The Foundations of Western Monasticism
Publisher: TAN Books
Publication Date: 2013-03-01
Monasticism distills the essence of Catholic spirituality for all time and for all Christians. The Foundations of Western Monasticism, the latest addition to our TAN Classics, concentrates on three of the finest Christian texts available and will provide both first-time and advanced readers with an essential review of Christian monasticism and the foundational principles of Catholic prayer life, spiritual combat, contemplation, and communal living.
These three texts, The Life of St. Antony, the Holy Rule of St. Benedict, and St. Bernard's Twelve Degrees of Humility and Pride, are offered to the reader as a simple and short path to the essence of Christian monasticism and authentic Christian teaching.
St. Antony is presented as monasticism's foremost Founding Father, St. Benedict as its greatest Law-giver, and St. Bernard as its most daring Mystic. Taken together, these men and their writings will allow the reader to ascend the very heights of Christian monasticism and arrive at certain firm principles by which to evaluate and deepen his commitment to the Faith.
Foundations of Western Monasticism also includes introductions and reading lists provided by Dr. William Edmund Fahey, Fellow and President of Thomas More College. A Benedictine oblate, Dr. Fahey has provided a new translation of the famous Rule of St. Benedict.
"This is one of the most unusual books I've ever read ... written throughout with passion and engagement, with a touching and deep-seated love for Ireland."--MARY KENNY, author of Goodbye to Catholic Ireland
"As brilliant a guide for the perplexed as this age is capable of producing."--CHARLES COULOMBE, author of Everyman Today Call Rome
"The Gentle Traditionalist is a book with a 'strange magic,' like unto the Ireland it loves and mourns. With unforgettable images and a wry sense of humor, Roger Buck unfolds a tale of whimsical fantasy, melancholy realism, and supernatural joy."--PETER KWASNIEWSKI, Wyoming Catholic College; author of Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis
"Writing with great wisdom, insight, and a most warm sense of humor, Roger Buck offers us a contemplation of the religious predicaments of our time in the spirit of Chesterton and Belloc. He takes on everything in a charming (and disarming) manner ... a wonderful book."--MICHAEL MARTIN, author of The Submerged Reality
"To read this work was a joy, and I thank the author for helping me realize that, despite the passing of three generations and 150 years in the Irish-Australian diaspora, my heart is still Irish."--GERARD O'SHEA, University of Notre Dame, Australia; author of As I Have Loved You
"This striking novel by Roger Buck, set in Ireland, is composed with extraordinary sensitivity and insight."--COLIN MAWBY KSG, Choral Director of Radio Telefis Eireann (RTÉ)
"An unusual book: part love story, part theological dialog. Roger Buck is that altogether too rare Catholic who understands the importance of the geo-cultural forces that have shaped the modern world."--THOMAS STORCK, author of From Christendom to Americanism and Beyond
"The Gentle Traditionalist is a tremendous book: moving and humorous, opening up the most profound issues, engaging the most strident of polemics with the lightest touch."--JOSEPH SHAW, Chairman of the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales
The book provided me with exactly what I was looking: the three major primary documents to understand the inception and development of Western Monasticism.
Since all the documents were authored by saints, it is not a surprise that each work contains its own spiritual nugget of knowledge. Each is written in a different style leaving you unsure of what to expect.
I was most pleasantly surprised by the biography of St. Anthony of the Desert, written by St. Athanasius. Not only is it a narrative of the saint but it also contains whole sermons delivered by the Hermit to his followers with such suggestions as how to battle against demons. In addition, it also helped break down some popular notions I had of hermits as being loners living in squalid abodes far from away from human contact.
The final rating of five stars was sealed by the editor, William Edmund Fahey, a Catholic scholar who, not only supplies you with an introduction to understand each work and its place in the history of Monasticism, but provides a whole list of suggested readings for anyone who wishes to explore the lives and worlds of each saint in further detail.