Following the Silence: A Contemplative Journey by Georgina Alexander
Reviewed by Bishop Dominic OGS
At confirmation services, I encourage candidates to give their testimonies. It can be a very powerful witness as a candidate gives an account of his or her journey with God and the decision to follow the Christian path. In this book, Georgina Alexander gives a remarkable testimony of her own spiritual journey which has led her into a life of contemplative prayer and consecration within the Single Consecrated Life. As the reader is taken through her life there are many aspects with which they can identify, but no two spiritual journeys are the same and we are privileged to be invited to listen to such an intimate story which for the reader is both a comfort and a challenge.
Georgina led a life as a wife and mother when she came into contact with an Anglican religious community and experienced that sense of 'calling' which so often begins with God calling us more closely to himself.
Whilst in her twenties, she experienced a longing for contemplative prayer amidst the demands of marriage and young children. Later Georgina trained as a teacher and then worked as a potter and became an oblate of the Sisters of the Love of God. After a serious illness and experiencing the 'dark night of the soul', she was licensed for the ministry of healing, but recognised that her primary vocation was that of prayer and union with the cosmic Christ.
From an account of Georgina‘s personal experiences in prayer, and all that she learned from a wide reading of the Fathers and the mystical and spiritual classics of the Eastern and Western traditions, the book moves to providing more general and helpful advice to those who aspire to charismatic gifts and those who encounter the 'dark night'. It ends with a very helpful section where Georgina comments on suggested reading for those who wish to explore contemplative prayer.
This is a book written by a mystic, but one who like Teresa of Avila, has her feet firmly on the ground.