Publishers are well aware of the importance of book covers – for often time when browsing for ‘just something to read’ an eye-catching cover frequently triggers a purchase.
I mention this at the outset of this review because when the first word in a title is: GOD and the title declares something He is doing, and beneath that is the picture of a radiant woman in procession with lighted candle and under that teasers about the content of the book such as: journey, Jewish, Christian, struggle, disease and gulag – well you can be pretty sure this will be a page turner!
However once begun this is no page turner in the usual sense, rather this is a book which moves mind, memory, heart to reflection, and much more!
Many books for priests are written by priests – some books neither written by priests, nor specifically for priests, are treasuries of insight which we need both for our ongoing journey of faith and to be more truly servants of those who come to us seeking hope, mercy, faith.
The book reviewed here is precisely that treasure of a book!
Written by a woman I know well, and have come to know and treasure even more through accompanying her in reading this book to places, even in my own heart I often avoid visiting, I confess writing here the struggle is against revealing too much and depriving thereby others having the same experience.
Approached with mere curiosity, or worst with a voyeur attitude and the reader will miss the power, beauty, indeed the grace of being offered, rather invited, to journey with a woman on “this adventure, this quest for ‘life in abundance’ promised by Christ….” as Miriam writes in the Preface.
As mentioned I have known Miriam, the way we most know one another, for decades and she is a most beloved sister, friend, co-struggler on this great adventure of life – however in this book it is as if I am graced to know the real woman, the real disciple, the real servant of the poor – because in her book Miriam speaks words, experiences, fears, poverty, persistent faith – like pools of cool water in the immense desert we all must cross to reach the threshold of eternal paradise – pools of cool water were we may slake our thirst and journey some more.
Here is one example from her diary notes of January 20, 1997:
“Lord, why is it so painful?” He pointed to the crucifix. “Yes, but you suffered for us!” “All suffering is united with my suffering.” “Are you sure these aren’t just my neuroses?”
“I died for those too.”
GOD CALLS ME MIRIAM by Miriam Elizabeth Stulberg is available from: