In this combination biography and self-help book, George McClendon casts his own life story as a struggle between himself and the dragon (false self) to help others with their struggles in life. McClendon was a Benedictine monk of St. Gregory’s Abbey in Shawnee, Oklahoma from 1958 to 1978, and he presents this period of his life story as a glimpse into monastic life and his eventual discovery that this was not his calling, especially after the Second Vatican Council.
McClendon felt a calling to the married life and received dispensation from his vows and priesthood. He is not critical of the monastic life; he has visited the monks many times since leaving and developed a good relationship with them. He speaks fondly of particular monks, especially Abbot Philip Berning, who was his abbot when he entered the monastery (Abbot Philip retired as abbot in 1970 and died on November 17, 2007).
One can read the presentations - the biography and the self-help aspect - by themselves or together. Black-and-white photos enrich the narrative of his monastic days and his life afterward with his wife and daughters. Heaven's Call to Earthy Spirituality is recommended to general readers interested in self help, biographies of a former monk, and the monastic life.