"Our Lord has created persons for all states in life, and in all of them we see people who achieved sanctity by fulfilling their obligations well."
— St. Anthony Mary Claret
— St. Anthony Mary Claret
I'm determined to catch up with book reviews that are WAY overdue. So here we go...
Ms. Campbell is Courageous - She is in the public spotlight because of her past and present careers (EWTN for one). She shares so much of her experience with life lessons with falling away from faith (as so many of us do in college) and fertility and caring for an ailing parent, and that is courageous by itself. But to do it in an age where so many people review what is essentially her life, well, I think that is just braver than brave. It is a GOD THING! And I am so pleased that she wrote this awesome book.
This book is important. As Catholics, we are so blessed to have strong women role models in the Saints. For me, this is a timely and much-needed reminder that I am not alone; that I can do anything God sets before me; that I am strong and have other strong women to look up to. It is hard to remember that, but there really are Saints for every season in life, every situation. And I'm so happy that Ms. Campbell drew on some of my favorites for intercession and guidance. I mean - who can't learn from Mother Teresa and Our Blessed Mother Mary? I feel so blessed even writing this review.
I have an innate relationship with the book because I often use the Saints as guides and intercessors. I have had the privilege, this year, of teaching a Saint's class in our Homeschool Co-Op. On the first day I told the children that we all have the ability to become Saints. God used ordinary people to do extra-ordinary things. We just have to say YES!
Most of us have such intimate relationships with our Faith (ok, that seems redundant but there actually are people who don't... but we pray they come back to it), and I love that Ms. Campbell shows that you can wonder about faith-teachings and leave your faith on a back burner and come back to it when times get tough, and wonder why you ever left (my words, not hers). To me, this part of the book gave me hope - for so many who have turned their back on Catholicism or any religion, and will find their way back.
What a great man her father was. I love how she describes him as' a man who devoted his career to defending the vulnerable - through advocacy for the mentally handicapped, ministry to the sick and dying, and support for Catholic families in crisis'. And her understanding that her father now 'felt that vulnerability from the inside'. One of his favorite saints was Saint Therese of Lisieux. When Ms. Campbell read Therese, she realized how alike her father and Saint Therese were. AND how similar her life had become to Saint Therese's life, as she watched her father endure Alzheimer's. To me, it is a great bond between the three of them. It makes me tear up writing about it. And it reminds me, how very blessed we are to witness God's presence in Ms. Campbell's father and in their lives together with Saint Therese. I am battling tears as I write this. It's very palpable for me.
I have read many reviews on this book. I feel for those who say things like, "well, this book is very Catholic, therefore I can not identify" or "I'm a man, so I couldn't identify". Sigh. To me, this book is about learning to make the best out of the life we are given. The Saints mentioned are real people, so even if you are not Catholic and don't believe in their intercession, you could still see that they handled their situations with Grace and said Yes to God. Right? I hope and pray so.
I am not going to say it is an easy read for all. It's a deeply personal book. But it is a fantastic read, in my opinion. I am sure I'll pick it up again.
I give it two thumbs up. Five Stars. AND one really big THANK YOU to Colleen Carroll Campbell for writing this fantastic, life-lesson-filled book!
Further, "I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review." I can assure you, received for free or not, this is an honest review.
My goal is to write a review every Wednesday. Pray for me. And look back Saturday for a review on Seeing Home. A must read, for all Yankees Fans, Baseball Fans and people who love an encouraging story of fortitude against the odds.