Book Study with Abiding Together Review
Searching for and Maintaining Peace by Father Jacques Philippe is a tiny book, if you are looking for it on my bookshelf, it would take you some time to find it. But much like wasabi, horseradish, and red lipstick, a little can go a LONG way. This little book is changing my WHOLE APPROACH TO PEACE! I was so excited to join the book study for this book led by the mighty three from the Abiding Together Podcast, Sr. Mariam James Heidland, SOLT, Michelle Benzinger, and Heather Khym. First let me say, I LOVE THESE WOMEN! This podcast is so incredibly uplifting, encouraging, and joyful! And isn’t that what Mom Revolution is all about?!
I started listening to this podcast about a year ago, and am obsessed. Every week these women come on with wonderful thought-provoking topics that challenge me in my walk with Christ, in the best ways possible. I have a special love for this podcast, as I worked with the SOLT Community at a parish here in Arizona, and know the beautiful Sisters first hand! SOLT stands for Society of our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity. In fact, we had 5 SOLT Sisters over for dinner the night before I had Emilio, our second son, and I tease them that when I am ready to go into labor this time around, I will just have them over to get the ball rolling.
Needless to say, I really love this podcast and highly encourage you to take a listen! A couple weeks before Lent began, when they announced a book study with this book by Father Jacques Philippe, I was doing the dishes, prepping dinner, refereeing yet ANOTHER wrestling match, and lacking peace in a major way, that I jumped at the chance to be a part of it. I borrowed the book from a dear friend, and dove right in! Abiding Together posted a reading schedule, and each week would discuss various aspects of this book.
Searching for and Maintaining Peace is FULL of incredible wisdom and amazing one-liners. Father Jacques Philippe is so gifted in communicating great Truths about God, all while using simple language and gently chiding us to be better. He gives wonderful examples of Saints and situations that are meant to remind us that peace, that true EVER LASTING peace, that we seek only can come from God. He dissects the many reasons that we can lose our peace, and why we allow that peace to be stolen from our hearts. He reminds us that abandoning ourselves to God’s Providence, God’s Will, and to God’s loving hands is the only way to truly maintain peace in a world full of chaos. He also challenges the way we react to losing our peace, that we can choose to react in love every time we are faced with disquiet.
The book is gold. Honestly. I loved reading it at home when the kids played outside, I loved taking it to adoration with me, and I loved sharing about it with my husband over dinner. The other wonderful aspect of this book, is the wonderful commentary of the women on Abiding Together. They have wonderful insight, and shared their own experiences with struggling to find peace, and then to maintain it in the midst of trial.
The other wonderful part of this book study is that I could go at my own pace. This lent has been quite challenging, with sick kids, a sick husband, and pregnancy issues, I was still able to participate slowly in this book study, listen to the podcasts with commentary, and start incorporating the wisdom of this little book into my days, in those quiet moments between all the chaos.
I loved every aspect of this book study! I am still currently in it, as it officially ends today, but don’t let that stop you! Jump in! And if you have never thought about doing a book study like this before, consider making this your maiden voyage! I can personally attest to the fact that this book is really helping me in my motherhood, and in my relationships with others. If you have any struggles with anxiety, trusting the Lord, or just need a reminder about how to remain peaceful in the midst of strife, I think this book and podcast could be a real help to you!
I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes from the book: “Consider the surface of the lake is peaceful and tranquil, the sun will be reflected in this lake; and the more peaceful the lake, the more perfectly it will be reflected. If on the contrary, the surface of the lake is agitated, undulating, then the image of the sun can not be reflected in it.”
Let us be a peaceful lake in the midst of diapers, cooking, working, budgeting, and keeping the kids out of the ER, that we may better reflect the love of God to all those we encounter. I am praying for you this week and always!