Bonnie Thurston is a biblical scholar, a contemplative, and a poet. She brings those diverse gifts to bear powerfully on the Beatitudes of Jesus. Delivered originally to a community of religious women, this book will enrich anyone who understands that the Sermon on the Mount constitutes the marching orders for any serious follower of Jesus. Beautifully written and spiritually enriching, this is a work of high seriousness elegantly presented.
Lawrence S. Cunningham, John A. O'Brien Professor of Theology, The University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana
Thurston gives us this fresh perspective and manages to do the nearly impossible: open up the Sermon on the Mount as an undiscovered treasure!
Spirituality and Practice
This short book is rich in insights into the Sermon on the Mount and its application to the life of Christ's disciples. . . . the book can be read with profit by any disciple committed to the life of the Gospels, lay, religious professing the traditional vows, and monastic.
American Benedictine Review
The real benefit of Thurston's study is her solid confidence in the applicability of Christ's teachings . . . it is a creative engagement of the Lord's message and one that is intent on exposing how Christ's teachings remain immediate and integral to the Christian's daily life.
Cistercian Studies Quarterly
Thurston displays her poet's keen sense of wordcraft. She builds upon her thorough knowledge of Scripture, Greek and Hebrew to ground the reader-lay and religious-in these primary `marching orders' we call Beatitudes.
New Testament scholar Bonnie Thurston offers religious rich biblical resources for meditating on their life not as an alternative to Christian life but as one specific way of living the faith they share with all Christians, Catholic and non-Catholic alike. She devotes one chapter to a discussion of the complementary vocations of vowed married life and vowed religious life as embodying in distinctive ways the Gospel calls to the traditional monastic values of poverty, celibacy, obedience, hospitality, and conversion. This book could provide a basis for enriching conversation among religious about their own life and between religious and their colleagues in other walks of life about how different vocations in the church respond to the `marching orders' of the reign of God embodied in the Sermon on the Mount.
Sandra M. Schneiders, Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley, California
. . . it is rather wonderful. It gracefully illuminates its title, for both religious and lay readers.
Review for Religious
Biblical scholar and Disciples of Christ minister Bonnie Bowman Thurston adds another contribution to her thoughtful works on biblical spirituality.
The Bible Today
A refreshing approach: Bonnie Thurston squarely faces the fact that the Beatitudes carry public and, yes, political implications. Only this starting point gives them leverage to change our personal lives in depth. Christian monastics at their best have typically seen this clearly, and so conceived their vision of the vows. In light of this approach, the vows reveal their significance for every Christian. Thurston is right on target.
David Steindl-Rast, OSB, www.gratefulness.org
... shows how the Sermon on the Mount can deepen our understanding of the spiritual values that religious vows are intended to nurture.
New Testament Abstracts
This engaging volume by Bonnie Thurston on the liberating expansion of love is really the essence of Gospel living as described in the Sermon on the Mount. It should find a wide audience among seekers of every kind. Highly recommended.
Brother Patrick Hart, Abbey of Gethsemani, Trappist, Kentucky
The title of the book is very fitting for it shows the relationship of the religious vows with Matthew's Sermon on the Mount and how it is influential to every Christian.
Catholic Library World
. . . her eagerness and her devotion to Scripture remain rich and fruitful.
Cistercian Studies Quarterly