Melanie's Reviews > Flunking Sainthood: A Year of Breaking the Sabbath, Forgetting to Pray, and Still Loving My Neighbor

Flunking Sainthood by Jana Riess
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's review
Oct 21, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: christian-spirituality
Read from November 30, 2011 to January 02, 2012 , read count: 1

I went through over a month of picking this book up and putting it down again because I wanted to like it. I like Riess' honest reflectiveness on her imperfect spiritual practices--I can relate to her--but the chapters became predictable because you knew she was going to fall short every time. Even the specific obstacles became predictable. For the reader, it became boring. I liked the sketchy historical background and the introduction to Christian spiritual practices unknown to me. But the main goal of the book was to reflect on Riess' exploration of her experience with and growth through these practices, and since that became so tiresome (if ultimately redemptive)---2/5 stars.

Here's something I learned from the book that I do think is really cool:

"I've been on retreats at Benedictine monasteries before, and part of the joy is in how much they leave you to your own devices. If you want to talk with a monk or spiritual director you can, but you have to request it. If you want to meet other retreatants, you can eat dinner in a room designated for conversation; if not, you can read a book or sit in silence during dinner, and no one thinks it's rude" (p. 127).

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