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The Orchards of Perseverance: Conversations With Trappist Monks About God,…
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0967213509, Paperback)One might argue that the world does not need any more what-it's-like-to-live-in-a-monastery books. But The Orchards of Perseverance by David D. Perata offers such a fresh, smart, down-to-earth perspective on the monastic experience that even if you're suffering from compline-fatigue, you'll want to read this one straight through. Perata first visited the Abbey of Our Lady of New Clairvaux, a Trappist monastery in Vina, California, in the summer of 1967, when he had just finished the seventh grade. He helped harvest the monastery's crops, which range from walnuts to safflower, and he began paying close attention to the monks he worked with in the fields. Over the next 30 years, Perata returned to the Abbey many times, and this book is the fruit of his labors. The Orchards of Perseverance is a collection of interviews with the Trappists, illustrated with intimate photographs of them at work, at worship, and at play. The book offers plenty of spiritual wisdom, like this from a Trappist named Father Timothy: "Sometimes I'll be praying, and all at once I'm so aware of God's presence.... Just a few minutes like that makes it all worthwhile, and then you go out and plant some more tomatoes." More striking, and more unusual, is the way that Perata's interviews convey a tangible sense of what it's like to live in such a close-knit community of faith. The reader learns, without being explicitly told, that there is lightness in the density. And that is a fascinating and hopeful fact. --Michael Joseph Gross
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:52 -0400)
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