Sunday, February 11, 2007

A Must-Read for Lent: His Suffering and Ours - Updated

His Suffering and Ours: Words of Hope for Pierced and Wounded Hearts, by Kathryn Mulderink, Lulu Press (www.lulu.com), 175 pages, $6.65 Download, $14.91 paperback.

Reviewed by JEAN M. HEIMANN, a freelance writer, retired psychologist, poet and Oblate with the Community of St. John, who is involved with several ministries in the Diocese of Wichita.

Kathryn Mulderink has done it again – created a masterpiece for the Lord. In her second book, His Suffering and Ours: Words of Hope for Pierced and Wounded Hearts, Kathryn once again takes us on a journey into the Heart of Christ, this time enabling us to draw closer to His wounded Heart as we unite our sufferings and pain with His. With gentleness and mercy, Kathryn beckons each one of us to draw closer to the One who loves us and remains with us in times of trial. She conveys the transforming and purifying power that makes suffering more meaningful and comforts us with the knowledge that Christ Himself suffers with us.

In His Suffering and Ours: Words of Hope for Pierced and Wounded Hearts, Kathryn shares the good news that we can indeed find joy in the midst of our sufferings, as she effectively communicates the hope and peace that lead to that joy, thus allowing each of us to embrace our crosses.

In her first book, To Sing You Must Exhale, Kathryn– an accomplished Catholic poet - presented us with a glimpse of the strong spiritual union she shares with the Lord through her poetry. This second time around, she takes us deeper into her uniquely feminine spirituality through a smattering of mystical poetry and a dynamic collection of excerpts from personal letters, Scripture passages, and meditations which center around Christ’s Seven Last Words from the Cross.

In our complex society today, suffering can take many forms. Kathryn offers her gift – her writing - as a healing balm for the soul suffering from spiritual, physical, mental, emotional, and psychological wounds.

It is obvious from her insightful letters of personal encouragement to others, that Kathryn possesses the gift of understanding the true meaning of Redemptive suffering. She effectively imparts the spiritual wisdom she has attained, addressing those sensitive areas and concerns which all of us struggle with when we suffer. She understands our doubts, soothes our fears, and challenges our insecurities with the truthful and tender compassion of Christ.

A glimpse into the sixth chapter of this book – Total Trust – demonstrates her God-given talent for healing and moving forward. Under the subtitle of “Holy Courage” Kathryn relays the following information in a letter to a friend, “It takes great trust to keep groping forward in the dark. We think we are going nowhere because we can’t see where we are going. That’s because God works in secret – He always does His best work when we’re not looking. When we surrender to His work in us by acknowledging that we can’t achieve what we long for without Him, that we can’t move toward Him or on our own, He is free to work in us. And He can achieve in a short amount of time what we ourselves could not hope to achieve in a lifetime by our own efforts.”

Her potent prose captures the essence of human obstacles which interfere with surrender to the will of God. “There is in me this subtle resistance to Your love, a hesitation to accept all You long to give, a holding back of a part of me until I ‘fix it.’ As if in a minute, I’ll be worthy, I’ll have myself ready. If I am to become what You created me to be, I must calmly accept what I am, with all my imperfections, and I must not let the sight of my own weakness disrupt the peace I have in You.”

Once again, Kathryn‘s words speak to my mind, my heart, and my soul. Like the hand of God, she reaches out to touch each of us in our pain, providing peace and comfort to all. The beautiful illustrations in her book serve to magnify her personal messages. His Suffering and Ours: Words of Hope for Pierced and Wounded Hearts is intended to be read by anyone who has been hurt, or is hurting now, whether in a hospital, at home with family or in loneliness or silence. This book is for all who desire to grow spiritually through the pain, closer to the Heart of Christ, and thus obtain that peace that surpasses all understanding.

~ copyright November 27, 2006, Jean M. Heimann

Kathryn's Blog: http://www.kathryntherese.blogspot.com/

* I just learned that Kathryn's book can also be purchased on Amazon. Go here to check it out.

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