Perata, David: The Orchards of Perseverance
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The Orchards of Perseverance presents a refreshing profile of ten monks of the Trappist Order who live in a small community at the Abbey of Our Lady of New Clairvaux in Northern California. This oral history follows the life of each monk over the course of many years, from their "call to God" to their first entry into the community and the subsequent adjustment to the monastic life. The monks speak candidly in this book about the psychological trauma associated with leaving society and attempting to discover their true "self." Their frank observations about God, how they view life outside the monastic gate and the effect of world events, and how they think the world views them, are interwoven with humor and insight that offers hope and inspiration in a confusing world.
With 450 acres of prune and walnut orchards as their livelihood, blue denim is just as prevalent as monastic robes while these men follow a daily schedule of prayer and work from sunup to sundown. A wide cross-section of the community is represented, from the novice master whose job it is to interview and nurture every man who asks to enter, to the abbot who talks about the difficulties of his title.