The Father and the Son, by Matthew N. Murray, and The View from a Monastery, by Brother Benet Tvedten

When Matt Murray is 13 years old, his mother, a gifted writer and an unconventional Catholic, dies. His father, an official in the Washington, D.C., city government, suddenly changes jobs. He functions poorly as a single parent, and the family, a sister and two brothers, begins to drift apart. The unconventional Catholic faith of his father gives way to new religious behaviors that seemed bizarre, even embarrassing, to young Matt. His father joins a Benedictine community and eventually becomes a priest. Had God "stormed into his father's life" or had his father "gone crazy?," Matt wonders. Murray revisits this story through the eyes of other family members, and finally through his father's eyes.

Brother Benet Tvedten took a more traditional, less complicated route to his vocation. He has been a member of his Benedictine community for 40 years. Having renounced family ties and accepted Blue Cloud Monastery as home, he tells stories about his life there.

 

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