Cloister Walk

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Norris, Catholic Tradition, and Notre Dame
In The Cloister Walk, American poet Kathleen Norris takes the reader through her experiences with life in a Benedictine monastery.She writes 75 short tales, each one dealing with a different observation..One thing that appealed to me about this book is that Kathleen Norris isn’t a catholic, nor is she very into church.Her experiences at the monastery help her better understand herself, as well as others.This paper will attempt to link my experiences with those of Kathleen Norris’s and the Catholic Tradition.
Kathleen Norris moves into the St. John’s monastery and her book is based on her nine months there.She has a very poetic personality, and goes to the monastery in search of expanding her mind.She doesn’t expect to find religious knowledge or to improve her relationship with God. “The monastic life,” she says, “has this in common with the artistic one: both are attempts to pay close attention to objects, events, and natural phenomena that otherwise would get chewed up in the daily grind.” There are a few main topics with which she pays special attention too, those of celibacy, community living, the liturgy, and time.Each of these topics relates very nicely to my experiences here at Notre Dame, as well as to different aspects of the catholic tradition.
Norris has this to say about celibacy.”Celebate people have taught me that celibacy, practiced rightly, does indeed have something valuable to say to the rest of us.Specifically, they have helped me better appreciate both the nature of friendship, and what it means to be married.”Although I cannot relate to the marriage aspect of this statement, I can relate to the friendship part.For 19 years of my life, I chose to remain celebate.The friendships that I formed in this time with members of the female sex have been very powerful.I can honestly say that I have experienced love without the physical part of…