Flunking Sainthood: A Year of Breaking the Sabbath, Forgetting to Pray, and Still Loving My Neighbor - eBook
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|Format: DRM Protected ePub|
Vendor: Paraclete Press
Publication Date: 2011
This wry memoir tackles twelve different spiritual practices in a quest to become more saintly, including fasting, fixed-hour prayer, the Jesus Prayer, gratitude, Sabbath-keeping, and generosity. Although Reiss begins with great plans for success ("Really, how hard could that be?" she asks blithely at the start of her saint-making year), she finds to her growing humiliation that she is failing - not just at some of the practices, but at every single one. What emerges is a funny yet vulnerable story of the quest for spiritual perfection and the reality of spiritual failure, which turns out to be a valuable practice in and of itself.
Jana Riess is the author or editor of nine books, including What Would Buffy Do? Although she is a spiritual failure and was never able to climb the rope in gym class, she has a doctorate from Columbia University and has worked in the publishing indistry for over a decade. She blogs at http://blog.beliefnet.flunkingsainthood/
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Craig MLawrence, KSAge: 45-54Gender: Male3 Stars Out Of 5May 5, 2012Craig MLawrence, KSAge: 45-54Gender: MaleFlunking Sainthood is about the author's year of experimenting with various spiritual disciplines for a month each and the difficulties she encountered. Being sympathetic to the frustrations of practicing new spiritual disciplines, I was excited about the concept of this book and had high expectations. Unfortunately, the book did not live up to these expectations.
The book is well-written and mostly an enjoyable read. However, in so many cases the author took the discipline to a legalistic extreme (no tearing toilet paper on the Sabbath) and took the most ridiculous interpretation of whatever book she was reading related to the discipline. The author is at times whiny, profane, mildly amusing, and, occasionally, usually near the end of a chapter, she has a profound insight about the discipline and the Christian life.
I found the epilogue to be the most moving and profound part of the book. The author shows that the practice of the disciplines, even in the midst of the frustration and failure, is really transforming her. She really gets it.
In summary, I thought the concept for the book had huge potential, but did not live up to that potential. Honestly, if my expectations were not so high, I might have given it four stars instead of three. In the final analysis, I am glad I read the book.
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