Rachielle's Reviews > The Cloister Walk

The Cloister Walk by Kathleen Norris
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's review
Mar 19, 12

really liked it

In The Cloister Walk, Kathleen Norris recounts her communal experience with the monks at St. John's Abbey in Minnesota. The author is an outsider to the Catholic faith, especially to the community of celibate men. She is a married woman with a Protestant background, and as a poet, she likens her role to that of a monk, something that the modern world had written off as entirely useless. She writes the book in the pattern of the liturgical year, celebrating the seasons of Lent, Advent, Christmas, Easter and Ordinary Time. She follows the routines of the Abbey, the Liturgy of the Hours that dictate the rhythm of prayers at designated hours. While she explores the rituals of the community, she discovers the inspirations of the saints and the desert monks, whose life of silence and meditation have marked centuries of devotion and faith. This is a book that cannot be rushed. I found that each chapter spoke slowly, much like a meditation guide. The author writes in a prose so beautiful that it becomes poetry.
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