A Heroic Journey of Faith

I just finished reading Audrey: The True Story of One Child’s Heroic Journey of Faith, written by Gloria Conde, which was sent to me to review by The Catholic Company. It is not a book I would have picked up to read had it not been sent to me, but, nonetheless, found myself becoming absorbed in the story.

The author describes the book as neither a biography nor a eulogy. It is simply a story of the life of a remarkable young girl who seemed to intuit at an very early age spiritual insights it has taken some of us decades to gain. Upon learning she is very ill (the leukemia that ultimately takes her life at age 10), she tells her mother, “We will be like the birds of the sky. We are going to live one day at a time.”

The book recounts the tremendous influence Audrey had on so many people. Many learned a habit of prayer through coming together to pray for her. Her prayers aided some in discerning vocations (praying for vocations was an important part of her charism), others in facing their own pain and suffering. Audrey herself suffered enormously from her illness and the treatments aimed at combatting it, and yet she rarely if ever complained. The author describes a defining trait of Audrey during her illness: “If she was selfless before her sickness, always thinking of the needs of others, now she was lamost unable to think of herself. Her sensitivity to others had grown to such a degree that she had completely stopped thinking of herself.”

We know that our God often works through his little ones, and then brings them home to him earlier than family and friends might like. St. Therese of Liseux wrote that in addition to the great saints, God “has also created the tiny saints and these are content to be daisies or violets destined to please the eyes of God who has put them under his feet.” Truly, here was one of God’s tiny saints and her story is an inspiring one. Her faith and her love of Jesus serve as a wonderful model.

This review was written as part of The Catholic Company product reviewer program. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Audrey – True Story of a Child’s Journey of Faith.

Interruptions

There are times when I feel like I get no work done because the work I planned to do when I began the day gets pushed aside as a result of various interruptions.  People come by to talk, the phone rings and somehow the day passes without “getting any work done.”  My sense is this is not an uncommon reaction.

Joyce Little, in her book, The Church and Culture War, has an observation that is very helpful in those moments.  She writes,

“What we fail to understand is that if [interruptions from our work to deal with the demands others make on us] are a waste of time, then Christ’s life was a waste of time.  For when we read the Gospels attentively, we discover that the story of his life is one long sequence of interruptions.  The blind Bartimaeus interrupts his departure from Jericho, a woman interrupts his dinner in the home of Simon, the leper, a centurion interrupts his entry into Capernaum, Jairus interrupts his meeting with the crowd, the woman with the hemorrhage interrupts his atttempts to get to Jairus’ daughter, his disciples interrupt virtually everything; even Mary interrupts his enjoyment of the wedding.  The list could go on and on….Those were not interruptions, of course.  Those were precisely the people he came to help, the thihgs he came to do.  When so much of his work consisted of attending to those who interrupted him, why should we suppose our own lives to be any different?”

St. Vincent captured the same idea when he spoke of the need to “leave God for God.”  It is good to be reminded of this need now and then.