Stalking the Divine: Contemplating Faith with the Poor Clares

by Kristin Ohlson

Hardcover, 2003



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Hachette Books (2003), Edition: 1, 256 pages


A stirring, luminous work in the tradition of The Cloister Walk. Wandering into a forgotten downtown Cleveland church for a Christmas mass, Kristin Ohlson discovered the Poor Clares -- a tiny, threadbare congregation of cloistered elderly nuns with one mission: to pray day and night (literally 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) for the sorrows of the world. Ohlson -- utterly enchanted by these devoted women -- started to attend church for the first time in many years. So began her three-year dialogue with the Poor Clares, a dialogue that afforded Ohlson a fascinating, unprecedented glimpse into the intensely private nuns and their life in the cloister. Why, she wonders, have these women retreated from the world to joyfully devote themselves to perpetual adoration? How do they sustain their faith? And what, ultimately, is faith? As Ohlson -- a long-time skeptic -- opens up to the Poor Clares, she opens herself to the possibility of the sacred. The result is an inspiring personal journey as well as a poignant reflection on the power of the church and faith, no matter what our religion may be.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member bookheaven
Reading this memoir is like spending time with an old friend. The author's musings were eerily like my own regarding faith. This book attempts to understand why cloistered nuns choose such a sheltered life and why praying is so important to them.
LibraryThing member tmnd
While this is not a real inside look at life in a Poor Clares' cloister, it is as close as one is likely to get. The Poor Clares are some of the most restrictive enclosures in the western monastic tradition. As spiritual memoir, it is a rather engaging read. The author comes clean early on about
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her struggles with faith and the spiritual life. The fact that she views this monastic community as a beacon for those of us enduring a dark night of a soul is one of the strengths of her tome. I came away for this book with the impression that this is a real person writing about really people, not some ethereal attempt at lofty spiritual platitudes, but the true grit of the hardcore spiritual life in all of its struggles.
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LibraryThing member jlcarroll
While Stalking the Divine offers readers a glimpse of the secret lives of cloistered nuns, this book is just as much about author Kristin Ohlson's search for authentic faith. She certainly doesn't try to hide that.

I found Ohlson's honesty refreshing. As a Christian, I appreciate occasional
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reminders about how devotion to God and Jesus Christ appears to folks who aren’t quite as sure as I like to think I am. Truth is, we all have room to grow in our knowledge, understanding and experience of faith. If that's a subject you like to ponder, then this book is worth your while.
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8.25 inches


1401300251 / 9781401300258
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