Ten years after 9/11, there are a multitude of books out there that speculate on the who’s, what’s, and why’s, but there are few that look back in a reflective and contemplative mood like “Peace Be With You.” Instead of a book placing the blame without, this book examines the struggle within and looks to the ancient wisdom of the monastics. Mr Carlson travels the country to interview several monks and nuns on their thoughts and recollections of 9/11 as well as what we can do as believers in response.
This book was well written, but its strength was in the call for a personal challenge on how we live out our faith. Do we have the courage to look at our “enemies” and seek to know their struggles, where they are coming from, and if there is something we can do? Instead of developing a us-versus-the-world mentality, the suffering of 9/11 is an opportunity to understand that this is something the entire world goes through on a daily basis and in most cases America as a country has built walls instead of building bridges. My favorite part of the book by far was the section on Thomas Merton and his vision of Christ as present in the world. I highly recommend this book if you are able to look past the politics of 9/11 and are willing to take a hard look at your own heart. You will be rewarded if you can.
Disclosure Note: Thomas Nelson has been gracious enough to give me a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.