This is a short book, about 90 pages and just under an hour as audio. It is cheap on both kindle and audiobook right now ($0.99 on kindle, $2.77 on audio). Sunday morning I could not sleep and after putzing around on social media for a while I put this on audio to listen to as I sat back and closed my eyes hoping to fall back asleep.
I don’t think I feel back asleep but I also need to read this again and it is quick enough I probably will later this week. Thematically, this is simple, some meditations from the head of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio about how people outside of the monastery can incorporate some of the practices and ideas of the monastery in a non-monastic setting.
There are good looks at being a parent and how parenting (or other relationships) primes us to sacrifice for others. Also how there are seasons of life and looking at those seasons (or times of day) can be used to be thought of like the liturgical year or the prayers of the hours.
There are weaknesses to books like this. Monasticism isn’t the same as life outside of the cloister. There are parallels that can be drawn but pulling at them too strongly causes them to break down. Encouragements to live sacrificially for your children or to think of the structure of your day as a form of prayer method are good for people that are not prone to codependency or OCD. There are people that absolutely shouldn’t read books like this, and others that would benefit.
In a time when I have been having a hard time sitting down and reading heavier material, short books like this are helpful.