We all need God, Sister Jeremy says in her first sentence, and readers of all sorts will find here a warm and practical address to that need. The monastic way is not forsaking the world, but for the sake of the world, and Sister Jeremy’s Benedictine wisdom is fundamental human wisdom. Her book is the fruit of decades of practice, and the spiritual journey she recounts is nobody’s but hers’ which makes it, paradoxically, something from which everyone can learn. I did is much more effective teaching than one might or you should.
There is nothing musty, cobwebbed, or nostalgic in these pages. Sister Jeremy, in her late 80s, is totally alert to the world around her and within us. She is allergic to sentimentality. Because she has spent so much time in silence ’she lived as a hermit for 20 years’ she is especially attentive to words and how like a chameleon they can be. Her antennae are sensitive to anything phony. Every sentence glows with her graceful and witty and hospitable spirit. She is an inspired teacher, a trustworthy guide, one of God’s great ones. She shows how a monastic is not on a pedestal or behind a wall, but right in the thick of things with all of us.
Jeremy Hall, OSB, is a member of Saint Benedict’s Monastery, St. Joseph, Minnesota. She holds a doctorate in theology from Marquette University. Currently retired, Sister Jeremy taught theology at the College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University and School of Theology' seminary, and at Creighton University. She is the author of numerous articles as well as The Full Stature of Christ (Liturgical Press). Sister Jeremy lived as a hermit for twenty years. During that time she gained renown as a wellspring of wisdom and gifted retreat leader.