Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My Peace I Give You -- Book Review

As a Catholic adult who was sexually abused as a child, I pre-ordered My Peace I Give You, waiting eagerly to receive it. To say I was notdisappointed would be an understatement. If you are a Catholic who was sexually abused as a child, this book is for you. Even if you were not, if you have suffered from other abuse or neglect...indeed, whatever you suffer, there is much that you, too, can learn from this book. And if you are close to someone who was sexually abused as a child, it will give you a greater understanding.

It took me nearly fifty years to understand that my having been sexually abused as a child affected me in more ways than one. Dawn Eden explains, offering both affirmation and hope. She speaks of one man suffering also from his "family's failure to provide him with protection"...and she speaks of our need as children for belonging and identity...and of "the lonely sense of isolation that is the result of having one's self-image disfigured by abuse".

Dawn applies her knowledge of theology and the lives of the saints to the suffering we have in our own lives in ways that I hadn't understood in my forty plus years of being a committed Catholic. Even though I already knew many of the saints whose stories she included, she presented them with fresh clarity and insight.

Dawn does not minimize either our past suffering or the effects of past abuse, as she shares her story and the stories of saints with delicacy and compassion. Yet, at the same time, she shows us God's great love and how he heals us through our wounds.

My emotions in reading this book were relief in understanding more clearly, and overall, a sense of hope and joy.
Guest post by Margaret Mary Meyers

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