05 April 2011

Lenten Reading #2

One of my goals during Lent was to read 3-4 books from my church women's group reading list and/or other church-related reading recommendations.  Well, I've done a grand total of 2 now!  I'm finding that I read them much more slowly than when I pick up fiction, especially when I'm diving into a good YA fiction piece.  The reading is informative and often really interesting, but you really have to think about it a lot more. Know what I mean? 

Moving on, the second book that I picked up for Lent was from my church reading list and I was able to get it from the University library's ILL program. Yay for finding books I can borrow!

A Monk in the Inner City: The ABCs of a Spiritual Journey
By Mary Lou Kownacki
Published: 16 April 2008
Publisher: Orbis Books
Check it out on Goodreads!

Let's start with this: Mary Lou Kownacki is NOT your average nun, or at least, not what I, in my apparent small mindedness, envisioned a nun to be like.  In a series of stories, recollections, and simple thoughts arranged in alphabetical groupings, Mary Lou leads the readers on a spiritual journey. Mary Lou is a Benedictine Sister living in Erie, Pennsylvania, attempting to "stretch [her] monk's robe until it embraces the suffering world."  She offers insights to a variety of topics from angels to Thomas Merton to zen wisdom and everything in between.

Reading this was actually a lot more fun than I expected.  Sister Mary Lou is a bit of radical, at least in my mind.  She participates in peace demonstrations and gets thrown in jail.  She advocates for better roles for women in the Catholic Church.  She surprised me at every turn.  Her stories tugged at your heartstrings and made you stop and think.  I felt like she made you stop and reconsider your preconceived notions about monastic life and about religion/Christianity in general.  An enlightening read.

Well, that marks two books of my reading list for Lent.  Next, I'm debating reading The Sacred Romance or working on another book from the church reading list, Three Cups of Tea (which would also count toward my "One, Two, Theme!" Challenge).  I guess I'll just have to see what strikes me this week (after I finish my homework, of course).

1 comment:

Maria Behar said...

Hi, there!  I've been following your blog for a while, but hadn't made any comments in a long time....  Well, this post caught my eye when I went to your 'On My Wishlist" post!  (And I'll comment on that one in a minute.) 

I know it's pretty late to be commenting on this -- here we are, practically in the middle of August -- but felt I just had to tell you how very fascinating this book sounds!!  I think it would be great spiritual reading for any time of year!  (You know, it might be perfect for Advent, too.)  So I'm promptly adding it to my TBR pile!!

Thanks for featuring it!!  : )

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