Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Quiet Journeys - Finding Stillness in Chaos by Mary Elizabeth Lim and Melanie Lee

If life is a journey and I am a pilgrim, then this book is a guide to finding stillness in a world where people and social media chatters incessantly.

Quiet Journeys draws on the decades of experience of a Catholic nun, Mary Elizabeth Lim, in leading people in silent retreats at Good Shepherd Oasis to recover their inner peace and to come alongside God to hear what He has to say to them. It was her desire to help the layman who might not be able to attend such a retreat to do so in his or her own time and place.

I found this book a practical and refreshing read. It is divided into 4 main portions titled, Solitude, Meditation, Reflection, and Other Guiding Words and each chapter does a good job in expounding on their respective titles. This book is an easy read that can be finished very quickly, yet there are many hidden words of wisdom within.

There are instructions in the second chapter on 3 types of meditation:

1. Benedictine Meditation (also known as Lectio Divina)
2. Ignatian Meditation
3. Christian Meditation

I'd heard and tried the first before, after reading about it in Dallas Willard's Hearing God but the other two meditation techniques were rather new to me. I tried all three out (on different days of course) and it was a most relaxing experience. I found myself quite at peace and much calmer than before after a couple of minutes of meditating on the word "Maranatha" or "Come, Lord" in Aramaic. I think I might incorporate these practices into my daily life.

The book is also interspersed with short testimonies of people who have gone to the Good Shepherd Oasis for silent retreats and how they have benefited from it. As I read them, it made me determined to book a session with them to experience a silent retreat for myself.

The book ends with the author informing us that the Land Transport Authority would be taking back the land that Good Shepherd Oasis stands on to build a new expressway. However, a quick look at the Facebook page of this book informs us that they have found a new place at Toa Payoh and I am very happy that they have done so. I'm sure that this will enable many more to find peace in a world filled with noise.

So grab this book my fellow sojourner, I'm sure it will be able to help and encourage you in this journey called Life. If you're in Singapore, you are able to purchase this book from SKS Books located along Outram Road or order it from Armour Publishing. It also ships internationally with Amazon and those with eReaders can purchase the eBook version from the Armour Publishing website with the link provided here.

Disclaimer: The author sent me a copy of the book to review.

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