I used to work as a teacher in a small Catholic school. This school was very connected to the Benedictine seminary nearby and one of the mothers in the school recommended this book. I still feel a special connection to that seminary and to St. Benedict, not only because of that sweet, little school, but because my husband attended that seminary for over 5 years! A few of his close friends have become priests after attending Mt. Angel Seminary and one of them is even a Benedictine monk.
The Family Cloister incorporates the wisdom, spirituality and teachings of St. Benedict into the family life. In a way, it's like taking the teachings of St. Paul from the bible and incorporating his wisdom, teachings and spirituality into the family life (or Sts. Matthew, Mark, Luke or John). The only difference is that St. Benedict had a "rule", as it is called, for his followers and he lived in the 5th century after all the books of the bible were gathered together into one.
I am the kind of person who can be very creative within a structure. This book seems like it may be a good guideline for me to organize my family in a way that is holy and focused. The idea really appeals to me and right now I am working on the first chapter. After reading it, I have these things to do:
1. Take 5 minutes a day for a genuine encounter with my children and spouse
2. Offer regular spiritual guidance to my children
3. Establish bi-monthly family meetings (30 min. business, 1 hr. fun)
4. Begin reflecting on the Tools of Love- one a week in our family(I think I'll reflect on Sunday on this blog too)
5. Be obedient to each other (as spouses)
6. Welcome family sacred silence
7. Take practical steps of humility (I'll explain more on that later)
That seems like a lot when I write it all down but as I tell myself: just keep swimming, just keep swimming....