I’m reading Unteachable Lessons: Why Wisdom Can’t be Taught (And Why That’s Okay), by Carl McColman, a contemplative teacher and author. Check out his website here. The first thing that pulled me in when I began reading Unteachable Lessons was its willingness to be honest and searching. Through his warm and inviting storytelling, we come…Read More
As we begin to feel autumn in the air, with the golden hue of the light, the smell of cool air, and the variety of apples filling the farmer’s markets, we sense change and transition. Change isn’t simply something we live through, it’s a teacher asking us to become fully present to and active within…Read More
At times, comfort is about bringing an open heart to a situation. Acceptance of others is rooted in accepting yourself. If you are tired today, emotionally vulnerable, or angry and frustrated, make room for it. Learn to gently say, I accept all of myself. I hold my feelings with tenderness, love, and comfort. With this acceptance, I…Read More
There are so many moments in which we can be a compassionate presence to another person. If we reflect upon even a day in our lives, we will realize this. Last week, my elderly in-laws were in town, visiting us after an extended cruise in which they encountered days of stormy weather. They arrived exhausted,…Read More
My older sister was a very busy therapist before she retired last year. I remember she always told me that she tried to look at each person she saw in a day as ‘a child of God.’ Today, her words inspired me. As students came into the library with a question, or to search for…Read More
BOOKS BY COLETTE
How My Friendship with a Trappist Monk Taught Me to Trust and Embrace Life
Published by Ave Maria Press, Spring 2015.
"In Seeking Surrender, Colette Lafia challenges our notion of surrender, inviting us to see it as a path of opening to the fullness of life. Her spiritual companion, a Trappist Monk from the Abbey of Gethsemani, encourages and guides her towards deeper trust along her journey in a series of letters shared over years. A beautiful and honest book." – Fr.Richard Rohr, O.F.M.
An unlikely friendship between spiritual director and retreat leader, Colette Lafia, and a silent monk at Thomas Merton’s home monastery, the Abbey of Gethsemani, comes to life through seven years’ worth of shared letters. Lafia’s palpable openness and warm storytelling offer her readers the same compassionate process that lead Lafia to accept herself, find peace with life, and strive for an ever deeper relationship with the Divine.
Folded within the development of a deep friendship cultivated through brief letters exchanged between Lafia and Brother René is Lafia’s struggle with infertility, insomnia, the loss of her sister, the declining health and eventual death of her father, and her role as her father’s caregiver. Brother René’s compassion and guidance to her throughout these trials and Lafia’s responses to him provide a template for helping readers surrender to their own life’s events.
Readers will find simple exercises and profound advice for living a more conscious and intentional life, including tips like, “Look at yourself through God’s eyes,” “Notice when fear arrives at your door,” and “Trust all is well.” Ultimately readers will come away with a new attitude of letting go and acceptance in daily life.
Comfort & Joy
Simple Ways to Care for Ourselves and Others
Purchase the book with new journaling tips included from Amazon.
Awarded “One of the Best Spiritual Books of 2008” by spirituality and practice.com
“In her book Comfort and Joy, Lafia’s warm prose knits a cozy tapestry of vignettes, observations, affirmations, and gentle questions covering the simple ways we can care for others and ourselves.” Janet Boyer, author of New Year, New You.
Comfort and Joy is a small book that can engender big and welcomed changes in our lives and our attitude. It’s a book to keep handy, to turn to again and again. Lafia offers forty-five vignettes—small stories, pictures of comfort as simple and grand as a plush pillow or a warm cup of tea. Simply reading them is comforting and more than likely to inspire the reader to dive into the journaling prompts or follow the suggestions for cultivating comfort, which accompany each passage. And because she knows that comfort taken and comfort shared make the world a much kinder and better place, in a section called “Applied Comfort,” Lafia gives us inspiring ways to take comfort and pass it on.
A simple and beautiful book with a profound message—learning to comfort ourselves is not a narcissistic pursuit, it’s absolutely essential if we want to make any kind of real difference in the world.