A Life-Giving Way is a guide to life and prayer written for lay people by a lay person. Crafted with the same attention to scholarship that is evident in the other titles in the collection, Esther de Waal has written an accessible commentary offering an excellent introduction to the Rule of St. Benedict. De Waal is able to draw on her study of the Benedictine tradition and its influence on Anglicanism and to share a wisdom perspective born of her own experience living in Canterbury and introducing ecumenical groups around the world to Benedictine practice.
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She invites the reader to enter into her own reflection, which concentrates always on the universal issues and the perspectives of the word of God which underlie and are woven into the text. . . . Anyone who reads in the spirit in which it is written will be brought closer to the gospel message.
—Patrick Barry, OSB, abbot, Ampleforth Abbey
Authoritatively yet sensitively, the author explores this sixth-century Rule, in which Benedict invites us to ‘come home to ourselves,’ accepting and blending body, mind, and spirit in daily service to God.
The author’s limpid prose is a joy to read. She draws out of the Rule each of the crucial elements in Benedict’s teaching: the use of Scripture in the practice of the lectio divina is set out in its four stages and the three vows are also elucidated and their implications outlined.
—Stephen Platten, Norwich Cathedral, England
Esther de Waal is a popular spiritual writer for Anglican, Orthodox, and Catholic audiences. She often speaks at retreats and has written extensively on the application of monastic spirituality in lay life.