Kathleen Norris, a married woman with a thoroughly Protestant background and often more doubt than faith, finds herself, somewhat to her own surprise, on two extended residencies at St John's Abbey in Minnesota. Part record of her time among the Benedictines, part meditation on aspects of monastic life, The Cloister Walk demonstrates from the rare perspective of someone who is both an insider and outsider, how immersion in the cloistered world - its liturgy, ritual and sense of community - can impart meaning to everyday events and deepen our secular lives. In this stirring and lyrical work, the monastery becomes immediate, accessible, and relevant to us, no matter what our faith may be. n 'Who's this book for? Poetry lovers, English-literature students, marriage counsellors, monks, hairstylists, unemployed people, teachers, Catholics, Protestants, agnostics, Buddhists. Anyone with an open mind and a love of words, in short' RTE Guide
In the tradition of Thomas Merton, Kathleen Norris gives us an intimate look at how religious life fills a gap in the soul. Her poetic sensibilities internalize the monastery as a symbol of spirituality, with its sanctity and humor, questioning and uncertainty, rhythm and vigor. Beyond moral precepts and Bible stories, Cloister Walk is a very personal account of religion lived fully. It depicts a depth and beauty of spirituality in monastic life that has survived the vicissitudes of Roman Catholic politics and pomp.