Review: Living in the House of God: Monastic Essays

Living in the House of God: Monastic EssaysLiving in the House of God: Monastic Essays by Margaret Malone

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This short book of essays from a scholar of the Rule of St Benedict was engaging and thought-provoking, challenging for the better some of my own (admittedly limited) understanding of the little rule for beginners.

Malone, who has been immersed in the spirituality of the Rule for her whole adult life, brings her experience and scholarship – and indeed her humanity – to the task of opening up the Rule of St Benedict for those who care to plumb its depths.

For anyone interested in the Rule, or in the spiritual life that flows from the Rule, this book is a must read.

From the back cover:

“How should we live in this house of God? We know that the way a building is shaped also helps in determining the way those within it live and relate. We are indeed formed by what we form. Qualities such as integrity, hospitality, humanity, and beauty in a place will enable its dweller to live lives in which such qualities are evident. They was we understand who we are and how we live will be reflected in our places and vice versa. Our place become bearers of meaning and memory.” – From Chapter 1

In Living in the House of God, Margaret Malone draws on her study of and research on the Rule of Saint Benedict to show the ways in which this ancient rule can illuminate modern life. The broad range of topics this book examines – from Benedictine life as sacrament to Augustine’s influence on Benedict to obedience and the art of listening, among others – is itself a witness to the generous flexibility of the Rule, as Benedict proposes a way of life that truly corresponds to the deepest needs of the whole of human nature.

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