"With realism and no little wit, Michael Casey dispels any romantic notion of the monastery as he portrays monastic community as a school of love where members are called to grow in humility, gentleness, and patience, especially with those who are different. If one stays the course for many decades, however, one might just be “overcome by admiration for the holy lives lived by others” and find that the monastery has indeed been an initiation into the very life of heaven. Springing from sixty some years of monastic life, Michael Casey’s profound insights on lectio divina, prayer, honoring others, and cultivating self-knowledge invite all readers to a deeper encounter with the other—both human and divine."
Dr. Glenn E. Myers, Professor of Church History and Theological Studies, Crown College
"In Coenobium, Michael Casey successfully demonstrates that the individual search for God and community life are not two disparate elements of coenobitism but are in fact mutually dependent upon one another. The monastic community exists to help its members seek union with God and the search for God bears fruit in vibrant community. In Coenobium Casey speaks directly to those who live monastic life, addressing its realities with wisdom, compassion, humor, and challenge. Coenobium contains key insights for monastic communities trying to find a way forward in these uncertain times."
Colleen Maura McGrane, OSB, Editor of The American Benedictine Review
"This is a beautiful and moving book that opens the inner chambers of monastic and contemplative life, speaking directly to the human heart. In its careful, sensitive depiction of the holy ordinariness of Cistercian community life, which is the ambience for experiencing God and for deepening one’s relation to God and neighbor, readers are offered a compelling vision of communal spiritual practice with real significance for our own time."
Sr. Kathy DeVico, Abbess, Our Lady of the Redwoods Abbey, Whitethorn, CA
"Coenobium is a warm, challenging, and practical book. Brother Casey's text overflows with love for all communities of men and women, religious and laity alike, as children of God."
Catholic Books Review
"It is well worth reading for the suggested remedies which come from experience of community at the spiritual and human levels."
"Like a good red wine this book leaves a fine aftertaste in the soul of the heart by the hope it points to that a common life lived together in the name of Christ will truly, eventually, transform the ardent seeker of God."
Cistercian Studies Quarterly
"Followers of the Rule of St. Benedict as well as other seekers of life to the full will find Coenobium meaningful and beneficial."