Category Archives: Books

Radical by David Platt

Radical | A book by David Platt

Radical is a new title from the WaterBrook imprint of Multnomah and it's definitely worth a look.  Yes, I know this is an evangelical publisher and after my time in the religious publishing world, I'm always skeptical about the next great, life-changing book on radically following the Gospel.

Give this one a look and a read.  You can get the booklet version as a free download until May 9th.  You can read the first chapter of the book online or you can watch some videos. 

No, I have no financial or personal interest in this publication.  I just appreciate books that try to kick me in the side of the head.

The Ageless Story by Lauren Ford

Annunciation by Ford This charming children's book just came to my attention.  Read all about it and then take a moment to think. The boyhood of Christ accompanied by Gregorian antiphons.

What was the world like in the late 1930's when it was written?  War was looming on the horizon and a worldwide depression seemed unending.  Violence was everywhere, accompanied by despair. 

And yet, in the midst of all these trials, was this enduring vision of salvation, music, beauty, and trust. 

Surplus Books from the Mepkin Abbey Library on Sale at Amazon

Like to buy religious books?  Like to help monasteries?  You can do both by shopping here.  These are duplicates and deaccessioned titles.

Mepkin Abbey is one of the loveliest places in the world.  You can learn more about this treasure on the banks of the Cooper River in South Carolina, by visiting the abbey's website.


A Lovely Invitation

St. benedict From the Prologue to the Rule of St. Benedict:

And the Lord, seeking his laborer
in the multitude to whom He thus cries out,
says again,
"Who is the one who will have life,
and desires to see good days" (Ps. 33[34]:13)?
And if, hearing Him, you answer,
"I am the one,"
God says to you,
"If you will have true and everlasting life,
keep your tongue from evil
and your lips that they speak no guile.
Turn away from evil and do good;
seek after peace and pursue it" (Ps. 33[34]:14-15).
And when you have done these things,
My eyes shall be upon you
and My ears open to your prayers;
and before you call upon Me,
I will say to you,
'Behold, here I am'" (Ps. 33[34]:16; Is. 65:24; 58:9).

What can be sweeter to us, dear ones,
than this voice of the Lord inviting us?
Behold, in His loving kindness
the Lord shows us the way of life.

Selections above from Saint Benedict's Rule for Monasteries, translated from the Latin by Leonard J. Doyle OblSB, of Saint John's Abbey, (© Copyright 1948, 2001, by the Order of Saint Benedict, Collegeville, MN 56321). Adapted for use here with the division into sense lines of the first edition that was republished in 2001 to mark the 75th anniversary of Liturgical Press. Doyle's translation is available in both hardcover and paperback editions.

You can receive the daily reading from the Rule in your email.  The portions are short and quite manageable.  Find out more at


When “reading” meant “reading out loud”

Reading nun From Chapter 48 of the Rule of St. Benedict:

After the sixth hour,
having left the table,
let them rest on their beds in perfect silence;
or if anyone may perhaps want to read,
let her read to herself
in such a way as not to disturb anyone else.

(This particular online Benedictine update alternates the texts between monks and nuns, using female pronouns, etc. for the even-numbered chapters.)

Drowning in the Diurnal? Here’s a liturgical life preserver!

The beautiful Latin-English Monastic Diurnal from Farnborough Abbey can be overwhelming.  So much so that the neophyte user fears she will never get past Compline (a fixed office, only changing during the Triduum).

Life preserver Help is at hand in the blogosphere with Saints Will Arise - a blog that will take you step-by-step through this volume. 

My undying thanks to Terra!

Ramona by Helen Hunt Jackson

Ramona One of the great "ethical" novels of the 19th century, Ramona was meant to do for the Native Americans what Uncle Tom's Cabin had done for the enslaved. 

I read this book as a young teenager.  In January, I bought a copy while wandering through Old Town in San Diego with my colleague Charles before a Gregorian chant workshop.  After letting it kick around the house for a few months, I just re-read it.

Still a great love story and drama of 19th century southern California.  You have to have a tolerance for the prolix writing of that era, but the characters and settings are still entrancing.

Oh, I also had a recording of the song.