Reflections on Chapter 1 of the book “When The Soul Listens” by Jan Johnson

The book begins with my favourite verse: Psalm 46:10 which says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” (p.2). I really believe this is the beginning and end of the matter of contemplative prayer. Everything else is merely commentary.

Now, if I were to write down every quote that jumped out at me in this chapter, I’d have to re-type the whole chapter, because all of it resonated with me so deeply. That’s why I chose this book for our common spiritual journey in 2021 – I really think it has the possibility of making a big difference.

So Chapter 1 was obviously a bit of a motivational speech written to convince you that the missing ingredient of your Christian experience is the practice of contemplative prayer. So, by the end of the chapter you ought to be chomping at the bit to read chapter 2 (I hope!) I wonder what she might’ve said in chapter 1 that resonated most with you?

I felt as I read the chapter that the message was simply this – learn to enjoy just being with God. Of course, being with God will produce all sorts of wonders in your life, but don’t worry so much about all that – that’s not the point of a relationship. The point of a relationship is union and companionship. It’s about presence – being present to God and God being present to you.

Of course, this will change you, and that internal change will lead to a different kind of living – a living that is not so focused on the ego and on control, but rather on what she calls, “adventures of living in the kingdom.” (p.8) Sounds good to me!

Every blessing, Ps. Craig.