Seeking the quiet heart of life

Seeking the quiet heart of life Sr Stan in her own nook of peace.
Finding Peace

compiled by Sister Stan (Columba Books, €16.99 / £14.50)

A reader opening this book is likely to turn first out of curiosity to those entries by public figures such as the party leaders of the Government and opposition: this is worth reading, and recalling perhaps on future occasions, such as at the time of the next general election.

Then perhaps to the celebrities, again from curiosity. Yet the real heart of the book is from more ordinary people, who have in their very varied ways struggled with painful matters of life and faith. These are the true heart of the book I think. And it is certainly interesting how often the idea of taking time out in each day to sit quietly and be absorbed in some aspect of our world that gives us rest and moments of joy.


This is perhaps real wisdom. In these days of fear and uncertainty, which affect us all, even those who have taken with the easing of restrictions to a sort of mad-cap existence that they might not have normally indulged in. We have all to learn the lesson of this book.

It is not of course a book to read from cover to cover, let alone to study. But to pick up and to open at random, as a kind of Sortes Virgilianae. Such a random choice is bound by its very nature to bring to our attention writers and ideas we would not have thought of looking for ourselves.


But in editing these contributions we can be certain that Sr Stan had in mind those other kinds of peace, peace of mind, peace in the family circle, peace in the world, things that many are conscious of feeling the lack of in this era of plague, war and hatred. This is not the sort of book where one would not like, by citing a sentence here and there, to privilege a few names. Read it all over the course of the coming year and you will feel a true benefit. But aside from the well-known people of experience, and ordinary people of often deeper experience, these contributions are interspersed with quotes from philosophers, religious figures and poets from the past, which are also of striking insight.

Would indeed that our ancestors had listened to these voices we might be in a better place today. But we are where we are, and Sr Stan’s compilation will help in its own way to enlarge our spiritual and emotional lives, perhaps as some would say, to live for God through others.

So, to calm all our minds and souls over the Christmas season, we will find many, many things in these pages that we will greatly relish, they are so varied and so individual. For this reason it would make an ideal seasonal gift for many.

Finding Peace by Sr Stan is available from Columba Books.