In one of his books, novelist, essayist, and Protestant minister Frederick Buechner concluded that Christianity can learn a lot about the true meaning of faith, community, and reliance upon God from Alcoholics Anonymous. Sister Molly Monahan agrees. She begins this inspiring account of her 17-year participation in the program by recalling a Jesuit's statement that when the history of twentieth-century-American spirituality is written, Alcoholics Anonymous will be judged the most significant spiritual movement of the era.

The author (using a pseudonym) entered her religious order before graduation from college in 1953 and became a member of A.A. in 1983. Sister Monahan talks about alcoholism as a physical, mental, and spiritual disease, accompanied by negative thinking, pity, anger, resentment, depression, and controlling behavior.

She assesses the Twelve Steps of the program as analogous to the purgative, illuminative, and unitive ways of the mystical path. Healing for the recovering alcoholic comes through the spiritual practice of listening, which is 95 percent of every meeting. A.A. offers a crash course in dealing with the emotions, and this is part and parcel of its firepower. Or as Sister Monahan puts it: "A large part of the spiritual life consists in coming to know ourselves and our feelings, cultivating those that are healthy and appropriate, weeding out or redirecting those that are destructive to ourselves and others."

Seeds of Grace provides an enlightening overview of Alcoholics Anonymous by a nun who is convinced that her experiences in this empowering community have deepened and enriched her Catholic faith. Whether commenting on sponsors as spiritual directors or the practical value of slogans used regularly in A.A., Sister Monahan is a living example of the many avenues of grace God chooses to travel.