Now, don't get me wrong. It's not as though there's anything wrong with "Never Give Up: My Life and God's Mercy" that's holding me back from giving it the best qualifier, it's my own 'I don't want to be wrong, how can I evaluate all the books I've ever read? Certainly there's something better. Maybe I can categorize it' stuff going through my head. So, the other thing, if you didn't pick it up, is that I have a wee bit of anxiety in my family. It wasn't until after the birth of my third child that someone (a Dr. friend, no less) pointed out that I should focus more on the anxiety and not the worries the anxiety was causing. Talk about an eye opener!! More on that later, let's focus on the book.
**pause, screaming, poopie diaper***
I've been formulating this blog post in my head for weeks, ever since I finished the book in 2 days while agonizing in bed with a flu-like cold. Here is a run down from some notes I made. Brilliant is the word that comes to mind most often when describing this book. It has the BEST description of mental illness that I've ever read. John is a brilliant theologian. It has the best description of love, God's love, that I've ever read. I love the chapters describing Mary, her love and how she is bringing us to Christ.
Never Give Up reminds us constantly of God's love. That God is waiting for us, holding us, loving us. We are children. We act like children, we whine and complain, we don't understand. We will learn some while we are here but most we will only learn in the next phase of our life with Christ.
***pause, screaming, more coffee***
I like how he relates our initial reaction to suffering as an "invasion of 'my life'" because this is exactly how I used to feel (and often still do) when presented with a challenge. John reminds us that it's always better when we accept suffering as part of God's plan for our life. Thank you, Lord!
The section comparing grumbling and lamenting has really opened my eyes and given me some freedom. I've repeated this lesson to others on multiple occasions, so far.
Throughout the book, John is constantly reminding us of God's love, love, love and that we need to ask, ask, ask for mercy. Over and over and over. God never tires. It quite reminds me of the message of our new Pope Francis. God never gets tired of forgiving, its we who tire of asking. We must never tire of asking for forgiveness and mercy because God's love is abundant.
**baby came in screaming...in lap, sucking on the corner of John's book***
About John, as an author, he is saturated with knowledge of the truth. He doesn't need to quote catechism or papal encyclicals because it comes out of his pores. It's how he thinks, it's the truth.
This concludes the notes I made in my phone a couple weeks ago. I'm being overrun by the demands of a 2 year old, at present. There is so much more that I'd like to say about this book. I have ink throughout it, stars in the margins, etc. *crying baby at my side* But I can't put off these children any longer and I'm not going to grumble, either. :) Thank you, God for my babies!!!! They dictate the actions of my life and right now they're saying, "ME ME ME!!!"
I will try to write more on this book, later, but for now, here you go. I truly hope that this book brings you some peace in your heart as it has brought to mine.