"When I first saw Rembrandt’s Prodigal Son, I could never have dreamt that becoming the repentant son was only a step on the way to becoming the welcoming father. I see now that the hands that for- give, console, heal, and offer a festive meal must become my own." — Fr. Henri Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son

"The 'world out there' doesn’t want men to dance together or gather in the local parks and sing in harmony ’round kegs of beer. That which, in a less constricted but better ordered society, is emblematic of peace and good- will, is likely to be regarded as disturbing the peace in our own." — Ray Oldenburg, The Great Good Place

"An intellectual heresy can be met by the weapons of the intellect; a moral protest, such as that of the Waldenses, can only be met by a rival moral protest within the Church itself. [...] It was not only the learning of the [Dominican] Friars, but their poverty, their chastity, the simplicity of their lives and manners, that saved Europe for the faith." — Ronald Knox, Captive Flames: On Selected Saints and Christian Heroes

About the Book

Building the Benedict Option is a combination spiritual memoir and practical handbook for Christians who want to build communities of prayer, socialization, and evangelization in the places where they live and work.

When I converted to Catholicism from atheism, I knew I needed more help from other Christians than I got from weekly Mass alone. I invited people over to read the Church Fathers, to sing hymns, to apply for jobs together, and (occasionally) to just be at peace together in God's presence, no agenda in mind.

I hope you'll put this book down several times before you finish it. Interrupt your reading by opening your home (I have a few ideas you can put into practice within two weeks). And let me know what you and your friends invent!