“Embrace the joys and sorrows of life” – Sr. Augustine
If you haven’t found a book for your summer vacation, I would recommend taking this book with you. “Five Years in Heaven,” by John Schlimm, is an easy read that provides some meaningful insights that will linger long after you come back home.
John shares his wonderful five-year relationship with Sister Augustine, an eighty-seven year-old Benedictine nun. The story of a person and his mentor has been told and re-told in various ways, but I like how I felt reading this version of the story. John needed a different type of mentoring and way to simplify his life.
The conversations between John and Sr. Augustine made me smile and think. A publicist for high profile celebrities, John found himself compromising his values and beliefs until he felt it was necessary to leave. His new career move was to become a teacher. It may sound a bit corny, but life isn’t perfect, and “one of the most important things in this life is just showing up (page 265).”
It was refreshing to read a story with a nun as a central character and not a caricature. Don’t let the setting of the convent turn you off from reading the book. Even though I am a Catholic, and had a similar educational experience as John had in the parochial school system, I learned a few things. Like the patron saint of Bavaria, how my favorite German beer got its name (page 107) and what is the meaning of cardinal red (page 243).
The book even inspired me to find ways to be creative. Without revealing too much, there is a wonderful gift idea that I might try as holiday presents for family and friends (page 227). John nicely reflects on the lessons that he learned during the five years. Sometimes, it’s necessary to find those ways (page 270), in order to take care of your soul.
If you want to get an update on John’s life, please take a look at his website: www.johnschlimm.com.
I received this book from “Blogging for Books” for this review.
Read Well My Friends!