Finding Sanctuary: Monastic Steps for Everyday Life- Book Review

by Abbot Christopher Jamison

Whilst it is easy to assume a book by an abbot tries to convince the 21st century Christian that the habits of monks of old still have relevance to them today, this book is different. It was written following a UK TV series called “The Big Silence” that followed ten ordinary people as they explored the spiritual disciplines of silence, contemplation, obedience, humility, community and hope.

The vocabulary in the book is aimed at the secular world and is very refreshing to read. I expected to read through the book more for information, seeing what might apply to SIL, but found myself having to slow down and consider for myself each chapter. A number of things have become relevant. I most likely need to re-read it, but one section I keep coming back to is, “We read for three reasons; pleasure, knowledge and wisdom.” I reflected how much of my reading of the Bible was knowledge and how I had lost the pleasure of reading the Word, and reading it to gain wisdom had fallen away.

The book as a whole took me “back to the basics” of the spiritual disciplines, but in a good way, a fresh view of topics I had lost sight of for a while.

Keith Robinson

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