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Ebook Spiritual Lightening by M. Catherine Thomas read! Book Title: Spiritual Lightening
The author of the book: M. Catherine Thomas
Edition: Bookcraft Pubs
Date of issue: November 1st 2002
ISBN: 1570085188
ISBN 13: 9781570085185
Language: English
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 11.31 MB
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Reader ratings: 6.1

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4.5 stars
I got this book from my mom's stuff when she died since she had made some notes in it. As I read it and looked at her annotations, it was really nice, since I felt like I got to spend a little time with her.

Whenever I read something by M. Catherine Thomas, I always think she has really valuable things to say. This book is no different. It's very personal, almost a writer's diary, as she invites us along on her path to finding peace and joy. Here's the premise of the book:
"When life's burdens get us down, we can ascend in our minds to a higher reality--a truer one. It is possible during troubled times to feel a sweet spiritual lightening steal into our darkened minds with these impressions: 'My child, peace be unto thy soul'; 'He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.' It is possible to feel an irrepressible joy even in the midst of seeming chaos, because, as the Apostle Paul teaches, there is a peace which passes understanding and a love that passes knowledge." (p.16)

It was reassuring to be reminded that I can have joy despite my circumstances. I know I tend to let worry rob me of joy. M. Catherine Thomas reminds us that we can set down our burden of worry and exercise faith in a God who is perfectly omniscient, omnipotent, and emotionally committed to his children. (p. 42)

I love her thoughts on relationships. "We can tell that our love is often based on the degree to which another person satisfies us: If they don't satisfy us, we criticize them. It seems to me that most criticism is saying, 'In these ways, this person does not satisfy my expectations as to what he should be.' But our expectations are a function of the finite mind, not the mind of God. ...We stand in a sacred relationship to the people in our lives, especially family, because they are not there by chance. The people in our lives were placed there not only for us to enjoy but also to cross us and to dissatisfy us from time to time so that we can learn that love is not a matter of personal satisfaction but a going out of our hearts to empathize with, to understand, and to try to bless the other, giving up the demand of the natural man for satisfaction." (p. 56)

There's a whole chapter on how to let go of our children's choices that was really good for me. "We may think we bear the whole load of another's salvation and forget that every person is a child of God and has his own personal Savior." (p.71) "It is very hard to let go of that agonizing knot in the intestines that urges us to take all the blame and to beat ourselves mercilessly. But if we are going to learn godliness we must redirect the energy that we're giving to sick anxiety over another's choices. We do not perfect others with our fear, or even with our love; rather, we perfect the principle of love in ourselves.. ... Do we love our children more if we allow our grief over them to destroy us? Do we love them less if we allow them their agency and establish serenity in ourselves? Can we actually detach ourselves from the tyranny of our grief?... I am learning that my rest in God is not dependent on others' choices, not even my children's." (pp. 72-3)

This was a really lovely book that took a while for me to read since I'd pick it up and savor it just a little at a time. I'm glad it came back into my life again recently since I'd forgotten it in the pile of books to read on my nightstand :). It was exactly what I needed to hear just when I needed it.

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