As a university professor, writer, wife, and mother of four, Paula Huston makes an interesting, if painful, discovery: 'the path to simplicity runs right through the middle of me
.' Rather than managing to shore up and better manage the complexities of her environment, she discovers her clutter to be more internal than external, more a collection of habitual attitudes than a heap of complicated circumstances. By observing the basic tenets of simplicity at a nearby Camaldolese monastery and leaning heavily on Christian exemplars throughout history, Huston begins to search out the seed of divinity at her core by recognizing her own particular anxieties and 'tyrannous desires.' With St. Isaac the Syrian, she comes to steadily understand that 'he who sees himself as he is, is greater than one who raises the dead.' The Holy Way,
is a library of Huston's discoveries, documenting not only her journey but also concrete spiritual exercises, the corresponding vices they can begin to heal, and representative monastics who-by the grace of God-finished the course. Huston has very few illusions about herself or her progress. The book ends with a chapter titled 'Beginning,' including a quote from Dostoevsky worth committing to memory: 'We are all divorced from life.Why, we have come almost to looking upon real life as an effort, almost as hard labor, and we are all privately agreed that it is better in books.' Huston's response? Be patient with yourself, but get to work.
An Eighth Day View:
"Using the Christian tradition of solitude, silence and contemplation as her foundation, Huston offers one of the best books available on living the simple life."
--"Publishers Weekly," starred review "This book will give solace and guidance to those who, like Paula Huston, have felt the interior call to simplicity, the intense gravitational pull of the God within."
--Bruno Barnhart, Camaldolese monk and author, "Second Simplicity" An Invitation to a Simple, More Peaceful LifeIs leading a simple life possible in a world of chaos and complexity? Driven by this searching question, Paula Huston, a busy forty-something college professor, wife, and mother, embarked on a spiritual journey to find a peaceful, less cluttered kind of life."The Holy Way: Practices for a Simple Life "is the fruit of Huston's arduous search. Two discoveries sustained her: that she herself could experience simple living just as a nearby community of Catholic monks did and, more important, that she could find the keys to such a life in the lives and writings of the great monastic saints. Drawing on these discoveries, Huston examines a variety of measures that point the way toward the practical, day-to-day simplicity of a life that so many desire.