The Quotidian Mysteries: Laundry, Liturgy and Women's Work

The Quotidian Mysteries Laundry Liturgy and Women s Work In this insightful and deeply personal work Kathleen Norris an award winning poet and author of both Dakota A Spiritual Geography and The Cloister Walk draws on her life experiences her poetry and

  • Title: The Quotidian Mysteries: Laundry, Liturgy and Women's Work
  • Author: Kathleen Norris
  • ISBN: 9780809138012
  • Page: 496
  • Format: Paperback
  • In this insightful and deeply personal work, Kathleen Norris, an award winning poet and author of both Dakota A Spiritual Geography and The Cloister Walk, draws on her life experiences, her poetry and her love of the Benedictine tradition to discuss the mysterious way that the daily or quotidian can open us to the transforming presence of God This volume is the text ofIn this insightful and deeply personal work, Kathleen Norris, an award winning poet and author of both Dakota A Spiritual Geography and The Cloister Walk, draws on her life experiences, her poetry and her love of the Benedictine tradition to discuss the mysterious way that the daily or quotidian can open us to the transforming presence of God This volume is the text of the 1998 Madeleva Lecture in Spirituality, sponsored by the Center for Spirituality at Saint Mary s College, Notre Dame, Indiana.

    One thought on “The Quotidian Mysteries: Laundry, Liturgy and Women's Work”

    1. This is actually the first book I read by Kathleen Norris, because I found the title intriguing. It is the text of a lecture the author gave in 1998 that was sponsored by the Center for Spirituality at Saint Mary's College at Notre Dame."Quotidian means occurring every day, belonging to every day; commonplace, ordinary." The author finds that, like Therese of Lisieux, Christ was most abundantly present to her not "during my hours of prayer but rather in the midst of my daily occupations" (quote [...]

    2. It's hard for me to rate such a simple and thought-provoking book. Mostly because my brain just isn't wired (lately, anyway) to absorb as much as possible from Norris's contemplative narrative. It was a simultaneous case of being chock-full truth nuggets and meandering narrative full of images and prose. In short, I think I'm too dense for this book.Truly, I want to be deep and philosophical enough to understand the nuances of this book and to be able to translate it in a review. However, that f [...]

    3. Quote from the book:"when human beings try to "do everything at once and for all and be through with it," we court acedia, self-destruction and death. Such power is reserved for God, who alone can turn what is "already done" into something that is ongoing and ever present. It is a quotidian mystery.Modern psychology does not always know what to make of mystery, but it is in agreement with the psychology of the ancient desert monastics in recognizing that depression is often the flip side of ange [...]

    4. Kathleen Norris' little book about "laundry, liturgy and 'women's work'" is a must read for anyone who struggles to see the value in repetitive tasks. Quotidian is a word from the Latin meaning daily or ordinary, and in our society where we feel measured by our output, these everyday things like laundry, cooking and dishes can be very discouraging to those who do them day in and day out. It might also be a good read for a spouse who has trouble understanding exactly what their partner does day i [...]

    5. This is a very short little book, but I had a hard time keeping my attention on the flow of thought. The author doesn't say anything wrong really actually, she makes some good points. But I'm not much for poetic ramblings and I found myself skimming through whole pages of that stuff. I think it came down to not appreciating the writing style much.

    6. This book is basically an expanded, poetic expression of the more concise thought we find in the epistles: “Whatsoever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not as unto men.” Now I’ve long been familiar with that Bible verse. I’ve thought about it, and I’ve tried to apply it, but I’ve never succeeded. Yet thinking of work – particularly the repetitive work that is never finished because it must be done anew every day – as a kind of liturgy has been quite helpful to me. Befo [...]

    7. I really, really wanted to love this slim volume about something which is so close to my heart (how everyday tasks can be worship), and although there were several passages that stood out to me, overall I only liked it. I wasn't really into the analysis of her own poetry, which seemed odd to me, and the language was a bit flowery for my taste. But it was a quick and immersive read, and I would recommend it for contemplation.

    8. A few good things to think about but I found a few things off-putting 1) analyzing and explaining her own poetry 2) lots of explaining why she doesn't have kids, just not sure how this relates and seemed defensive 3) I don't begrudge her not having children, but it's hard to feel that someone who doesn't cook (yes she bakes bread), only does laundry for 2, and is a freelance writer is much of an "authority" on domestic drudgery. Only people like she and Barbara Brown Taylor (another with no kids [...]

    9. Such a rich (and short) exploration of the spiritual value of ordinary things. Like Brother Lawrence's work, but taken from a different vantage point, Norris' 1998 Madeleva lecture points the way to how we can have the wonder of children and the blessing of sages while putting another load in the wash.A special thanks to Drew Norris whose love of this book led to my reading of it.

    10. Once again - Kathleen delivers! A quickish read that refreshed my viewpoint. She restates, in her subterranean, poetic way all the things I know (or at least suspect) and I always walk away lighter, believing life is a a little more beautiful. We don't agree on every theological tittle but I can handle it. A gem.

