Light in the Shoe Shop offers readers a unique and intimate glance into the day-to-day experience of living the cloistered life in feminine mode. In her cobbler's contemplations - metaphor here: the author did indeed make and mend her sisters' shoes for many years-Mother Agnes reveals the very simple secret of monastic life, a secret she shows to be an inseparable combination of mindfulness and fidelity. It is continual mindfulness of God's transformative presence and action and, in response, equally continual fidelity to each of the minutely detailed ways in which that loving divine presence woos the contemplative's heart. Even those who strive for a more contemplative life outside of literal cloisters will find her reflections to be a great gift and inspiration. This book is decidedly t just one more item in the picturesque genre of the 'nun's story.' Rather, for all its slenderness, the volume bears a strong witness to the fact that a human life that stakes its all on loving will gradually become transfused with light. From the foreword by Simeon Leiva, OCSO
Agnes Day was born in 1933 and grew up in the Philippines, with the exception of 1940-1944 when she was living with relatives in the United States while her parents and one sister were in the concentration camp of Santo Tomas in Manila. They survived, the family was reunited, and, after a period of rest in the US, returned to the Philippines. When her mother became a Catholic, Agnes followed her on this path during her second year at Middlebury College. Four years later, in 1956, she entered Mount Saint Mary's Abbey in Wrentham, Massachusetts. She was prioress there for nine years, as well as vocations director, secretary to the abbess, and community cobbler. In 1986 she was elected abbess, serving the community in that capacity for twenty-two years. Since 2008, she has been happily living her Cistercian vocation once again as a simple sister.