Over at Aquinas and More they’re sponsoring the Catholic Summer Reading discussion, and I am really pleased to see several books I have liked and recommended up on the list of recommended adult reading. You can vote for adult and teen titles you recommend. Happily, the list includes Sigrid Undset’s Stages on the Road, about which I cannot say enough good things, and also Amy Welborn’s Wish You Were Here: Travels Through Loss and Hope and Hallie Lord’s Style, Sex and Substance.
One book that is not on the Summer list, largely, I suspect, because it is a brand-new publish, is a book that the Patheos Book Club is currently discussion, Dawn Eden’s My Peace I Give You: Healing Sexual Wounds with the Help of the Saints
I know what you’re thinking; you’re saying, “hey, Anchoress, maybe it’s not on a summer reading list because the topic of sexual abuse is hardly one you want to take to the beach with you.”
True enough. It’s actually a subject many of us don’t want to read or think about in winter, either, for that matter. But Dawn has done something new with a subject that has been relegated to the self-help or explore-your-victimhood bookshelves for a couple of decades; she takes the deeply painful, deeply personal stuff that comes up when you dredge old demons out of the murky waters, and then treats her wounds with the antiseptic of faith and the balm of the saints, in order to bring about healing and something more: real hope for the rest of one’s life. And she shows others how to apply these remedies, too.
After I entered the Catholic Church in 2006, my journey toward healing began in earnest. I learned an ancient prayer that opened me up to a new understanding of the workings of grace. It is called the Anima Christi (“Soul of Christ”) and begins with these words:
Soul of Christ, sanctify me
Body of Christ, save me
Blood of Christ, inebriate me
Water from Christ’s side, wash me
Passion of Christ, strengthen me
O good Jesus, hear me
Within Thy wounds hide me
Suffer me not to be separated from Thee . . .
Do you notice how the prayer’s perspective shifts? It goes from asking Christ to be within you to asking that you may be within him. More than that, where in Christ are you asking to be sheltered? Within his wounds.
And then check back because new reviews will be added, soon! I think it’s a book so full of healing and hope and fresh perspective that it’s actually quite well suited to the summer, after all.
UPDATE: Check out Brandon Vogt’s interview with Dawn over at his place!