Seeking Surrender

Seeking Surrender

How My Friendship With a Trappist Monk Taught Me to Trust and Embrace Life 

Author: Colette Lafia

Foreword by: Daniel P. Horan, O.F.M.

Price: $14.95

Format: Paperback

Pages: 160

Trim size: 5.5 x 8.5 inches

ISBN: 978-1-933495-88-0

Imprint: Sorin Books

On-sale date: April 17, 2015

This product is no longer for sale.

More Personal Growth, Spirituality


An unlikely friendship between Colette Lafia and a silent monk at the Abbey of Gethsemani, where Thomas Merton lived, comes to life through seven years of shared letters. Lafia's palpable openness and warm storytelling lead readers of Seeking Surrender through the same compassionate process that led the author to accept herself, find peace with life, and strive for an ever-deepening relationship with God.

Folded within the deep friendship cultivated through letters exchanged between Colette Lafia, a spiritual director and retreat leader, and Brother René, a Trappist monk, is Lafia’s struggle with infertility, insomnia, the loss of her sister, the declining health and eventual death of her father, and her role as caregiver. Brother René’s compassion and guidance throughout these trials—and Lafia's responses—provide a template for helping readers to surrender to God in their own struggles.

Readers of Seeking Surrender will find simple exercises and profound advice for living a more conscious and intentional life, with tips such as, “look at yourself through God’s eyes,” “notice when fear arrives at your door,” and “trust all is well.” Readers will ultimately discover a new attitude of acceptance and letting go.

Features & Benefits:

  • Lafia's first book, Comfort and Joy (Conari, 2008) attracted media attention from the ABC show View from the Bay.
  • Lafia is active as a spiritual director, retreat and workshop leader, and writer in the Archdiocese of San Francisco.


"A beautiful and honest book."

“Colette Lafia challenges our notion of surrender, inviting us to see it as a path of opening to the fullness of life. Her spiritual companion, a Trappist monk from the Abbey of Gethsemani, encourages and guides her towards deeper trust along her journey in a series of letters shared over years. A beautiful and honest book.”

Richard Rohr, O.F.M.
Center for Action and Contemplation

"A rewarding read."

 “Surrender to the will of God is discovered as foundational in this intriguing spiritual journey based on a seven-year correspondence between Colette Lafia and a simple Trappist brother who was overcome with his love for God. Seeking Surrender is a rewarding read for those searching for an answer in the midst of darkness only to discover he is always with us.”

Damien Thompson, O.C.S.O.
Former Abbot
Abbey of Gethsemani

"A coming home to accepting life’s hard times that bring graces."

“Weaving a memoir of her path through resistance to life on its own terms with the letters of her spiritual companion and teacher, the late Brother René of Gethsemani, Colette Lafia invites her reader to practice the spiritual discipline of surrender, the soul’s dark path toward a doorway into light, a coming home to accepting—and even in the end loving—life’s hard times that bring graces nonetheless.”

Jonathan Montaldo
Coeditor of the Bridges to Contemplative Living Series

"Marks out the path of sweet surrender that we can follow."

“In this consoling book, Colette Lafia shares with us how a Trappist monk named Brother René helped her to find inner peace by learning to surrender to God, who guides and sustains our lives in mysterious ways we do not understand. Colette shares with us a series of letters in which Brother René marks out the path of sweet surrender that we can follow as we learn to surrender to God’s presence in our lives.” 

James Finley
Former Trappist Monk
Author of Merton's Palace of Nowhere

"Quiet, gentle, and deliberate."

“In her quiet, gentle, and deliberate way, Colette Lafia guides us inexorably toward a juncture most of us try our best to avoid: the place where suffering and surrender meet. If you are in pain, yet long to find God in the midst of it, this is your book.”

Paula Huston
Author of A Land Without Sin

An Introduction to Spiritual Direction Webinar with Colette Lafia

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  • Refreshing 90.2 FM Interview
  • The Bishop's Hour-Immaculate Heart Radio

An Introduction to Spiritual Direction Webinar with Colette Lafia