Talk to a Representative: (800) 451-5006
Free shipping on orders of $50 or more

Popular Searches: Christmas, Jesus Creed
Home > Gifts for Women > Flunking Sainthood: A Year of Breaking the Sabbath, Forgetting to Pray and Still Loving My Neighbor
Flunking Sainthood: A Year of Breaking the Sabbath, Forgetting to Pray and Still Loving My Neighbor
Flunking Sainthood: A Year of Breaking the Sabbath, Forgetting to Pray and Still Loving My Neighbor

Flunking Sainthood: A Year of Breaking the Sabbath, Forgetting to Pray and Still Loving My Neighbor

Share With Others
Author:Jana Riess
Price:$16.99
Sale Price:$15.29   You Save 10%
Binding:Paperback
Page Count:192
ISBN 13:9781557256607
Published:November 2011
Rating:

Also Available In:

Quantity:
Quantity Pricing:
Order Multiple Copies of this Product!
1 - 2$15.293 - 10$13.59
11 - 20$12.7421 - 30$11.89
31 - 49$11.0450 - 99$10.19
100+$9.34
Availability:In Stock, Usually ships in 2-3 days
Description
Reviews
Editorials
Recently named one of Publishers Weekly's Top 100 Books of 2011!

This wry memoir tackles twelve different spiritual practices in a quest to become more saintly, including fasting, fixed-hour prayer, the Jesus Prayer, gratitude, Sabbath-keeping, and generosity. Although Reiss begins with great plans for success ("Really, how hard could that be?" she asks blithely at the start of her saint-making year), she finds to her growing humiliation that she is failing - not just at some of the practices, but at every single one. What emerges is a funny yet vulnerable story of the quest for spiritual perfection and the reality of spiritual failure, which turns out to be a valuable practice in and of itself.

Table of Contents

Behind the scenes
January - Choosing practices
February - Fasting in the desert
March - meeting Jesus in the kitchen. . . or not
April - Lectio divination
May - nixing shopertainment
June - Centering Prayer er, The Jesus Prayer Look! a squirrel!
July - Unorthodox Sabbath
August - thanksgiving every day
September - Benedictine Hospitality
October - what would Jesus eat?
November - seven five three times a day will I praise you
December - Generosity
Epilogue - Practice makes imperfect

Product Reviews for Flunking Sainthood: A Year of Breaking the Sabbath, Forgetting to Pray and Still Loving My Neighbor

It's clear from the start of this sparkling and very funny memoir that Riess means well. But as she readily admits, she's a spiritual failure. She intended to devote an entire year ("a year-long experiment") to mastering 12 different spiritual challenges, including praying at fixed times during the day, exhibiting gratitude, observing the Sabbath, practicing hospitality according to the rules set by St. Benedict, abstaining from eating meat, and amply demonstrating her generosity. But nothing turned out as planned. Rather than being moved by Thérèse of Lisieux's The Story of a Soul, she instead dismisses the saint as a "drama queen." And Reiss is unregenerately practical. The best month to fast, she reasons, is February, at the height of winter; conveniently, it's also the shortest month of the year. Furthermore, at best, she's a "lukewarm vegetarian." Although her spiritual quest falls far short, she can still proffer spiritual lessons. Anyone who has failed to live up to expectations, which means most everyone, will love this book.

Booklist, September 15, 2011


STARRED REVIEW
Punchy humor and unpretentious inquisitiveness combine in this absorbing memoir in which former PW editor Riess (What Would Buffy Do?) commits to both adopting and studying a new religious practice each month for a year, while simultaneously reflecting on her spiritual progress.

Choosing such diverse disciplines as fasting "like a Muslim during Ramadan," exploring lectio divina, observing an Orthodox Jewish Sabbath, practicing Benedictine hospitality, and engaging in the Liturgy of the Hours, the author shares frustrations and insights in a manner likely to amuse and comfort readers, especially those who have attempted such exercises and also found them challenging. For example, Riess's description of her internal dialogue during Centering Prayer, concludes, " ‘Shut the hell up!' yells Spiritual Mind," while her experience of practicing mindfulness, with annoying help from the never sainted Brother Lawrence, leads to a sympathetic observation that he's "an underappreciated housewife." Supporting quotes from saints and writers (St. John Chrysostom, Dorothy Day, Thornton Wilder) pepper the text. The author's declared "failures" make her a sympathetic witness, while such "successes" as her description of how "[g]ratitude practically tackles me," prove genuinely moving. A witty, inspiring read.
- Publishers Weekly

