Readers may have noticed one or two quotes in recent posts from Father Peter van Breemen. His book The God Who Won’t Let Go is a distillation of a series of talks he gave at a Benedictine monastery in 1998. Ave Maria Press published the book a dozen years ago, but it’s been sitting on my shelf for those years. I’ve been enjoying the Dutch Jesuit’s reflections on God’s love as lensed through important passages from Scripture. I haven’t completed the volume yet, but I thought I would give it a big thumbs-up recommendation here.
The adaptation from retreat talk to book format is well done. I’ve been taking a chapter every few days at the end of my regular lectio. There’s a richness in the essays that stays with me for a day or two afterward. Chapter five, “We all need forgiveness” was particularly poignant for me this past week.
Each talk-turned-chapter is a coherent meditation on some aspect of God’s love. The author draws from all over Scripture, the writings of the saints, and ties everything together in a way that is understandable, thoughtful, and relevant to the life of a modern-day believer. From the conclusion to Chapter 1, “wait there for me,” summing up the example of Moses, in prayer on Mount Sinai, the go-between of his people and their God (Exodus 34):
Out of Moses’s solitary experience of God there emerges something of great importance for all the people. Similarly, we pray alone, insolitude and silence; but–and this is good to remember when prayer happens to be difficult–our solitary prayer bears fruit for many. We wait by ourselves, but our listening, our silence, our longing, and our prayer become a source of fruitfulness for others as well. This fruitfulness knows no bounds.