"Since I first began thinking about ways to nurture a contemplative spirit in my family, the inner dialogue in my spirit about the reality of those consolations and desolations has changed. In the early stages of this book I hoped to create a path of formation that would lead my children to nurture and welcome the experience of God (consolation). While I may be successful in this, I know now that even when my children remain unhealed or struggle to sense God's presence (desolation), God is, in fact, still present. He is present to my children in ways I will never see or know, and in ways they may never be able to articulate. He is present because he is loving. And while my heart as a father is that my children would flourish, his heart as the Father is the same.

"The anxiety I once carried is absent. And I wonder what kind of anxiety you may carry as a parent regarding the faith and formation of your children. Parenting is no small task. Sometimes it's all we can do to see that our children's teeth are clean and they have eaten something healthy today. Tending, at the same time, to the inner life of your child and to your own inner world feels like a giant task. I'm learning that it's all grace. We have intentions, we exert our will to make things happen, and then we find that someone flushed a washcloth down the toilet and the lawn mower is broken. Increasingly, these moments are becoming God's secret answer to my prayer to love well, to hurry less, and to be present to the real life around me."