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This book carries the weight and wisdom of the monastic spiritual tradition into the twenty-first century. Sister Joan leans into Saint Benedict, who, as a young man in the sixth century, sought moral integrity in the face of an empire not by conquering or overpowering the empire but by simply living an ordinary life extraordinarily well. This same monastic mindset can help us grow in wisdom, equanimity, and strength of soul as we seek restoration and renewal both at home and in the world.

At a time when people around the world are bearing witness to human frailty—and, simultaneously, the endurance of the human spirit—The Monastic Heart invites readers of all walks to welcome this end of certainty and embrace a new beginning of our faith. Without stepping foot in a monastery, we can become, like those before us, a deeper, freer self, a richer soul—and, as a result, a true monastic, so “that in all things God may be glorified.”


What others are saying

  • The Monastic Heart is essential reading for anyone wishing to find the compass of their heart and the wellspring from which to live fully.—Gregory Boyle, best-selling author of Tattoos on the Heart.
  • We learn that the “monastic heart” is a portable thing, a heart that we all can carry in our busy lives as we respond deeply to the suffering of Mother Earth and the world around us—Rev. Matthew Fox