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Contemplation Guide

And Then Came Hope by Joan Brown

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“Joan helped my 28-year-old son. He was suffering from an illness, and I asked her to pray for him. Joan asked to meet him, and we went to visit her. Joan gave Josh some books, and he became very interested in his faith. When Josh received his confirmation, Joan was his sponsor.”

~ Paula




And Then Came Hope
Reflections on a Journey toward the Light

Commentary by Joel Giallanza, C.S.C.

This book reflects Joan Brown’s experience; it is quite grounded. Also, it is very Carmelite in its approach; honesty, self-knowledge, and detachment in dealing with the reality of one's life.

The brevity of the chapters is helpful for the reader in absorbing what is being said.

The tone of the book is inviting and pedagogical without insisting or preaching. Also, the tone is simple and serene. What is shared is not so complicated that the reader would feel it is so unique or simply impossible to identify with.

The content of the book gives a pervasive sense of God’s grace. This is especially encouraging in those situations where God simply does not seem to be present or active.

The writing has a transparency that demonstrated the specificity of God's loving work. The writing communicates well that God's work is not random; it is focused in a person's life and affects particular realities within life.

The book is ecumenical; that is, a person of any faith, however simple or sophisticated, can identify with the experiences shared, even if those experiences are not precisely the same. The responses to the experiences are the common ground that will draw in the reader. This is simply a way of saying that the writing reflects well human experience.

The reflection questions at the end are practical and helpful. They guide and invite the reader to deeper self-knowledge and further spiritual growth.



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