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Where will we find the strength to follow our personal spiritual compass and act in ways that take us out of our comfort zone? Can we look at doubt as a tool for leading us to new understandings instead of thinking of doubt as our enemy? These are significant questions which each of us faces, regardless of the words we use to express them.
Brother Toby uses the themes of Great Faith, Great Courage, and Holy Doubt as he takes on these questions in this wonderful book.
The Tao is universal. Its words “are to be hung like bells in our hearts and rung by the motions we make as we move through our daily lives.” Here Tolbert McCarroll presents it in a unique version. For the contemporary audience, he offers concepts that make a bridge from the Tao to the Western mystics, and his language includes both male and female experience.
This is a book of encouragement, awareness, humor, joy and gratefulness by a remarkable woman.
The haiku in this book came to Mary Martha Aggeler, known as Sister Marti, in the time between her diagnosis of terminal cancer and her last breath. It was her lifelong practice to convert her life experience into haiku.
Sister Marti was a cofounder of the multi-faith Starcross Monastic Community.
In this compilation of his writings, well-known spiritual writer and guide Tolbert McCarroll does indeed encourage us to approach each step, each moment, deliberately and thoughtfully. In a world where ‘living in the now’ is treated as some sort of mystical, hard-to-achieve concept, Brother Toby reassures us, in a year of daily reflections, that simply being is possible.
San Francisco, 1976. The question in the air was, “What does it mean to be human in this age?” A diverse group gathered weekly in the attic of an old Victorian house to explore this question deeply and to apply facets of their personal lives. What was unique about this venture was constructing bridges: between the contemplative traditions of East and West, between psychology and spirituality, between inspiration and daily life.
In Seasons, Brother Toby uses the experience of the Starcross Monastic Community as a background for a month-by-month contemplative journey through the year. His emphasis on each person’s unfolding spiritual experience, rather than ideology or dogma, becomes more important as an increasing number of people have concerns about many religious institutions but continue to value the rich heritage of the transcendent traditions that have nourished our world and our lives.
Brother Toby invites us to stroll through the season of winter with appreciation of nature’s gifts: birds, stars, rain, and above all, children. It also explores the rich history of celebrations of many different faith traditions, from Advent Wreaths to Bodhi Day, Chanukah, Ramadan, and Santa Lucia, helping us to embrace others, quietly fostering tolerance and peace. This book is a wonderful gift that will become a treasured part of the holidays for your family & friends for years to come.
A monk (and parent) explores his spiritual heritage. “There is an old official path across the meadow of our spiritual heritage and it is still recommended by some,” McCarroll writes. “That old path is worn out and not very inviting to most people. But, the meadow itself is fresh and vibrant, always growing and changing. It would be a tragic mistake to abandon the meadow when we reject the old path. There can be many new refreshing paths into this magnificent landscape.”
Childsong, Monksong tells the story of one special year in Brother Toby’s life, a year that took him from the Starcross Community, a monastic retreat set in the gentle hills of Northern California, to the hellish hospitals of Romania where children with AIDS were being warehoused and forgotten among appalling conditions.
Childsong/Monksong is the beautiful story of a unique spiritual journey, and of the fears, struggles, and hopes that we all share.
The Christopher Award-winning story of living through the seasons with the first children with AIDS at Starcross. An intensely moving story of the pain of fighting indifferent bureaucrats so that the babies will not be warehoused in hospitals; a courageous story in which the initial hysteria and hostility of rural neighbors are transformed into acts of kindness and charity; a sad story of one baby who dies the day after cutting his first tooth. Above all, it is a story of hope...
All parents hope that their children develop a spiritual sense of life. Even parents alienated from institutional religion, when their children reach a certain age, cast around for some authentic experience of awe and reverence that young people can share. This book is written for such children and such parents.
This little work has been used by many people to experience the Lenten season in a more personal and compassionate manner. It has been widely distributed in India and other countries.
Photographs by Julie Zobelein, O.P.
Brother Toby shares reflections on many Fridays via our email list our list or are looking for a reflection you missed you can access our archives here.
Books from Starcross make great gifts for friends and family, as well as for yourself!