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Esther de Waal
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The Way of Simplicity: The Cistercian Tradition

(Traditions of Christian Spirituality)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  35 ratings  ·  3 reviews
In The Way of Simplicity Esther de Waal reveals the riches of the Cistercian (Trappist) tradition and its relevance for todays world. The book draws not only on such twelfth-century writers as Bernard of Clairvaux and Aelred of Rievaulx, but also on Thomas Merton and many contemporary Cistercians. These Cistercian men and women wrote on matters of perennial concern: the tr ...more
Paperback, 173 pages
Published September 1st 1998 by Orbis Books
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Mar 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
As a longtime admirer of Thomas Merton, and ex-monastic, the Cistercian tradition has long attracted me. This is a well-researched book on just what forces drive men and women to take up this most difficult of all monastic traditions. There will be a wealth of new information for anyone who reads it, and the Lectio chapter--devoted to lectio divina, or the method where one reads and ponders word and phrases in both the mind and the heart, will provide a powerful spiritual exercise for those inte ...more
Sep 28, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemplative
I enjoyed this book and I thank Esther De Waal for authoring it. There has been a lot written about simplicity and the Cistercian life style but very few authors have understood the driving forces that maintain this life style. It is very evident the Easter De Waal invested years of study and research into monasticism. However, she came away with much more than research she developed, and shares with us, a deep understanding and appreciation of the purpose for the monastery.

She examines monks li
Apr 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I happened to read this beautiful, reflective book while on my first retreat in a Cistercian convent in Wales. An apt setting, perhaps, to appreciating the author's insights on the Cistercian way - and I enjoyed the book thoroughly, it seemed like an answer to everything I was looking for. I met Esther two years later in the same convent, when she was sharing her knowledge on Cistercian architecture and the meaning of a sacred space.
The author is a lay (Anglican) follower of the rule of St Bened
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