"Flunking Sainthood has to be the most entertaining introduction to spiritual disciplines ever written. If your taste in spiritual discipline runs to hair shirts and beds of nails, you probably won't care for this book. As an honest, funny, irreverent introduction to time-honored Christian practices, however, it can't be beat." - Lavonne Neff

When I first encountered the title Flunking Sainthood: A year of breaking the sabbath, forgetting to pray, and still loving my neighbor, I thought, “That sounds like me in my stumbling efforts.” I sensed I would find a kindred spirit in author Jana Riess, and I read this memoir hungrily.

I enjoyed this book very much and could identify with the author’s longing to cultivate good habits and to deepen prayer life. I laughed aloud, and nodded my head in solidarity. I, too, have craved closeness with God, and tried many practices suggested by spiritual leaders. The chapter on praying the liturgy of the hours (or divine office) really struck home. I have been trying, unsuccessfully, to read morning psalms and then the compline prayer service at bedtime each day. Rather than feeling frustrated when I forget to do this, I enjoy the prayer time when it happens. After all, the quiet time is a gift to myself, and not an obligation in any way.

The chapter on Benedictine hospitality sent me straight to the library so that I could reread the Rule of Saint Benedict. How I long to be able to live the instruction that “all guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ, for he himself will say: ‘I was a stranger and you welcomed me.'” As Jana Riess experienced, it is not easy in our fast-paced culture to slow down and enjoy our unexpected encounters with people.

While I read Flunking Sainthood in two eager sittings, I appreciated that the book could be picked up once a month, taking one chapter at a time and trying a spiritual discipline alongside Jana Riess. For this reason Flunking Sainthood would make an ideal read for the start of the new year, when many of us try to adopt positive habits. Perhaps you long to try lectio divina, centering prayer, or a deeper sabbath observance. With Flunking Sainthood, you can enjoy the companionship of Jana Riess as you experiment and journey. The honesty and sincerity in the writing of Jana Riess provide encouragement, inspiration, and laughter. I am excited to see that Paraclete Press has published a useful companion volume, Flunking Sainthood Every Day: A daily devotional for the rest of us.
Light to Ready By, Lisa Rand
January 2015

Use PRGratitude and receive a free copy of:

Oceana Pillar Candle - 2.5 x 6Oceana Pillar Candle - 2.5 x 6
Inspired by the sea, our Oceana candles bring a fresh breeze and soothing palette into any room.
Regular price:$12.25
Order Multiple Copies of this Product!
1 - 9$12.2510 - 14$11.03
15 - 19$10.4120+$9.80
 
The Paraclete Spiritual Journal (brown)The Paraclete Spiritual Journal (brown)
ISBN:9781557257550
With simple quotations throughout and gorgeous design, this journal will be a treasured spiritual companion.
Regular price:$13.99
Order Multiple Copies of this Product!
1 - 2$12.593 - 10$11.19
11 - 20$10.4921 - 30$9.79
31 - 49$9.0950 - 99$8.39
100+$7.69
 
His Love Endures Forever: Psalms of Thankfulness and PraiseHis Love Endures Forever: Psalms of Thankfulness and Praise
ISBN:9781557255938
Twenty-one beautiful and uplifting Psalms
Regular price:$18.95
Order Multiple Copies of this Product!
1 - 2$17.053 - 10$15.16
11 - 20$14.2121 - 30$13.26
31 - 49$12.3250 - 99$11.37
100+$10.42
 

Also Recommended:

Paraclete Press
Paraclete Press is a publisher of essential Christian wisdom. It is our mission to publish books, music and videos which remind us, Never lose hope in the mercy of God.
Sale
Free Shipping on orders over $50!
© PARACLETE PRESS 2007 - 2015 | 36 Southern Eagle Cartway, Brewster, MA 02631
Submission guidelines | Permissions | Links | Site Map | Contact Us
This shopping cart employs the highest industry strength security: 256 bit SSL we accept visa and master card