David Carlson’s book, Peace Be with You: Monastic Wisdom for a Terror-Filled World, is at its core a look at how to truly love our enemies. Carlson desired to see how those in monastic communities responded when the events of 9/11 unfolded. Most of us expect monks and nuns to be isolated and unaffected by what goes on in the world. Carlson found that not be the case. If anything, monastics wrestled with the events on a deeper and more meaningful level.

Carlson traveled to monasteries from different backgrounds (Catholic, Orthodox, Trappist, etc.) across the United States, interviewing those whom were willing to share (and had the time to do so while he was with them) about their response to the terrorist attacks. While none were unified in their responses, all asked deeper questions about what the attacks meant for our nation while fearing a vengeful response. Peace Be with You is an insightful book for looking at how God calls us to respond to our enemies…as well as looking at our own lives in this world. The book also helps look at Muslim-Christian relationships and how we can better bridge the gaps between us. While the book does get heavy and depressing at times (which is natural when dealing with 9/11), it does provide good insight.

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