    11. Lots of great things to ponder about keeping a home. I love how she saw the priests cleaning up after communion as "doing the dishes."

    12. I really enjoyed this short little book. Lots of lovely food for thought and inspiration for the ordinariness of daily work and life.

    13. There's so much in this book that I want to grasp as holy. So much that I'm terrible at doing well currently. I will definitely be reading it again, and I'm guessing there will be an overboard amount of highlighting.

    14. An important and alternative perspective for the woman who is trying to make meaning of the often tedious responsibilities of home life.An important and alternative perspective for the woman who is trying to make meaning of the often tedious responsibilities of home life. Grateful for poetry and prose that is grounding yet also transcendent.

    15. I probably wouldn't have finished this book except that it was a) short and b) an inter-library loan. I guess I feel obligated to read it if our librarians went to the trouble of tracking it down for me.I thought this book would give me a new perspective on the never-ending drudgery of housework, but I had a hard time relating to this author so it didn't quite work. I didn't understand most of the references to Catholicism and felt like a lot of what the author was saying went over my head (it p [...]

    16. A lot of similarity to Acedia. I wish she had fleshed out the bones of these ideas into something more practical, but it has a beauty to it, as her writing does. A good reminder that the quotidian tasks (everyday, practical things) we do, if done for God, are worship-filled. I loved this quote of St Ignatius Loyola, (having been raised in the Protestant work ethic that taught me this, I suppose) : It is not only prayer that gives God glory but work. Smiting on an anvil, sawing a beam, white-wash [...]

    17. I heard about this book from the podcast What Should I Read Next that this book juxtaposed housework with worship and I was interested in the idea. I struggle to keep a clean house - despite having been well trained by my mother - and thought maybe this connection would help. Although Norris does talk about this, I felt the metaphor was lost in her rambling stream of conscience writing. I was disappointed because most of her ideas were not fully developed or very briefly mentioned and then moved [...]

    18. Quotidian. Daily. Over and over. Ritual. Liturgy.Kathleen Norris celebrates the things we do daily, the things we do to care for ourselves and our loved ones and the earth. We often think of these things as menial. "Menial derives from a Latin word meaning "to remain" or "to dwell in a household." It is thus a word about connections, about family and household ties." (p. 5) And she emphasizes that it is in the daily tasks that we reconnect with God as well and experience God's presence. The dail [...]

    19. I can't recommend this book highly enough. I plan to read it annually. For any woman who has wondered "What's the point?" when folding her hundredth load of laundry, or cooking a meal that her children will reject, or wiping down that same countertop one more time, this book will be a source of encouragement. Kathleen Norris unpacks the spiritual significance of physical labor, opening our eyes to the dignity and meaning inherent in meeting the basic needs of other human beings, no matter how sm [...]

    20. I give this three and a half stars. Parts of it I really loved--and other parts I really disliked. However, the main theme of the book resonates with me, and I will approach my daily living with a different perspective now. Contemporary life leaves little time for contemplation, and contemplation is little valued. Yet I am valuing it more than ever. I appreciated this book's encouragement to approach the daily tasks of life as liturgy and time to contemplate the grace of God in my life's circums [...]

    21. It had some interesting thoughts to ponder that I enjoyed, but it was really just a woman's ramblings. I may just have not been in the mood for her philosophical thinking. I found this book from a blog article that was sent to me by a friend. blogristianitytoday/wom I think I enjoyed the blog article because it took the book and summed up the main ideas in one concise article. You might enjoy it more than I did, but it was ok.

    22. I am going to reread it soon and underline passages to think about. It made me think, but some of the passages I couldn't relate to because she kept talking about being an author.Just finished the reread and underlining. There's some good stuff in there. Next time around I'll just concentrate on the stuff that spoke to me.

    23. A quick(88pp)but deep meditation on the daily tasks of life that we all must contend with. These tasks (laundry, cooking, cleaning), historically known as "women's work," Norris equates to the Liturgy and rightly recognizes as being infused with the Holiness of God. A wonderful encouragement to look at the most mundane with fresh eyes.

    24. I kind of feel odd counting this as a book read, it is the text of a lecture Norris gave in 1998. However, she speaks beautifully about the idea of Liturgy being work, and how that translates into the daily work we do to keep house.

    25. Loved this concept of the common events of our daily lives being richly profound! We are transformed by what we do. Deep, yet simple.

    26. I liked this book though it took me forever to read for some reason. God has been speaking to me alot lately about seeing the sacred in the mundane and this book speaks directly to that. Very good.

    27. Rec. by Ann Voskamp. Short but dense, worth a re-reading or two! Might be a good recommend for deep-thinker moms.

    28. This short book of less than 100 pages served as the text of the 1998 Madeleva Lecture in Spirituality, and it takes a clear Catholic perspective of the relationship between our daily tasks and godliness. To be sure, the author is not always sympathetic in this book, and she comes off as more than a little bit selfish at times, but what I found most striking about this book was how much the author sounded like me. For example, of her solitary experience in college, she had this to say: "All I kn [...]

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