In Praise of the Useless Life: A Monk's Memoir

Ave Maria Press
Free sample

Winner of two 2019 Catholic Press Association Awards: Memoir (First Place) and Cover Design (Second Place).


Monastic life and its counter-cultural wisdom come alive in the stories and lessons of Br. Paul Quenon, O.C.S.O., during his more than five decades as a Trappist at the Abbey of Gethsemani. He served as a novice under Thomas Merton and he also welcomed some of the monastery's more well-known visitors, including Sr. Helen Prejean and Seamus Heaney, to Merton's hermitage. In Praise of the Useless Life includes Quenon's quiet reflections on what it means to live each day with careful attentiveness.

The humble peace and simplicity of the monastery and of Quenon's daily life are beautifully portrayed in this memoir. Whether it be through the daily routine of the monastery, his love of the outdoors no matter the season, or his lively and interesting conversations with visitors (reciting Emily Dickinson with Pico Iyer, discussing Merton and poetry with Czeslaw Milosz), Quenon's gentle musings display his love for the beauty in his vocation and the people he’s encountered along the way.

Inspired by his novice master Merton, the poet and photographer’s stories remind us that the beauty of life can best be seen in the "uselessness" of daily life—having a quiet chat with a friend, spending time in contemplation—in our vocations, and in the memories we make along the way.
Read more
Collapse

About the author

Br. Paul Quenon, O.C.S.O., entered the Trappists in 1958 at the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky, where Thomas Merton was his novice master. Quenon is a photographer and the author of several books of poetry, including Unquiet Vigil—named a "Best Spiritual Book of the Year" by Spirituality & Practice and “Best Poetry Volume of the Year” by Hearts and Minds Books. Quenon coauthored Carved in Stone and also contributed spiritual reflections to other books.

Pico Iyer is a British author and Time magazine essayist who lives in Japan.
Read more
Collapse
Loading...

Additional Information

Publisher
Ave Maria Press
Read more
Collapse
Published on
Apr 13, 2018
Read more
Collapse
Pages
160
Read more
Collapse
ISBN
9781594717604
Read more
Collapse
Read more
Collapse
Read more
Collapse
Language
English
Read more
Collapse
Genres
Religion / Christianity / Catholic
Religion / Christianity / Literature & the Arts
Religion / Spirituality
Read more
Collapse
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Collapse
Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
Read more
Collapse
Eligible for Family Library

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
Take a two-income, quasi-New Age, newlywed couple with two Greyhounds and the resolve never to have children or to embrace any form of organized religion.

Add ten years of hunger for "something more."


What do you get?


A large Catholic family, of course. And one in which in which the second youngest, while watching Pope Benedict depart the Vatican, solemnly declares, "Now I'll be pope: Pope Awesome the First, with my Swiss Guard army. And if my army men don't give me any new video games, I'll punch them in the face."


In words often as sassy as those of her little Pope Awesome, Catholic homeschooler Cari Donaldson here relates how her friend's newborn baby, a portrait of the Virgin Mary, and the words of the Miraculous Medal called her forth from a selfish, small way of life into the welcoming arms of the Church.


Six children in ten years have banished all her hopes for a tidy secular life, and, in her upscale town, where "Cats, not kids" bumper stickers are seen, have raised countess eyebrows along the way. Undaunted, Cari declares that "If we're to be a traveling carnival freak-show by New England standards, then we're going to be a carnival freak-show for Jesus," although her husband has stopped her from airbrushing onto her van a mural of Our Lady of Guadalupe riding a unicorn over a sparkling river.


Above all, Cari tells of the awakening of her love for the Eucharist, the deepening of her love for her husband and her children, and the humility and faith these experiences have nurtured in her. To Jesus she confesses, "You taught me to be open to the lives You wanted to bring into the world through me. I rose above myself just enough to let You bring the blessings of these children into my life. I was sometimes scared and sometimes angry, and always at a loss about how I was going to mother these children, but I knew that it would be Your grace, and not my shortcomings, that would triumph."


Through Cari's remarkable tale of her conversion and the peace she's found as a Catholic, you'll be reminded of the many profound, lifelong blessings God gives you through your Faith, and, yes, even through your daily small troubles and unexpected joys . . . like little Pope Awesome punching his Swiss Guards in the face! Cari's tale will lead you to share her conviction that we never know what God has planned for us tomorrow, but, for sure, "it will be better than anything we ourselves could have planned, even in our wildest dreams."

This book is a study of the Anglican Reformed tradition (often inaccurately described as Calvinist) after the Restoration. Hampton sets out to revise our picture of the theological world of the later Stuart period. Arguing that the importance of the Reformed theological tradition has frequently been underestimated, his study points to a network of conforming reformed theologians which included many of the most prominent churchmen of the age. Focussing particularly on what these churchmen contributed in three hotly disputed areas of doctrine (justification, the Trinity and the divine attributes), he argues that the most significant debates in speculative theology after 1662 were the result of the Anglican Reformed resistance to the growing influence of continental Arminianism. Hampton demonstrates the strength and flexibility of the Reformed response to the developing Arminian school, and shows that the Reformed tradition remained a viable theological option for Anglicans well into the eighteenth century. This study therefore provides a significant bridge linking the Reformed writes of the Elizabethan and early Stuart periods to the Reformed Evangelicals of the eighteenth century. It also shows that, throughout its formative period, Anglicanism was not a monolithic tradition, but rather a contested ground between the competing claims of those adhering to the Church of England's Reformed doctrinal heritage and the insights of those who, to varying degrees, were prepared to explore new theological avenues.
©2020 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google|Location: United StatesLanguage: English
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.