In a monastery bookshop

Today someone  came into the Abbey Store and walked up to me and said, “I need a book with a title like ‘The Third Alphabet’ or something like that.”

“Oh, I imagine you mean The Third Spiritual Alphabet by Francisco de Osuna,” I said. I explained to the customer that it’s not a title we keep in stock, being rather obscure even for our clientele, but I offered to special order it for her.

She said she’d have to think about it.

“If you’re interested in Teresa of Avila, it’s probably one worth having,” I said. “After all, it’s the book that Teresa herself credited as being one of the most important spiritual books she ever read.”

“You’re right,” said the customer, her face lighting up. “I attended a lecture that Susan Muto gave on St. Teresa not long ago, and she mentioned it. I’ve been looking for it ever since. In fact, you’re the first person who had any idea what I was talking about.”

I smiled. “Why do you think I work in a monastery bookstore?” I asked her, and we both laughed.

  • Joel Watson

    ‘shouldn’t have read this. I read it and immediatelly went to Amazon and bought it. NOW I’ve gotta read it. The question is when with all the other books…. Thank you. I came to your page via your LibraryThing page. Apparently we have many of the same books. I could never work in a monastery bookstore….. I would never have any of my paycheck left at the end of the month. You are in my prayers .


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