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The Cloister Walk

The Cloister Walk

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In her view, the metaphors of scripture are the beating heart of religious understanding, permitting us to glimpse some shred of the divine nature through a human lens.

Norris also asks some of the other big questions: namely how can these people who accept lifelong chastity get by without loneliness and still be able to help those, many of whom are married or struggling with a relationship, that come to them seeking advice and spiritual insight?The believer must allow faith to take root before its objects can become clear, Norris indicates, much as the poet waits for a poem’s meaning to unfurl in the writing of it. 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 residences at St John's Abbey, Minnesota. It is a first principle of their worship that they read the psalms straight through, at least some portion of it each day.

During this pandemic, which is horrific and sad for the world and yet oddly good for my extremely introverted, hermit-ish soul, I decided to do some catch-up and hit that pile of books I’d always wanted to read and yet never quite started. But she insists that to do so impoverishes the metaphorical richness of scripture’s revelation, shortchanging us spiritually.Range of fitted bedroom furniture in light wood effect finish comprising; wardrobes and high level storage cupboards. A poor condition book can still make a good reading copy but is generally not collectible unless the item is very scarce. There’s an absolutely fascinating chapter on the self-serving, propaganda-filled canonization of St. For the past 35 years, a small band of dedicated friends have poured their hearts and love into Friends of Silence. I experienced being a part of the sea breeze, the movement of the water and the fish, the light rays cast by the sun, the colors of the palms and tropical flowers.

Norris comes from a protestant background, and yet finds herself compelled by this life of chastity and worship, cloisters and habits, and its quiet gentleness and yet worldly acceptance of things as they are. All used books might have various degrees of writing, highliting and wear and tear and possibly be an ex-library with the usual stickers and stamps. Combine the poetic nature of the psalms with the old-school war language, the defeating enemies and praying calamity on them, and you have me distanced and more than a little uncomfortable. In The Cloister Walk, persisting in [Norris's] wonderfully idiosyncratic ways, she gives us the result of an 'immersion into a liturgical world'.

The language of liturgy and poetry wells from a realm of image and symbol that skirts the edges of the rational mind and is, thus, often ambiguous in its meaning. Do you think contemporary changes in liturgy to make it more accessible are detrimental to the practice of religion in the long run? The author conveys several times her complete astonishment at finding herself a resident in a monastery. And so, living in a community as dedicated to words as monks and nuns do, do the religious communities she interacts with. They gossip, crack jokes, fall asleep in church, suffer through depression and doubt like the rest of us.

She brings to life the reality of Benedictine life - the hospitality - the humour - the deep love of Christ and the rhythm of the liturgical year. Do you agree with the author’s insistence that keeping liturgy grounded in age-old metaphor and poetry is imperative if we are to preserve meaning and the “ belief in the power of words to change things” (p.Kathleen Norris well understands our temptation to smooth over the thornier elements of Christian faith, to frame them in terms we can easily affirm, terms that play nicely with our post-Enlightenment understanding of reality. Before we know it, her quirky, almost episodic diary-like entries have us loving these Benedictines and the Dessert Fathers from whom they descended (most certainly will be finding some books on that soon! In "The Cloister Walk," persisting in [Norris's] wonderfully idiosyncratic ways, she gives us the result of an 'immersion into a liturgical world'. The Benedictines though are not afraid to tackle the difficult bits alongside those peaceful passages we all love.

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