Liturgical Press
My Account
Catholic Social Teaching Faith and Justice Ecology Ethics Eucharistic Revival Parish Ministries Liturgical Ministries Preaching and Presiding Parish Leadership Seasonal Resources Worship Resources Sacramental Preparation Ritual Books Music Liturgical Theology The Liturgy of the Church Liturgy and Sacraments Liturgy in History Biblical Spirituality Old Testament Scholarship New Testament Scholarship Wisdom Commentary Little Rock Scripture Study The Saint John's Bible Ecclesiology and Ecumenism Vatican II at 60 Church and Culture Sacramental Theology Systematic Theology Theology in History Aesthetics and the Arts Prayer Liturgy of the Hours Spirituality Biography/Hagiography Daily Reflections Spiritual Direction/Counseling Give Us This Day Benedictine Spirituality Cistercian Rule of Saint Benedict and Other Rules Lectio Divina Monastic Studies Monastic Interreligious Dialogue Oblates Monasticism in History Thomas Merton Religious Life/Discipleship Give Us This Day Worship The Bible Today Cistercian Studies Quarterly Loose-Leaf Lectionary Bulletins PrayTell Blog
Liturgical Press


Reflections on Monastic Community

Michael Casey, OSCO

Coenobium SEE INSIDE

ISBN: 9780879070670, MW064P

Details: 224 pgs, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 x 5/8
Publication Date: 10/20/2021
Cistercian Publications
Add to Cart
In Stock

After sixty years of living in a Cistercian community, Michael Casey combines his down-to-earth observations about the joys and challenges of living in community with an appreciation of the deeper meanings of cenobitic life, taking into account the changes in both theory and practice that have occurred in his lifetime. He invites his readers, especially monks and nuns, to reflect on their own experiences of community as a means of seeing a path forward into the future.

Many of the key components of monastic community have kept the same names for more than a millennium. In an age of paradigm shift, Michael Casey invites readers to examine these essential practices of community life and to ask how they might be envisioned in a way that speaks to our contemporaries.

Michael Casey, OCSO, has been a monk of Tarrawarra Abbey (Australia) since 1960. In the intervening years he has conducted many retreats and workshops on every continent (except Antarctica) and has written many articles on topics relating to monastic history and spirituality. He is also the author of many books, including The Road to Eternal Life: Reflections on the Prologue of Benedict's Rule; Seventy-Four Tools for Good Living: Reflections on the Fourth Chapter of Benedict's Rule; and Balaam's Donkey, all from Liturgical Press.

ISBN: 9780879070670, MW064P

Details: 224 pgs, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 x 5/8
Publication Date: 10/20/2021
Cistercian Publications


"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."
Benedictines Magazine