In Don't Trust the Abbot: Musings from the Monastery, Jerome Kodell, himself the abbot of Subiaco Abbey in Arkansas, has collected his letters – edited and revised for this book - published in his abbey’s newsletter, The Abbey Messenger, from 1989 to 2008. The title is an ironic twist, since most monks trust their abbots to do their best as the spiritual father of the monastery.
Abbot Jerome covers many topics of interest to Benedictine monks, nuns, and oblates, as well as others interested in Benedictine monasticism and its spirituality. Their
subjects divided into three parts - trust and faith, Christian life, and prayer - his letters are in a down-to-earth style appealing to his readers; despite the fact that Abbot Jerome is a scholar, his letters are accessible to anyone. He discusses trust, prayer, silence, celibacy, responsibility, the dark night of the soul, saints, distractions during prayer, intercessory prayer, monasticism, private revelations, and the American dream in letters that are short (a page or two) and to the point.
Abbot Jerome Kodell, O.S.B., in addition to being an abbot, is a founding member of the Little Rock Scripture Study Program. He is the author of Twelve Keys to Prayer (1999), The Eucharist in the New Testament (1991), commentaries with the Collegeville Bible Commentary, and articles and other books. This particular volume is highly recommended to those interested in prayer, Benedictine spirituality, and monasticism.