The Back of the Book (from Amazon): Have you ever wondered why everybody these days seems so busy? In FINDING SANCTUARY, Father Christopher Jamison, the Abbot from BBC TV’s THE MONASTERY and THE SILENCE, offers practical wisdom from the monastic tradition on how to build sanctuary into your life. No matter how hard you work, being too busy is not inevitable. Silence and contemplation are not just for monks and nuns, they are natural parts of life. Yet to keep hold of this truth in the rush of modern living you need the support of other people and sensible advice from wise guides. By learning to listen in new ways, people’s lives can change and the abbot offers some monastic steps that help this transition to a more spiritual life. In the face of many easy assumptions about the irrelevance of religion today, Father Christopher makes religion accessible for those in search of life’s meaning and offers a vision of the world’s religions working together as a unique source of hope for the 21st century.
NotJustLaura’s Review: I only saw a few glimpses of The Monastery when it was on TV and although I went out and bought the book, it lay ignored for a long, long time. I finally picked it up a few days ago in my quest to find out about Benedictine spirituality and I’m so glad I did.
Using the metaphor of creating a ‘room’ to use as a sanctuary, Abbot Jamison has crafted a very special book. The reader begins at the door to their sanctuary – virtue – and progresses through the stages of building flooring, walls, windows and roof each of which is a quality of monastic life presented in a form suitable for everyday living in the world or, indeed, in a monastery.
Each chapter includes some of Abbot Jamison’s philosophy, relevant contributions from the desert fathers (and mothers), examples of how the ideas might be applied to the reader’s life and a short section of further reading which usually includes a website as well as paper books.
I found this a really useful, down-to-earth look at the Rule of St Benedict and am looking forward to making my own Sanctuary in the weeks and months ahead.