I was away from the pulpit this past Sunday. I had the opportunity to spend the weekend in silence. I took part in a Centering Prayer retreat organized by the local chapter of Contemplative Outreach. We stayed at a convent of the Sisters of Saint John the Divine, an Anglican order that was founded in Toronto more than 100 years ago. It is a beautiful quiet place.
Whenever I am away for a retreat or educational event I buy books. The convent does not have a store. Instead they have a hallway that is furnished with bookcases, which are lavishly laden with good books. The system is that you pick out what you want, read the price stickers, and place appropriate payment in the slot of the wooden box that sits on one of the shelves.
I love this approach. I wish I could do all my shopping this way. In many ways, I wish the world was more like the convent.