Review: Seeking Life

Seeking Life by Esther de Waal
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I will confess up front that my reading of this book probably did not fit the expectation of the author, in that I read it all in one day rather than reflectively over the course of many weeks. In my defence, I was stuck at home with no power and no ability to do anything other than read, and de Waal’s writing and insight on the Rule of St Benedict captured my attention.

Like her other forays into reflections and commentaries on the Rule of St Benedict, and Benedictine life and spirituality, Seeking Life provides a wonderful entree into the Prologue of the Rule of St Benedict that is focussed and centred on a baptismal reading of that introductory section of Benedict’s great spiritual treatise.

There is much to be found there in the Prologue, which is as should be expected. What was not expected by this reader was the way in which de Waal looked at the riches of the Prologue from the perspective of having renewed her baptismal vows and vocation during a celebration of the great Easter Vigil. This fresh approach provides yet another vein to be mined for spiritual wisdom and insight – which is, of course, what constant re-reading of the Rule of St Benedict provides.

Although I read this in ‘one sitting’, I have a feeling that I will be revisiting parts of it again and again over coming weeks and months as what I have only begun to digest becomes clearer.

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