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Books & Articles

Here are some general resources used by some of our communities related to formation, vocation, community building and more. Please explore and share! Contact NAECC Communications if any of the links are broken. Thank you.

BOOKS

A Monk in the World: Cultivating a Spiritual Life by Wayne Teasdale 

In A Monk in the World, Teasdale explores what Griffiths’ charge has meant for him — to live as a monk outside the monastery, to integrate teachings from the world’s religions with his own Catholic training, to combine his vigorous spiritual practice with the necessities of making a living and pursuing a course of social justice in a big American city—as well as how readers can find their own spiritual path amidst the rigors of everyday life. Along the way, Teasdale explores the real world topics of friendship; time, work, and money; the problem and opportunity of the homeless; a contemplative understanding of suffering; the struggle to promote personal and social change; as well as the as the role of the church and nature in building spiritual understanding. 

 

The Monastery of the Heart: An Invitation to a Meaningful Life by Joan Chittister, OSB

Every age has answered the questions and challenges of spiritual living in its own particular ways through its languages, arts, and lifestyles. Bestselling author Chittister delivers a roadmap based on the ancient Rule of Benedict that stands as a practical model upon which to build a satisfying life.

The Wisdom of the Beguines: The Forgotten Story of a Medieval Women's Movement by Laura Swan

The beguines began to form in various parts of Europe over eight hundred years ago. Beguines were laywomen, not nuns, and they did not live in monasteries. They practiced a remarkable way of living independently, and they were never a religious order or a formalized movement. But there were common elements that these medieval women shared across Europe, including their visionary spirituality, their unusual business acumen, and their courageous commitment to the poor and sick. Beguines were essentially self-defined, in opposition to the many attempts to control and define them. They lived by themselves or in communities called beguinages, which could be single homes for just a few women or, as in Brugge, Brussels, and Amsterdam, walled-in rows of houses where hundreds of beguines lived together—a village of women within a medieval town or city.

 

The Wisdom Jesus: Transforming Heart and Mind--A New Perspective on Christ and His Message by Cynthia Bourgeault

If you put aside what you  think you know about Jesus and approach the Gospels as though for the first time, something remarkable happens: Jesus emerges as a teacher of the transformation of consciousness. Cynthia Bourgeault is a masterful guide to Jesus's vision and to the traditional contemplative practices you can use to experience the heart of his teachings for yourself.