The Joy of God
Sister Mary David Totah was a nun of the Benedictine contemplative community of St Cecilia's Abbey on the Isle of Wight. American by birth, she was educated at Loyola University, the University of Virginia and Christ Church, Oxford. After a distinguished teaching career, she entered religious life in 1985. For 22 years until her early death from cancer she guided the young nuns of her abbey with enthusiasm, wisdom and wit.
The spirituality to be found in the pages of this book demonstrates to the reader why her influence should have been so great and so deep. Her notes to the novices deal with issues of relevance to a world beyond the cloister: What is the meaning of suffering? How do we cope with living with people who annoy us? How do we relate to a God we cannot see? How do we make the big decisions of life?
Sister Mary David's teaching was both profound and intensely practical, suffused with faith in God's joy in our work, leisure, community and family life but above all in our view and understanding of ourselves. This book, with an introduction by Abbot Erik Varden OCSO (author of The Shattering of Loneliness) shows us how to realize the Joy that is God.
Sample quotes from the book:
Think of the story of Naaman the Syrian, the leper who was told to wash in the Jordan seven times (2 Kings 5). It is by immersing ourselves in the stream of daily monastic living - the liturgy, work, the service of the community at every level, prayer, reading - that we will begin to experience the transforming power of the life. Eventually, like Naaman, we will be transfigured, restored, and become like a little child. (p. 136)
Remember that you are not alone, that you are much loved, and that sometimes God is better served in our weakness and struggle. Remember too that many are being helped in ways known to God alone by our difficult fidelity. (p. 107)
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