Simplicity and Prayer

In the simple promises for the junior lay associates (Lay Cistercians) of the Monastery of the Holy Spirit, we promise, among other things, to live "life in simplicity and prayer." I love that juxtaposition. Prayer and simplicity go together so beautifully, it seems to me, that one of the best ways to cultivate in our hearts the space for prayer is by allowing things to be simple. I don't mean simple in the sense of not very smart, but simple in the sense of what Taoists call wu-wei, or "going … [Read more...]

Acedia & Me

Acedia & Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer’s Life By Kathleen Norris New York: Riverhead Books, 2008 Review by Carl McColmanAcedia — a spiritual state of soul-weariness, boredom, or perhaps even wilful depression — is hardly the kind of topic I would expect to see an entire book devoted to; not even a book by an author renowned for her keen insight into the ongoing relevance of monastic spirituality in our time. But Kathleen Norris is capable, like few other authors I know of who are writ … [Read more...]