My Peace I Give You

The wound at the foundation of all our other wounds is the deep wound at the heart of love. Put simply, we all long for total, overwhelming, unconditional love. It is as if the whole human race is starving and in our starved and desperate state our appetites will turn to most anything to fill the gap that only love can fill. As a consequence, all sorts of perversions, abuse and twisted situations and circumstances arise. In our search for love we grasp at any love we can get. Because of the hurts and pains and disappointments our desires become twisted, we abuse ourselves and others in our own search for love, and in this twisted and deformed world the hunger for love becomes ever more desperate as the false loves and twisted appetites and dark desires fail to satisfy. Eventually we become enslaved to ever more twisted and small attempts at love through strange and sad sexual adventures.

Dawn Eden’s first book The Thrill of the Chaste charted new ground as a sexually wounded young woman she attempted to put aside the promiscuous life for a life of chastity, purity, personal independence and true freedom. In her new book My Peace I Give You she opens her heart even more intimately to the reader and tells her tale of family breakdown, childhood abuse, feelings of unworthiness and abandonment, and in the midst of her search for wholeness she discovers the Catholic Church’s rich treasure house of the saints.

Pope Benedict XVI has wisely said, “Sacred Scripture can only be interpreted through the lives of the saints.” This is because the saints live out the gospel story. They incarnate the truths enshrined in Scripture and bring them alive in each generation. Dawn successfully recounts the stories of well known and not so well known saints who experienced their own suffering through sexual and emotional abuse. She shows how they rose through it to find the power to forgive, the power to live triumphant lives and the power to radiate a new kind of humanity–one that truly overcomes all things through Divine Love and the power of true forgiveness.

Starting with St Josephine Bakhita–a young girl kidnapped and sold into slavery, and touching on St Ignatius Loyola, Gemma Galgani, Sebastian, Laura Vicuna, Maria Goretti and others–Dawn brings out hidden details from their lives and shows how they overcame through the power of Christ. Through this Dawn tells her own personal story and the stories of others she has met who struggled and still struggle to find fulfillment in Christ.

In our twisted and decadent age there will be more and more tragic casualties of the so called ‘sexual revolution’. More and more lives will be broken. More and more young people’s hearts will be hardened –their hopes dashed and their dreams demolished by the ravages of relational breakdown and the emotional breakdown and rejection that follows. Dawn Eden’s book will be a light in the darkness. She will come to many with the fragile hope that Christ can heal and the saints can help.

I’ve always thought that given Dawn’s topic that her name is strangely symbolic. “Eden” she is called for she writes about the Garden of Eden lost forever through the sad terrors of sexual selfishness and the original blessing of ‘be fruitful and multiply’ gone horribly and disastrously wrong. And yet her name is also ‘Dawn’ for she brings new hope of a new dawn and a fresh beginning–the new start that can only come through the light and love of the resurrected one.

For all those struggling with rejection, sexual abuse, guilt and fear and confusion of sexuality–here is a book that offers hope.

Highly recommended. Go here.

  • Qualis Rex

    Hello Father, thank you for the book recommendation. I was familiar with all the saintly figures you cited, except for Laura Vicuña, which I admittedly had to look up. I realy REALLY need to add that if anyone is unfamiliar with St Josephine Bakhita…they really need to be. She is a modern Saint with a story that is as heart-wrenching as it is incredible and inspirational. There are several films about her, but the one I would recommend is “Bakhita”, an Italian movie (but you can find it with English subtitles). I often remember her in my prayers and at times ask her intercession. As someone who has seen the horrors of Sudan and the evil of Mohammedanism, her quotes inspire me, specifically “If I were to meet the slave-traders who kidnapped me and even those who tortured me, I would kneel and kiss their hands, for if that did not happen, I would not be a Christian and Religious today.”

    Thank you again for her mention and the book suggestion!

  • Nathaniel

    My non marital experiences of love and sex have enriched and enhanced my life. They have made me a better, happier person. You will never understand people like me, so you will spend your life believing your own lies that you tell about us.

    If you were less of a jerk about it I would consider it sad. As it is, I consider it just desserts.

    • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

      It’s interesting that you didn’t mention whether your non marital experiences of love and sex enriched and enhanced the other person’s life. The fact that you then resort to name calling makes it sound like your perspective on life is rather adolescent.

      • Nathaniel

        Yes, they did. Her previous relationship had been an abusive one, so the one with me helped reassure her that being “in love” didn’t mean being treated like garbage.

        But don’t let that stop you from judging me. You clearly already have all the answers.

        • Alan

          sounds like you have all the answers and a big chip.

          • Nathaniel

            You assume that I was in a relationship for purely selfish reasons, and I’m the one with a chip on my shoulder?

          • Ted Seeber

            You failed to marry her- that PROVES you were in the relationship for purely selfish reasons.

        • Ted Seeber

          In what way can you have a sexual non-marital relationship *WITHOUT* treating the other person like garbage? If you had truly respected her, you would have married her. Full stop.

    • Ted Seeber

      I really don’t understand you Nathan- but you sound a heck of a lot like I did 25 years ago.

  • Qualis Rex

    First, we both know the “she” in question is a “he”. Second, for the sake of argument, if this person had come from an abusive relationship, I would think it quite predatory of you to enter into a sexual relationship with someone in such an emotionally fragile state simply for your own “enrichment”. Third, since you say “experiences” plural, what you are championing as your own “enrichment” was simply your self-satisfaction of your own lust, since were they substantive relationships, “they” would have been singular, not plural.

    • Nathaniel

      You’re adorable.

