A Monk and a Journalist Reflect on Living & Dying, Purpose & Prayer, Forgiveness & FriendshipSatisfaction:
The spiritual seeker’s guide to living with authenticity and integrity in troubled times.
This book is a dialogue between two spiritual seekers—one a Trappist monk and the other a married professional woman. It is two people "stuttering to articulate life's universal questions from diverse contexts and perspectives." Brother Paul writes as one steeped in silence and the daily rhythms of the ancient prayer practices of monasticism. Judith Valente writes as a professional woman attempting to bring a sense of prayer and contemplation to a scattered life in the secular world.
Valente uses the story of Brother Paul's interview for a PBS documentary as a jumping-off point: When asked the purpose of the Trappist life in the modern world, he said that it is "to show you don't need a purpose." The purpose of life, he said, is life. "You're to live your life."
How to Be offers a window into two people living their lives on purpose (or not) and struggling to come to terms with the big issues everyone faces: faith, mortality, mystery, prayer, and work. It is a book that provides insight and inspiration for those walking the spiritual path—particularly for those interested in the contemplative path.