"Money is certainly a sign, token, or symbol, and, through the centuries, it has been imbued with mystery, power, energy, and terror. But rarely is it thought of as a genuflection of divine love, beauty and gift. I've thought a lot about this, and I've come to the conclusion that, for many reasons, money and sacrament can be one and the same." This startling statement is by Adele Azar-Rucquoi, a former Catholic nun and schoolteacher who leads seminars for women grappling with the complicated issues surrounding money.

Since women make approximately 90 percent of their family's money-based decisions, she has included 50 stories about how they deal with this constant challenge. Some see money as an ally; others consider it the enemy, something that always makes them feel unworthy and anxious. Money remains a taboo subject in polite conversation, Underneath all the silence are large reservoirs of anger, envy, resentment, comparisons, and confusion. As the author points out, our attitudes towards money say a lot about our deepest longings, fears, and expectations.

Azar-Rucquoi has had plenty of experiences with money and is well qualified to ponder its manifold mysteries and blessings. She briefly talks about her work at the cash register in her immigrant father's grocery, her years as a nun in a convent, a large inheritance from her parents, her marriage to a formerly homeless man, and their struggles with the role of money in their relationship. She uses all this as a means of probing her own changing views on love, faith, and hope. She concludes with an illuminating section titled "Money Aerobics—Seven Stretches for Your Money Muscles." There are some fine spiritual practices here.