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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Book Review: Tears of God

I am biased. I have been a fan of Fr. Benedict Groeschel for a long time and have read several of his books. When I saw the opportunity to read and review Tears of God, through the Catholic Company I didn't hesitate.

One might imagine that a book dedicated to helping people deal with catastrophes (as Fr. Groeschel labels the most seemingly unbearable and horrible suffering some must endure) would be quite long. But it is not. Father does not waste any time or words. He describes simply some examples of catastrophes. He draws from his own life (the terrible accident that left him physically disabled), unspeakable tragedies of history (suriviors of the Nazis) and more personal stories that he has been witness to throughout his life and ministry. These real stories do a great job of personalizing those who suffer rather than addressing some vague notion of "evil in the world." Indeed he reminds us that we all have been touched by tragedy in our life.

One might imagine feeling sad after reading through a book about catastrophes. But you won't. Infused throughout the book is a great message of hope. Father also has a way of speaking with great tenderness and care on how to help people in pain. His training in psychology shines through. As always, Father reminds us again and again of the mystery of human suffering, of how uniting it with the ultimate suffering of Our Savior, we can bring some meaning and understanding, even to those with weak faith.

At the end of the book is a whole section of prayers and suggested reading. The book is a great tool to ready yourself for catastrophe or to help those we love facing sorrow. But even if you don't think that applies to you, read the book. Just reading what he writes on meditating on the Passion is enough to draw anyone closer to Christ.

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