Drawing on wisdom that has been slowly ripened in the rhythms of monastic stability, Benedictine Mary Reuter reveals the way she has grown into her own expanding heart by sharing engaging personal stories with which any one of us can easily identify. The words and stories discovered in Running with Expanding Heart: Meeting God in Everyday Life may be deceptively simple but they illuminate the ultimately mysterious nooks and crannies of the human soul and encourage us to attend to the Spirit gently moving through the moments of our ordinary days.
Wendy M. Wright, PhD, Professor of Theology Creighton University
Running with Expanded Heart offers a vision of how the spirituality of Saint Benedict can provide inspiration and guidance for 21st century Christians-including the laity. Mary Reuter understands just how down-to-earth and practical Benedictine wisdom is, and uses storytelling, personal reflection, and thought-provoking open-ended questions to illustrate just how relevant Benedict's Rule continues to be. Beginning with an homage to her father whom she describes as an `extraordinary ordinary man,' Reuter goes on to show, in a variety of ways, how Benedictine wisdom can help Christians to find the extraordinary in all of life's ordinary moments. This book can serve both as an introduction to Benedictine spirituality for beginners, but also as a bouquet of new insights for those who have walked with Benedict for some time.
Carl McColman, Blogger (www.anamchara.com), Author of The Big Book of Christian Mysticism
In her inspired and indispensable book, S. Mary Reuter gives new meaning to `common sense:' she teaches us how to employ all our senses in understanding the seemingly common and discover deep spiritual meaning in the everyday.
Martha Tomhave Blauvelt, College of St. Benedict, Collegeville, Minnesota
Paul Ricoeur would no doubt rejoice! This lively account and appreciation of the sacred in the profane, the extraordinary in the ordinary, is not unlike the parables of Jesus and as such provides a wonderful model for theological reflection. Mary's account of events and relationships have a matter of fact quality giving way to a deep appreciation and the profound influence of Benedict in chartering her way through life. Particularly poignant is her honest account experienced in the transition from an appointment as prioress back to her cherished teaching. Dashed expectations and the whirlpool of confusion chiselling out a greater connectedness to reality and to new life.
Marie Biddle, Coordinator of Spirituality Programs, Aquinas Academy
Mary Reuter's book reminds me that when I find an excellent short book I am usually struck by how much scholarly wisdom and mature experience one needs to write a work both concise and engaging. . . . This book puts flesh on the bones of the desert tradition as well as the Rule of Benedict.
Running with Expanding Heart shows amazing and even startling stories of where, when, how to find God in everyday life. Mary's creativity opens new vistas when she invites us to consider `finding a pearl in the salad dressing' or finding God in a world that is `...studded and strewn with pennies.' Having been introduced by Sr. Mary to the image of the `Walking Madonna' years ago reminded me of her incredible ability to discover God in the difficult moments as well as the jubilee moments of her life. This creative endeavor of Sister Mary Reuter's highlights her love of her Benedictine roots, her love of the Gospel and for all little ones and searchers ones of our world. A `must' read for all who wish to RUN WITH AN EXPANDING HEART!
Sister Eleanor Granger, OSF, Sisters of Saint Francis, Rochester, Minnesota
In my book, Meditation in Motion, I remind readers to `resolve at least for today to become aware of the many openings to prayer provided by ordinary reality.' Needless to say, I congratulate the author of this book, a former student of mine, for helping her readers to re-appreciate the richness embedded in everyday life. She counsels us all to live on that razor's edge between time and eternity and to see with new eyes what we might otherwise have missed.
Susan Muto, PhD, Dean, Epiphany Academy of Formative Spirituality
Reuter reminds us with embarrassingly accurate detail that the intrusions and interruptions we grit teeth and grind jaws over can be, to the attentive, invitations from God who, once we offer a nod of permission, is ready to re-order our day toward the divine. Hers is a perennial and timely message for our lives that are so ruled by the immediacy of the internet.
Larry Lewis, M.M., author of The Misfit-Haunting the Human Unveiling the Divine
Mining and minding the moment becomes thoughtfully exhilarating as Sister Mary provides a respectful look at the unfolding presence of God in daily life. Guided by her insights, her stories, her own vulnerability and her sharing of Scripture and the Rule of Benedict, readers gain ways to develop a pattern for strengthening and expanding their hearts as they discover God in life's experiences. Like supportive running shoes, each chapter takes one forward on the path of life.
Michaela Hedican, OSB, Prioress, Saint Bede Monastery, Eau Claire, Wisconsin
This engaging, accessible book is a small gem which earns a place in any monastic library or bookshop, or the bookshelf of any spiritual seeker.
American Benedictine Review