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What is a monastery? A monastery is a place set apart—a place to learn the blessings of powerlessness, and that time is not ours but God’s. Our home and our duties can, just like a monastery, teach us those things. The vocation of monastic men and women is to physically withdraw from the world. But the principle is equally valid for those of us who cannot go off to monasteries. Certain vocations offer the same kind of opportunity for contemplation, and provide a desert for reflection.
In ten brief and powerful chapters, Fr. Ron explores how monastery life can apply to those who don't live in a cloister: • Monasticism and Family Life • The Domestic Monastery • Real Friendship • Lessons from the Monastic Cell • Ritual for Sustaining Prayer • Tensions within Spirituality • A Spirituality of Parenting • Spirituality and the Seasons of Our Lives • The Sacredness of Time • Life’s Key Question
About the Author
Ronald Rolheiser, OMI, is a specialist in the fields of spirituality and systematic theology, and a New York Times bestselling author. He writes a regular column that is featured in more than seventy newspapers worldwide. He is the author of many books, including bestsellers The Holy Longing and Sacred Fire, as well as The Restless Heart, Forgotten Amongst the Lilies, Bruised and Wounded, and Domestic Monastery.
"If ever there was a time when a book like Fr. Ronald Rolheiser's Domestic Monastery was needed, that time is now. With schools closed and many people telecommuting, our domestic churches have become the centers of our world like never before. Parents like me, long removed from the housebound days with very little children, will re-familiarize themselves with what it's like to be at home with our families: no school, no sports, no rehearsals, no trips to the movie theater. I was greeted cheerfully last Friday by my 18-year-old son (my youngest), who'd just learned that he probably won't be back in school until after Easter: "So who's ready to spend the next four weeks with ME?" Domestic Monastery, a mystical yet down-to-earth look at the spirituality of being a parent, will encourage and uplift parents at any stage in their parenting journey. Rolheiser emphasizes that there is nothing "lesser-than" about being a parent, as opposed to being a priest or religious. Instead, he compares the life of a parent to that of a monastic, drawing parallels that focus especially on the self-abandonment necessary in love. Spiritual writers and mystics such as St. John of the Cross provide wisdom, Rolheiser asserts, that is valuable to parents as well as cloistered religious. This little book invites parents to contemplate and appreciate their particular vocation in a new and deeper way. It will also whet the reader's appetite for digging into the works of mystical writers. Domestic Monastery is only 89 pages long, but it took me longer to read than I'd expected. That's because I kept stopping to meditate on a phrase or sentence more deeply. This is a book that a reader can keep coming back to: once you've read it all the way through, keep it handy so you can revisit the pages with quotes. They are excellent journal prompts or prayer starters. Br. Mickey McGrath, OSFS, created the painting of the Holy Family that graces the cover of this book. It is striking that there are four figures in this painting: Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and the Holy Spirit. What a beautiful representation of the Family that is the example for all families! If you or someone you know are feeling overwhelmed by the demands of your time, energy, and love that being a parent requires, Domestic Monastery will help you put your situation in perspective in a comforting and engaging way." —Barbara Szyszkiewicz, CatholicMom.com