October 2022: New Resources

New Resources


Dr Karen Ward

Beehive Books, 2022
ISBN 9781800970298
pp. 164 • €16.99/stg£15.30

In The Secrets of Ageless Ageing, Dr Karen Ward takes the reader on a journey of self-discovery including celebrations of middle age as well as the years that follow. Over 13 chapters and 153 pages, she gives sound practical advice and has a holistic approach to the inevitability of growing older. While modern society worships youth in all its glory – as people now longer, our society needs to become more aware of the benefits of ageing (p. 11). Apart from her wise advice, witty style and practical ‘Tips to Try’, each chapter includes interviews with the older and wiser generation entitled ‘Words of Wisdom’. They share some of the joys and regrets of their lives with the reader and give some interesting words of advice.

     Like most people, the author did not contemplate that the ageing process had actually begun until in her forties. She realised then that the older woman she might become depended on the foundations that she put in place while she was still young enough to take action and to prepare wisely.

     The author shares her knowledge and experience, as a professional holistic therapist and practicing counselling psychotherapist. While she sees natural remedies as very beneficial, she views them as being complementary to medical intervention and strongly advices regular medical check-ups. In ‘Mid-Life Opportunity’, we see the positive potential to reinvent ourselves. ‘I believe that it’s never too late to pursue our dreams’ she asserts. She also shows a deep understanding of the mental, physical and emotional issues, experienced by both men and women in their mid-life, causing stress and anxiety as well as affecting lives and relationships with partners, family members and friends.

     The ‘Empty Nest Syndrome’ has been widely documented, but in Ireland at the present time there is a shift towards the reverse situation, whereby adult children can’t or won’t leave the nest. Practical advice on preparation for retirement and on the importance of preparation for bereavement and loss, brings the reader to a place of acceptance and of building a legacy for others to carry on. This book is full of good practical advice. Leaving the last word on this publication to Dr Melissa Darmody, Psychologist who concluded after reading, ‘Ageless ageing – who doesn’t want that? A lovely read full of things to reflect and act on. Wish I read it ten years ago!’

Reviewer: Geraldine Coyle, Tallanstown, Co Louth



Summer 2022 – National Identity and Sovereignty
Messenger Publications, 2022

The fine line between inward looking sovereignty and the wider embrace of a more global civilisation is considered in a series of insightful articles in this issue of Studies. Nationalism, together with Racism and Religion have become increasingly complex in recent times, particularly in relation to issues of sovereignty. Ireland, for all its geographical insularity has always been part of wider cultures – through music, art and literature and has influenced and enlightened other countries

     In Part 1 of his essay on ‘An Irish Dante’Daragh O’Connell identifies some likely influences of Irish medieval literature in Dante’s great narrative – the Divina Commedia. John O’Hagan considers that work of the Irish artist Patrick Reel may be influenced by French, German and Spanish artists. Cormac Ó Gráda sees the similarities in documentation of famine experiences across diverse nations. Anthony White examines the outward gaze of members of the new-born Irish Free State, when establishing a political orientation in 1922. Michael Sanfey’s fascinating paper Sovereignty and Culture clearly makes a distinction between a nation’s culture and its political form.

     Transnational phenomena, such as climate change, various forms of human trafficking and large-scale migration, make a mockery of the idea of sovereign independence (p. 183). However, the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022 has brought sovereignty back into the spotlight. This is a truly, fascinating and insightful series of articles.

Reviewer: Geraldine Coyle, Tallanstown, Co Louth



Seven Life-Changing Moments from the Journey of St Ignatius
Brendan McManus SJ & Jim Deeds

Messenger Publications, 2022
ISBN 98717881253834
pp. 96 • €9.95/stg£8.95

In an age of working to deadlines, short turn-around time and the desire for instant results, it is a joy to read this beautifully written book – the third publication by best selling and award winning authors – Brendan McManus SJ and Jim Deeds. In this, their third book together, they invite us to turn to the life of Ignatius of Loyola, to illustrate how God works through life’s unexpected, challenging situations and how this process plays out overtime. ‘Finding God in the messy bits and pieces of our lives is enormously challenging’.

     Over 7 chapters and 96 pages, we are invited to reflect on the slow process of the Spirit. By using biographical details, they explore seven transformational moments in the life of Saint Ignatius. Through reflections, drawn on themes from Ignatian Spiritual Exercises, in imagined conversations with God and personal stories, written in the established style of the authors, helps to draw the reader into a deeper reflection and the richness of Ignatian Spirituality.

     While our own human frailties may be recognised in these Ignatian reflections, they also give us hope that God is always with us, throughout the whole course of our lives (p. 93). This little gem presents us with a vision of a compassionate God, powerfully guiding us through those messy bits and pieces of life.

Reviewer: Geraldine Coyle, Tallanstown, Co Louth