St Paul's Bookshop in High Street Kensington was packed last Monday, for the launch of Sr Gemma Simmonds CJ's new book: 'The Way of Ignatius - A Prayerful Journey Through Lent', published by SPCK. Extracts from the book will be heard throughout Lent on the on-line prayer app and website 'Pray As You Go'.
In her introduction, editor Rima Devereaux said the book has a unique emphasis on the practical lives of Ignatius Loyola and Mary Ward, writing from a woman's perspective, intertwined with their spiritual insights, helping us to pray with the Scriptures in an imaginative way."Prayer is for ordinary people not for experts" - is a recurrent theme through the book, she said.
Greeting colleagues, friends and family, Gemma Simmonds, who had just returned from her third 30-day retreat, said the evening felt like an episode of 'This is Your Life', adding that she has learnt everything from others. "When you work as a spiritual director you want to take your shoes off, because you are walking on holy ground. When you teach - you are on holy ground. We are all on on a pilgrim journey - not only the Catholic family."
She said Rima had been a 'fantastic' editor and paid tribute to her students who have taught her to keep her book as simple as possible."Holy books can do more harm than good" she said. "If you find anything spooky or something you don't like - please tell me and I will re-write it."
Dr Simmonds is Senior Lecturer in Pastoral Theology at the Margaret Beaufort Institute in Cambridge. She has worked in teaching, university and prison chaplaincy and missionary work in Brazil. She is a spiritual director, retreat-giver, renowned international speaker and regular broadcaster on religious programmes.
The Way of Ignatius - A Prayerful Journey Through Lent by Gemma Simmonds ISBN: 978 0 281 07531 7 is available from all good bookshops or bought online from SPCK here: https://spckpublishing.co.uk/the-way-of-ignatius
Visit Pray As You Go here - https://pray-as-you-go.org - or download the app on your smartphone.
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