Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Read carefully with attention to beauty, form

"Benedict’s attention to reading adds another dimension to the contemplative life. In modern life we read mainly for information or entertainment, and writing about books tends to be critical rather than appreciative and exploratory. We have yet to rediscover the monastic practice of contemplative reading which is carried out with care, attention to beauty and form, and a meditative attitude." ─ Thomas Moore
Author Mindy Withrow blogs about Benedict’s Rule and reading, specifically, about Thomas Moore’s preface to the Rule published by Vintage Spiritual Classics (1998). Withrow quotes Moore to suggest his observations about appreciative and exploratory reading may help to guide our approaches to different types of writing.

She writes, "... I think we can apply the "appreciative and exploratory" attitude with "attention to beauty and form" to novels, short stories, and creative non-fiction as well as to poetry, and to diverse content as well as that which is more strictly "devotional." Any topic or form or approach that wedges open our spiritual understanding just a bit more is worth engaging."

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