Here’s a lovely piece from Biographile listing some of the life lessons in The Little Way Of Ruthie Leming. Among them (the quotes come from the book):

8 )Your spirit can expand: “I told my wife again that the purity of love these people showed to our family was so intensely beautiful that it was hard to look upon for long without feeling that it would destroy you. ‘Every angel is terrible,’ the poet Rilke wrote, meaning that God’s messengers come to us with a beauty that inspires fear. To look upon beauty that powerful is to receive a calling and a command to change your life — and that can make you afraid.”

9 )In staying, you grow strong roots: “Contemporary culture encourages us to make islands of ourselves for the sake of self-fulfillment, of career advancement, of entertainment, of diversion, and all the demands of the sovereign self. When suffering and death come for you — and it will — you want to be in a place where you know, and are known. You want — no, you need — to be able to say, as Mike did, ‘We’re leaning, but we’re leaning on each other.’”

Read the whole thing. Funny, I’ve been signing a bunch of copies for people who are giving Little Way to their moms for Mother’s Day. This list makes me think Little Way would make a great graduation gift to young adults who could use a reminder about what really matters in life before they hit the road to their future.