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The Joy of God: Collected Writings by Sister Mary David

Father Kevin’s choice for 2020 Book of the Pilgrimage Season

Sister Mary David Totah was a nun of the Benedictine contemplative community of St Cecilia's Abbey on the Isle of Wight. American by birth, she was educated at Loyola University, the University of Virginia and Christ Church, Oxford. After a distinguished teaching career, she entered religious life in 1985. For 22 years until her early death from cancer she guided the young nuns of her abbey with enthusiasm, wisdom and wit.

The spirituality to be found in the pages of this book demonstrates to the reader why her influence should have been so great and so deep. Her notes to the novices deal with issues of relevance to a world beyond the cloister: What is the meaning of suffering? How do we cope with living with people who annoy us? How do we relate to a God we cannot see? How do we make the big decisions of life?

Sister Mary David's teaching was both profound and intensely practical, suffused with faith in God's joy in our work, leisure, community and family life but above all in our view and understanding of ourselves. This book, with an introduction by Abbot Erik Varden OCSO (author of The Shattering of Loneliness) shows us how to realize the Joy that is God. 

 

Reviews

 

“A corpus of spiritual sagacity” —Catholic Herald

“Sr Mary David had an exceptional gift for friendship. The Joy of God, drawn from her notes, letters, and talks to novices ... shows why. Her joy, which was her hallmark, was a gift but it was also a choice, the fruit of effort, of very great, consistent generosity and courage, and of suffering. She was a disciple of joy.” —The Tablet

“If ever a book title conveyed its content, this one certainly does … That theme of joy, rooted in Christ, runs throughout the chapters, which have been skilfully put together from talks and letters to her novices. They deal with subjects such as growth, freedom, and darkness, and, while written for enclosed nuns, show how such a life develops deep insights into universal subjects. Liberally sprinkled with useful quotations from saints great and small, the book is easy to read. The chapters address how we are to grow in our consecration to Christ, whether that be through baptism or religious profession.” —Church Times

Published: 25 July 2019
Format: Paperback
Edition: 1st
Extent: 208pp
ISBN: 9781472971326
Imprint: Bloomsbury Continuum
Dimensions: 216 x 135 mm
  • £12.99