Do you feel anxious, worried, filled with anxiety? Does your job make you feel as if you must multi-task ten things at once? Is technology driving your every interaction and move? Tired of all that? Father Jeffrey Kirby has written a 6-day retreat based upon the spiritual classic by Father Jean-Pierre de Caussade’s Abandonment to Divine Providence. Be Not Troubled: A 6-Day Personal Retreat with Fr. Jean-Pierre de Caussade is worth every minute of the six days you will spend with it.
This book can be used in a number of ways. You could use it as a daily retreat. Another way would be to use it for 6 months doing a reading every First Friday and reflecting upon the chapter throughout the month. The book can even be used as a weekly Lenten devotional. No matter how you use it there is much to glean from it’s pages.
One of the positives about this book is that Father Kirby has made Father Causadde’s Abandonment to Divine Providence much more approachable for the modern reader. Father Kirby himself admits the spiritual classic can be a tough read. It’s deep and it’s written with a bit of French stuffiness as was the environment in which Father Causadde wrote.
One common theme woven throughout this retreat is worry. We all face it and unfortunately in this harried and hustle bustle society we find ourselves in, we are prone to falling into it’s clutches. You will learn a very important element throughout the this book that will help you combat worry. Simply put we must focus on the present. Do not look to the past as that is where the devil wants to focus. By dwelling in the past we hone in on our failures and shortcomings. On the opposite side of things, if we constantly look to the future we will worry about things out of our control.
Mixed in amongst all this we will undoubtedly face very real moments in the present where we unfortunately must suffer. That could come in the form of an illness or the loss of a loved one. It could be a very real struggle much like the one Father Kirby’s family faced with onset of his father’s dementia. It may sound cliché but this suffering each of us will face can be a moment of grace and have some unlikely, unimaginable positives. Father Kirby covers that in the book as well.
To say Be Not Troubled is a packed full of insight would be a true statement but it is one that does not do the book justice. I dare this this will be a book you can and will return to often. No one is perfect we may be able to push aside worry but somehow it always seems to find a way to come back. The situations causing it may change, but the feeling of anxiety and worry remains the same. Use Father Kirby’s retreat to help you overcome those moments and learn how to embrace the present moment where you will soon find God is standing right there by your side.