Monday, August 11, 2014
By CONNIE ROSSINI, released July 14, 2014, 260 pages, Four Waters Press, Available in digital ($3.99) and paperback ($14.04) editions at Amazon.com. and paperback at Barnes and Noble ($14.23).
Connie Rossini writes a spirituality column for the diocesan newspapers of New Ulm, Minnesota and La Crosse, Wisconsin. Besides maintaining her blog Contemplative Homeschool, she is a columnist at SpiritualDirection.com and administers Catholic Spirituality Blogs Network. She is the author of the free e-book "Five Lessons from the Carmelite Saints That Will Change Your Life."
Reviewed by JEAN M. HEIMANN, M. A. Theology, author of Seven Saints for Seven Virtues, freelance writer, retired psychologist, and oblate with the Community of St. John.
Trusting God with St. Therese, by Connie Rossini is a remarkable story of suffering and grace. The main theme of Trusting God with St. Therese is learning to trust God in the midst of suffering and through God’s grace, using our suffering for good purposes, following the example of St. Therese of Lisieux. Why does God allow suffering? What is the purpose of suffering? How can we trust God in the midst of our suffering? Using the Scriptures, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, excerpts from the life of St. Therese, and her own personal experiences, Rossini answers these questions and analyzes the meaning of suffering as it relates to trusting God, giving her readers sound, practical advice on how to deal with the trials and tribulations they face in their own lives.
In chapter three, using a narrative format, Rossini describes and discusses three tragic losses in St. Therese’s life – the loss of her mother, Zellie Martin, to breast cancer, the loss of her “second mother,” her sister Pauline, to Carmel, and finally, the loss of her third mother figure, her sister Marie, to Carmel. Rossini also describes her own tragic suffering as a young child –the loss of her older sister, Terri, also known as Therese, in an automobile accident. Like St. Therese of Lisieux, the loss has a traumatic impact on her life. Similar to St. Therese's family, Rossini’s family were devout Catholics who trusted in God’s goodness. At the end of the chapter, she uses questions for reflection to assist the reader in understanding and coping with their own pain on a spiritual level and offers practical suggestions for assisting the reader in attaining the peace they seek.
Connie Rossini writes with clarity, wisdom, and keen insight about suffering. As a lay Carmelite, she applies St. Therese’s Little Way of spirituality as a method of growing in grace and rising above the pain of suffering. This book is a real treasure and I believe it would be particularly beneficial for: teens or adults, who want to understand the meaning of suffering and how to deal with it in their lives, Christian counselors, for use in grief counseling, and for Christian support groups, which deal with chronic physical or psychological pain. Overall, I found Trusting God with St. Therese to be an amazing book that will capture the hearts and souls of a wide audience. I highly recommend it.
~ Copyright Jean M. Heimann August 2014
To win a copy of Trusting God with St. Therese, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to qualify for the drawing. In the subject label put "Therese Drawing". The Drawing starts today, Monday, August 11, 2014 and ends on Friday, August 15, 2014. Please include your name and address.