The Monastic Heart: 50 Simple Practices for a Contemplative and Fulfilling Life

Convergent. Sept. 2021. 288p. ISBN 9780593239407. $26. REL
Chittister’s (The Time Is Now) latest offers timely wisdom for readers seeking purpose and peace during the COVID-19 pandemic. The American Benedictine nun and theologian writes from a human perspective steeped in the quiet wisdom of her monastic tradition. She presents 50 monastic mindfulness practices in beautiful, uncomplicated language that encourages contemplation and quietude; each chapter reads quickly. Blending spirituality, self-help, and Chittister’s own influences (including Muslim poet Rumi and Jewish philosopher Maimonides), the book also discusses navigating life’s tougher moments. True to Benedictine practice, this volume uses a lens of personal devotion and spirituality, making it useful for readers who are spiritual but not religious or are from a non-Christian religious tradition.
VERDICT For readers seeking solace and a deeper spiritual practice, or anyone with an interest in Benedictine monastic practices. With its advice on contemplation, this is also a helpful guide for groups.
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