‘When Monday Comes’
Jacqueline Loh pens book about the ‘Grace that Reigns’ experience
A trained architect, Jacqueline Loh founded the retreat ministry Grace that Reigns in Vancouver, Canada. She is in the United States now involved in a series of Lenten retreats in this country. These retreats feature a new book she has written, “When Monday Comes.” The SKC caught up with her recently in Dodge City.
Q: The title of your new book is intriguing. Where did it come from, and what does it mean?
A: It is a faint echo of the Helen Keller story. You may remember that young Helen could not see and she could not talk: she was locked up inside herself. A gifted teacher, Anne Sullivan, was able to set her free from that angry isolation. That story appeared in a movie in the 1960s called the Miracle Worker. But there was a whole life to live after that moment, and the story of the rest of her life was made into a movie called Monday after the Miracle.
Persons making a retreat experience something similar. Retreats today are often weekend things that are intense, emotional, uplifting and sometimes decisive in a person’s life. They often end in conversion, a return to God, and those who experience it are on an emotional high. But there is a whole life to be lived after that. Just how do you retain and deepen that intimacy with God when the miracle of conversion has passed, when Monday comes. The retreats that Bishop Gilmore and I do help people understand and live through all the Mondays of their lives.
Q: That’s very interesting. How did you come to write such a book at this particular time?
A: The Lord turned my life upside down over 20 years ago now: it was the conversion that set me on a new course. So I have something of an instinctive understanding of how a conversion works itself out over time.
Retreats are interesting things: they have a life, almost a personality, of their own. They have a short, but intense, history. They are, in concentrated form, the very adventure that every human life is. As in the Gospels, the Lord sends us out as a pair to prepare for his coming in every town and every village he intends to visit. Just as he called the two of us, he also calls the participants in each retreat. He is the beginning, the middle, and the end of all such retreats.
How we try to do this listening to the Lord, how we try to prepare persons for the Mondays of their lives, how all of it is structured … all this is concentrated in this slender book. It is both a guide and a workbook for the retreatants. It is a Catholic Vade Mecum, a printed companion you can take with you. In that sense, it is a guide for all our retreatants, and even for all the retreatant-wannabe’s out there. It is a tool to help you understand the way God works in a life, and thus to help you in your own conversion, and prepare you for the obstacles you will face as you live out that new adventure. As the retreats are a concentrated form of every human life, so this book is a concentrated form of every retreat we give.
Q: Where can our readers find your book, and any other materials you have available?
A: The book is available at each of our retreats, and with the cost of printing and postage, it is now selling for $12. It also is available on our website, www.gracethatreigns.com. It is useful for the retreatants, of course. But it can also be used by any individual who is sincerely seeking God, and it can be used by like-minded friends who want to pursue that relationship in small groups. Autographed copies are available at the retreats, and when purchased through our website.