      • Qualis Rex

        and accurate.

  • Glenn Juday

    Nathaniel – What need is there of such bitterness? Is anybody on this blog engaged in an attempt to physically restrain the activities you are referring to? Such an aggressive and accusatory tone in your remarks means something. Why such inner turmoil, such outrage that within a tolerant society there is one institution and a number of people belonging to it who do not think as you do, do not reach the same moral conclusion as you do?

    The Catholic Faith is a proposition offered for free assent. It is not of human origin but instead has Divine wisdom as the basis for what it offers. Even if you were to get instant agreement from the moderator and commenters on this blog, it would not change at all what the Church teaches, precisely because it is grounded in Divine truth.

    It seems to me that an objective review of the situation from your standpoint would suggest that you relax. Your values and point of view are winning, in fact might already be said to have won for control of the culture. The Church is a battered institution, and is outside the cultural consensus, which you represent. Why not celebrate and ignore us?

    From our standpoint, the Church is here to help at any time you should come to a different conclusion about some of the most important decisions in your life. If you should do so, you have a right to expect that the Church will teach the same, offer Christ’s forgiveness in the same way, be the same steady, holy presence in a frantically pleasure-seeking world. From our standpoint, too, we know and have the assurance that Christ, inseparably united to His Church, will prevail in the end – not beating down the confused and poorly informed, but steadily, completely prevailing when all truth is brought to life.

    Then it will be a different forum in which you will be making your points, and the Church is as prepared to be you advocate and help now as she will be if it takes a long time and a number of experiences you may not be aware of yet for you to embrace her. Don’t be estranged from her.

    • Nathaniel

      I wish I could ignore the Catholic Church. But I can’t. Not as long as it prolongs the AIDs crisis in Africa by lying about condoms. Not so long as their teachings about sex shackle women to their fertility. Not so long as they protect child rapists from justice. Not so long as they have the power to harm and use power to harm.

      I really wish that I lived in a world where I could ignore you.

      • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

        …or then you could actually investigate the facts if you wanted.

      • Ted Seeber

        Hmm. Who is lying about condoms? Likely the condom manufacturers.

        Shackle a woman to her fertility? No, what we really want to do is shackle a MAN to his fertility- that is get him to actually own up to the natural result of sex. Abortion and contraception just enable rape.

        And even in the worst days- back when the Church tried to handle clergy abuse alone, unlike today when secular authorities are called in *before* the Archbishop even knows about the case- the entire point of secrecy surrounding sex abuse was justice for both the abused and the priest. In fact, I’d even go so far as to argue that this witch hunt is about anything but justice.

        • Nathaniel

          Nope. Its the church lying. They claim that condoms don’t prevent HIV. That’s a lie.

          http://www.cdc.gov/condomeffectiveness/latex.htm

          “Latex condoms, when used consistently and correctly, are highly effective in preventing the sexual transmission of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. In addition, consistent and correct use of latex condoms reduces the risk of other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including diseases transmitted by genital secretions, and to a lesser degree, genital ulcer diseases. Condom use may reduce the risk for genital human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and HPV-associated diseases, e.g., genital warts and cervical cancer.”

          People can rape without abortion or contraception. In fact, much rape around the world is for the express purpose of impregnating the attacked woman. And even without rape a man can always walk away from a pregnancy. A woman can’t. So if that’s really the church’s justification, then it fails miserably.

          And your last point is nonsensical, wishful thinking. The secrecy was entirely for the benefit of the church, and enabled abusers access to hundreds of additional victims, victims who would have never been touched if the church had done the right thing.

          There are few things more disgusting than those who would protect child rapists to save their own skins, or side with those who do.

          • Ted Seeber

            Nathan- by my standards you’ve already admitted to rape, so you’re not one to complain.

  • Lynda

    Nathaniel’s allegations about the Catholic Church show either malice or extreme ignorance. Perhaps his conscience is causing the irrational defensiveness in relation to the Church.

  • Angela

    Again, I am completely baffled as to why a person who seems to hate the Church so very much would bother to even read a site such as this, let alone attack in writing. I don’t agree with the same-sex mindset, so, I just don’t go to websites that promote it or any other topic to which I am morally opposed. If Nathaniel disagrees with the Church and therefore Christ himself, then why not just avoid websites and blogs with which he disagrees. Why must someone feel the compulsion to attack so frequently. I can only conclude that those for whom God seems so far away, they are driven to chase God even further away instead of looking at the sins and ill-formed decisions in their own life. I will pray for all who are so filled with hate.

  • dominic1955

    Me thinks thou dost protest too much. The reason people get all upity in comboxes, accusatory with all guns blazing is largely from some sort of guilty conscience. It might be extremely supressed, but no one shoots their mouth off like that merely for (what they think is) justice or truth sake. For instance, no matter our disapproval of condoms (and all birth control), people do it anyway. No matter how much someone tries to calmly defend the Church against claims of protecting child abusers, there will the wailing and gnashing of teeth by leftist agitators who have nothing better to do.

    As to arguing with them-margaritas ante porcos.

  • catholicwife1

    Father should be proud, he seems to have attracted his very own internet troll. When they find your website and keep taking the time to respond to get all their malice off their chests, then you know you are hitting the right nerves. Instead of responding to “Nathaniel”, we should just always in good charity tell him we love him and will continue to pray for him. We should never stoop to his level. Responding to him in true love is the way to continue to give a Christian example that people can continue to see and hoefully remember. Remember all comments are read by all types of people. It is something that we can lay claim to in this century, since none of us were around with the first martyrs. Let us continue to be true examples of Christ’s love.


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