ABOUT THE BOOK, CALM THE SOUL
Background to the book, Calm the Soul.
In 2012, the sisters published a book called, ‘Calm the Soul’, which became a bestseller. That year it was the 9th best selling Irish book and in 2013, it went to the Number 1 position and stayed there for 15 weeks.
How did the book come about?
An editor from the publishers, Hachette Ireland, discovered our website and felt that the contents of the “Prayer” Section had potential to be turned into a book. We prayed about it as a community and decided to go with it. We felt that it might help more people to experience God’s love by sharing the fruit of our life of prayer with them in this way.
The prayers and reflections in this book began on our website as a way to present ideas about prayer to people with busy, changing lives. Saint John Paul ll asked Christian communities to become ‘schools of prayer’. In this book we have brought together the fruits of our own prayer life to offer simple ideas on prayer.
What inspired the title of book, “Calm the Soul”?
It comes from a line in Psalm 93
‘When cares increase in my heart, Your consolation calms my soul’
The title was suggested when we were brainstorming about the title of the book. This line from the psalm subsequently leaped out when we were praying the psalm and we realised that was the inspiration for the book all along.
What is the book, “Calm the Soul” about?
Following the positive response to the prayer section of our website and also stemming from our experience of the kinds of things people asked us to pray for, we formulated prayers to meet those needs. As in Psalm 93 quoted above, this again reflects that, whatever situations we are in, God is with us and the prayers are an effort to provide words with which to connect with Him.
In search of Calm for our souls
We seek serenity of heart, but find that there is no space given for our souls. Silence is all but gone and, yet, silence itself can be healing. Allied to this is the reality that for many people, the pace of life has increased greatly. A rushed quality pervades our world and can rob us of peace. Living constantly on a treadmill, it is hard to appreciate how much our energy can be depleted through continued rushing. The result is that there is a high level of unease. God wants us to live at peace, to have serenity and harmony in our hearts, but, today, these things can be difficult to find. Sometimes the importance of the spiritual aspect of life is not appreciated, and from what people have told us, by post or when they visit the monastery, there’s a real hunger for some tranquillity and silence. Despite the great changes that have occurred in our world, human nature is still the same, with the same needs.
God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission. I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good; I shall do His work. I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it if I do but keep His commandments.
Therefore, I will trust Him, whatever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him, in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him. If I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. He does nothing in vain. He knows what He is about. He may take away my friends. He may throw me among strangers. He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide my future from me. Still, He knows what He is about.
Bl John Henry Newman