Colette Lafia is a San Francisco-based blogger, spiritual director, workshop and retreat facilitator, and part-time school librarian. She is the author of Comfort and Joy: Simple Ways to Care for Ourselves and Others. This book is an appealing account of her spiritual friendship with a silent monk at the Abbey of Gethsemani.

Through seven years of exchanging letters, Lafia and Brother Rene explore the spiritual significance of surrender. They see it as "the spiritual aspect of acceptance, inviting and allowing us to hold our experiences and lives with grace in every moment. It calls us into a deeper relationship with mystery, with the Divine, and with the force of creation. When it is combined with intention and an open heart, I have found surrender to be the key to transforming grief and pain."

Lafia listens to what her body has to say about trust, letting go, and drawing closer to God. She also feels the need for greater self-acceptance. As she practices surrender, she tries to deal with insomnia, the death of her father, living without her sister, and not having her own children. Each of these losses enables Lafia to become more receptive to God's grace and the mystery of not knowing.

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