By Sarah Mac Donald - 02 November, 2014
Following hot on the heels of the Poor Clare Sisters in Galway’s runaway bestseller ‘Calm the Soul’, the Franciscans in Ireland have just published a new book in time for Christmas which they hope will also prove a bestseller.
‘The Simplest Prayer’ aims to promote an inspiring message of faith based on that of St Francis.
It also provides guidance to those looking for strength in their everyday lives, freedom from fear, a deepened sense of faith and connection with God.
The book includes practical advice on meditation and simple reflections for times of anxiety, of weak faith, of troubled conscience, of letting go as well as prayers for help in relationships, for seeking spiritual energy and for showing gratitude.
According to the publishers, Hachette Ireland, the Franciscans show readers how to find a sense of peace and solace through prayer in today’s busy and challenging world.
The new book is illustrated by the Poor Clare Sisters who published ‘Calm the Soul: A Book of Simple Wisdom and Prayer’ in October 2012. That book spent 15 weeks at the No 1 spot in the Irish book charts.
The vision that motivates this new book according to the Franciscans is the life and work of their founder, St Francis of Assisi.
For nearly 800 years, the Irish friars have striven to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ following the example of Francis, ministering to people throughout Ireland and overseas.
“Franciscan spirituality inspires trust that love in the fullest form accompanies us, giving assurance in our ability to travel to the deepest places. It teaches us that we are not what we can conquer but what is gifted to us. To be human is to be flawed, to be unfinished. Viewed in the light of Christ’s unconditional goodness our failures become an essential part of our life’s journey,” according to Hachette Ireland.
This is reflected, as in other areas, in the friars’ close involvement with Merchants Quay Ireland in Dublin which reaches out to the homeless and those struggling with addiction.
Proceeds from the sale of ‘The Simplest Prayer’ will be donated to the Franciscan Mission in Zimbabwe.
The new book is not the first collaboration between the Franciscans and the Poor Clares.
This year marks the Year of the Holy Name, which celebrates the centenary of the renewal of devotion to the Name of Jesus, begun in Ireland in 1914.
The celebration, which has been endorsed by Pope Francis, is a spiritual collaboration between the two orders and other members of the Franciscan family.
The cover design for ‘The Simplest Prayer’ is based on the distinctive blue titles bearing the monogram ‘IHS’ or ‘YHS’ which were placed above the entrance doors to Irish homes in 1914.
Examples of these devotional tiles can be found all over Galway, Limerick, Ennis, Cork and beyond.
For more information see: www.franciscans.ie or www.poorclares.ie