Over many years Good Samaritan Sister Margaret Malone has presented lectures, written articles and given retreats on the Rule of Saint Benedict and its relevance for contemporary living. Recently she published a selection of articles from that substantial body of work.
Living in the House of God: Monastic Essays (published by The Liturgical Press) covers various aspects of Benedictine life which Margaret believes may be of help to people from all walks of life.
“The topics range over various areas of Benedictine life and may be helpful both for those who are professed in the Benedictine way of life – those living this life in what Benedict calls ‘the house of God’ – and for the many people who live their Christian life in other ways, but who find help in the elements of the teaching of St Benedict,” she said.
“In the end, you could say it is for all who are seeking God.”
Margaret said the original targeted audiences of her now published essays were wide-ranging and included lectures and talks she delivered at conferences and retreats in Australia and overseas, as well as journal articles.
“[The essays] cover areas such as aspects of Benedictine life in general, the question of authority according to Benedict’s teaching, the historical development of Good Samaritan life, liturgical aspects of our life, reconciliation and obedience,” she explained.
“The ‘tone’ of the articles varies according to the nature of the original audience.”
According to Margaret, feedback so far about Living in the House of God has been positive.
“The book has only recently been published but seems to have been well received by Benedictine communities, especially in the United States. Some communities are using the book for table reading, some using it for formation and for personal reading, and some groups of Oblates are also using it,” she said.
“It is probably an advantage that I am known in the United States from my work in the renewal programs in Rome over several years and from my retreat and lecture work in about 20 American Benedictine women’s communities.”
Writing in the book’s preface, well known Australian Cistercian Monk, Father Michael Casey, described Margaret’s book as “a fine example of the Benedictine tradition of humanitas”, and said she has the “ability to bring the Rule to bear on the contemporary world”.
It was Michael who encouraged Margaret to present her collection of essays for publication as part of the “Monastic Wisdom” series, published under the sponsorship of Cistercian Publications by Liturgical Press.