Book Reviews

Four Ways of Holiness for the Universal Church: Drawn from the Monastic Tradition
By Francis Kline, OCSO
Cistercian Publications: Kalamazoo, MI 2007
Reviewed by: Fr. Jude Winkler, OFM Conv.

Four Ways of Holiness for the Universal Church: Drawn from the Monastic TraditionWhen we talk about Trappists, we often speak of their austere life style or their practice of silence. Fr. Kline's book reminds us that there is much more to it. He presents four essays which deal with four major dimensions of a monk's life: conversion, suffering, demise and unity. These essays were written during an extended illness that eventually led to his death (which is especially seen in his essay on suffering which is based on his own experience).

One sees Fr. Kline's appreciation of the monastic life as a witness to the world. He admits that his life style is often misunderstood and even discounted. Yet, he sees an essential value in the monastic life of silence, charity and surrender. He especially celebrates the monk's esteem for the liturgy.

While this book deals specifically with a Trappist point of view, it nevertheless has much to offer to anyone who is interested in spending the time and energy required to deepen one's faith.