern day society? We are generally seeking a closer relationship with Christ as modern day Christians but so much is distraction and gets in our way.
The abbas advice and stories are about how to simplify our lives and get to the heart of the matter and capture our inner heart strings too. I was intimidated about the topic of the desert monastics at first but the author has made them fun and easy to understand at first read but with enough depth in spirituality to interest the seasoned reader of Christian spirituality.
I would recommend this book to you as a book to savor. It is definitely one I will keep close on my shelf and you will want to have a copy too.

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