Monday, October 17, 2016

A Day and a Life

Title:  A Day and a Life (The Hawk & the Dove #9)
Author:  Penelope Wilcock
Pages:  221
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Lion Fiction
My rating is 5 stars.
Brother Cedd has gone missing.  He is a novitiate; therefore, he has not taken his final vows to become a monk.  One morning it is discovered that he has left without leaving word of where he is going or when or if he will return.  Brother Clement is devastated as his eyesight is failing and he has come to depend on Brother Cedd to eventually take over his position in the scriptorium.  Brother Theodore is worried that he has lost a novitiate from monastic life and that Brother Cedd has returned to the world.  Abbot John is concerned as well that he has lost one of his sheep so to speak.  Brother Thomas is sent by Abbot John to William de Bulmer’s home with supplies to help see him and his wife through the upcoming winter.  When Thomas arrives, he is surprised at what he finds.
Brother Cedd has been struggling with feeling insignificant and that he has nothing worthwhile to contribute to the monastic community.  He has wanted to be a monk his whole life, but now that he has experienced that life with other monks and seen that each of them have a job and contribute to the fellowship and life of their small community; he wonders what he can give.  He has no special skills; he doesn’t have wit; he isn’t particularly smart.  Has he truly been called to be a monk?  God places people in Brother Cedd’s path to guide him, but He leaves it up to Brother Cedd to choose the direction.
As I began reading this final book in this wonderful series, it was with fondness and sadness.  Fondness in revisiting with old friends I have come to know over the life of the series in each book and sadness that this will be the last visit to St. Alcuin’s.  This book focuses on one day in the life of the monastery and one life as lived by the inhabitants of St. Alcuin’s.  The series contains truth for the spiritual life as well as for the life here on earth, even though it is a work of fiction.  Our main source of truth should always be the Bible, but this series depicts human frailties and struggles in how to deal with living in a community, being individuals as well as united, the idiosyncrasies of people, their bad habits, their opinions, their mercy, their grace and compassion, their love for one another and living a Christ-like life.  I have treasured each book in the series and recommend them to all to keep for generations.

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