When planning and dreaming about our future, we can learn lessons from those who lived before us. This is the crux of the new book by John Michael Talbot titled “The Ancient Path – Old Lessons from the Church Fathers from a New Life Today.”
This book describes Talbot’s journey in establishing the monastic community, the Brothers and Sisters of Charity. He writes about his life and how the early church fathers taught him how to live.
What I liked about the book: I love seeing how the author dug deeply into our church history to find and then apply lessons to his life from those early wise leaders. As I read the book I recognized some names, discovered new ones and always learned more about the early church. Talbot’s determined drive to explore intensely and intentionally the wisdom from the past for patterns to live in our world today inspired me – why can’t we apply their insight to our lives too?
Quote I liked:
“There is a theme that runs through the writings of the Fathers…The theme is simple: Prefer nothing to Christ.”
Blogging for Books sent me this book in exchange for a review but I am not required to give a positive review, just an honest one. So I am going to be honest and add a few precautions.
I was disappointed that Talbot only wrote about male early Christians. Yes they were the Spiritual Fathers and yes that was a male dominated society and the female influence is hard to find and often was buried. But certainly there were role models and lessons for living in community from both genders.
In his defense, Talbot’s last chapter is about Mary and that is my other precaution. Talbot is a devout Roman Catholic, writes from that point of view and that is his audience for this book. While I enjoy reading the perceptions from many faith points of view and I believe we all basically desire the same thing on our Christian walks and love the same God, his terminology is definitely Catholic.
We gather much wisdom when reading about other’s journey, their lessons and what fed them spiritually. The Ancient Path will enrich your walk and add to your growth. Often I evaluate books whether to keep them on my shelf (Is this book shelf-worthy?), pass them onto someone who I know will enjoy and learn from its words (Hey, I thought of you when I read this book and wanted to share it with you.) or put it in my donation box. (Someone will pick this up and grow from its words) The Ancient Path will be pass onto some of my friends.
Thursday I plan to share some interesting reading to feed your spirit and your heart that I discovered at the Spiritual Director International conference I attended last month and feel are shelf-worthy.
So think about what you are reading. Lets share book ideas with one another.What books have you read lately that is shelf-worthy?