The Busy Family's Guide to Spirituality: Practical Lessons for Modern Living From the Monastic Tradition

Overview

Drawing on timeless principles of monastic communal living, this spiritual guide for families offers effective tools to meet many challenges and counteract the divisive forces that can splinter a healthy home. Cultivating a sense of togetherness and nurturing the spiritual development of both the family and its individual members is a challenge that many find difficult to meet. Though hectic schedules and competing interests chip away at the sense of community and the support systems that family members need to ...

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Overview

Drawing on timeless principles of monastic communal living, this spiritual guide for families offers effective tools to meet many challenges and counteract the divisive forces that can splinter a healthy home. Cultivating a sense of togetherness and nurturing the spiritual development of both the family and its individual members is a challenge that many find difficult to meet. Though hectic schedules and competing interests chip away at the sense of community and the support systems that family members need to thrive, each chapter of this book includes a practical lesson from the rule of St. Benedict and the Benedictine traditions which have been cornerstones of Western Christian monastic life for millennia. Spiritual practice, making time, discipline, sharing, hospitality, and changing family dynamics are some of the topics addressed in this wise and wide-ranging handbook, while exercises, checklists, and ideas for family activities are included at the end of every chapter. The gentle, reassuring tone offers encouragement to both traditional and nontraditional families, and reinforces the importance of parenting as a spiritual calling.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A truly fresh and new resource for all who want their homes and families to be places of nurturing, safety, and hope. This is practical and real and hope-filled, a must for every family—of every configuration."  —Laura Swan, author, Engaging Benedict and The Forgotten Desert Mothers

"Because the Christian family is a little faith community, Robinson discovers insights for family living from the sixth-century writings of St. Benedict, founder of monastic communities."  —Catholic Spirit

"[The] concept of parenting is deliberate, persistent, and guided by a deep belief that God wants the family to experience God’s love on a daily basis."  —Presbyterians Today

"Packed with creative, practical ideas that Robinson has devised for deepening family spirituality and harmony."  —Spiritual Life: A Journal of Contemporary Spirituality

"A long-awaited gift for today’s Christian family. For those families who are seeking more out of life, trying to incorporate deeply-held Christian beliefs into the sometimes chaotic experience of family, or seeking ways to pray better and get along better, this book is ideal."  —Spiritual Book News

"David Robinson, a Presbyterian pastor, has written a book that draws upon the Rule of St. Benedict to give counsel about modern family life."  —Catholic Faith Magazine

"Combining the tradition of the Benedictine order and his own experience, Robinson challenges the hectic lifestyle which so many families are caught up in today."  —Catholic News Service

"A Presbyterian pastor has investigated how the family can function as a kind of monastery."  —Dennis Okholm, professor of theology, Azusa Pacific University, and author, Monk Habits for Everyday People

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780824525248
  • Publisher: Crossroad Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 9/1/2009
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 5.38 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

David Robinson is the author of The Christian Family Toolbox. He is pastor of Community Presbyterian Church and a Benedictine Oblate of Mount Angel Abbey. He lives in Cannon Beach, Oregon.

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Table of Contents

Preface xi

Introduction: Strength to the Body and Soul 1

1 Create Your Home:Choosing a Proven Blueprint for Your Life

Basic Family Designs

Building Blocks for Parents

Family Meetings⋄Family Construction Tools

Follow the Leader

The Gift of Silence

Twelve Small Steps

Family Blueprint Exercises 9

2 Tend the Fire: Spiritual Practices and Rituals

The Morning Spark

Kindling to Get the Fire Going

Seasons of the Heart

Rest and Recreation

Holidays and Holy Days

Practice the Presence of God

The Heart of Prayer Family Spirituality Exercises 48

3 Stretch and Strengthen: Training the Family Team

Playing as a Team⋄Good Sportsmanship

Delay of Game

Team Laundry

Coaching Tips for Parents

Rules of the Game

Team Training

Family Training Exercises 48

4 Gather in the Kitchen: Recipes for a Healthy Lifestyle

Feeding the Family

Menu Choices

Living Simply

Caring for Others

The Sacred Heart of Sexuality

Fasting and Feasting

Bread for the World

Family Health Exercises 106

5 Make Space, Give Time:Opening the Secrets of Shared Life

Family Schedules

Drop Everything and Read

Quiet Time

Bedtime Rituals

Work and Study

Creativity and Play

Time Together and Time Apart

Family Life Together Exercises 136

6 Become the Welcome: Embracing the Basics of Hospitality

Welcoming Guests

Nurture of Parents

Long-Term Guests and Adoption

Friends and Mentors

The Heart of Parenting

If Children Live with Praise

Service in the Community

Family Hospitality Exercises

7 Speak "Friend" and Enter: Doorkeeping and Spiritual Growth

Someone Is at the Door

Facing Difficult Tasks

TransformingConflict

Responsibility and Privilege

Leaving Home

The Road Is Better Than the End

Family Growth Exercises 189

Epilogue: Parenting Is for Beginners 215

Acknowledgments 221

Notes 223

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