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Customer reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
Lent is for Loving
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on 29 August 2013
My only encounter with the author is at a lecture in a Russell Group university when she threw several teddy bears among the audience.

She is somewhat eccentric and she no longer goes to mass but she is a confessor for the faith and has been through things which I haven't so I have no right to judge.

My abiding memory from this book is the supposed objectivity of the doctors who hide behind their white coats and the way in which she depicts a meditation in which she and her patients are naked and vulnerable to each others' pain. The Sacred Heart is not merely some ultramontane feast; it is about the empathy of Christ's wounds for those of others.

She has a good prayer for those in the caring professions who are likely to experience burnout: Help us, O God, To bear the pain of those who seek our help. Give us strength to carry your cross and the wisdom to set it down. (that to care successfully for others you have also to care for yourself and be aware enough to make changes if you start to feel burnt out.)

The most important message of this book for me is that when people talk about lent as a time for `giving up' then it is a time for saying `No'. No to the demands of other people that take me away from spending time with myself and with God. No to the demands which give me a sense of pride in being needed by others. No to colluding with the expectations of other that I can sort things out for them when they need the spur to do that for themselves and become adults free of dependent relationships.

I am grateful that she introduced me to two poems I hadn't encountered before, one by Edith Sitwell, the other by Evelyn Underhill.

In the light of ATOS `medical' assessments resulting in disabled people losing their independence, she was somewhat optimistic when she wrote: Now that the London Olympics of 2012 have drawn to a close, the test of the wounded will soon begin. There will be races for men and women who have lost an arm or a leg or both. The wheelchair Olympians will pit their salvaged strength against each other and will be supremely grateful that they are able to do so. These men and women illustrate the power of hope to triumph over disaster and we entire beings can only applaud and marvel at their courage.

Some say that Jesus only had to suffer three hours on the cross. Many human beings suffer more than that. She points out: In some ways, it is easier to empathise, to enter Jesus' world here than it is later on when the drama of his passion is being enacted. Many of us have endured moments of extreme anguish, of fear or torment. It envelops us after receiving a diagnosis of cancer or upon hearing of the death of someone we love. When a child goes missing, or a soldier is wounded, the mountains of the mind, the cliffs of fall frightful loom all around us. So, though Jesus' anguish was peculiar to his situation he was also joining in the pain of the world, before and since.

A niggle - Veronica, as featured in the Stations of the Cross, is in no way mentioned in the gospel accounts.

Another - why does she spell out the Divine Name, which is offensive to Jews and forbidden in the Jerusalem Bible from which she quotes?

The acrostic L is for LOVE
E is for EMPATHY
N is quite simply for: NO! and
is a bit twee.
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on 3 March 2013
The only reason that I have not given this book 5 stars is that it is too short! We are not yet halfway through Lent and I have finished it. Actually that's not accurate - I have returned to the beginning to read it again.
The other negative for me was that it is not set out with a daily plan to help the reader through Lent in an ordered manner - but this says less about the book than my own preferences.
Shela Cassidy is no theologian. But she writes from a lifetime of experience from hospital, the hospice, the torture chambers of Chile, the convent (for a short while) and now from retirement in Plymouth. Her writing is pithy, down to earth, refreshing and practical. Add in that it is challenging and you have a great read for Lent (or any other time).
One word of caution. The author confesses right at the beginning that she does not "Keep Lent" in a traditional way and so the book is quite different from some others I have used. To me this was very refreshing - indeed I'd say that this is the most helpful book for Lent that I have used.
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on 31 March 2013
Sheila's book was a great disappointment. It showed evidence of being written in haste, with a number of irritating errors. Her treatment of the quite deep theological issues raised was disappointingly superficial and betrayed a thoroughly one-sided approach. Her references to the Gelineau Psalter/Jerusalem Bible meant that the psalms she addressed were numbered differently to the ones in the bibles used by most of our study group.
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on 5 May 2014
We used this book for our Lent Course this year. Its structure made it very useful for the 6 week course. There are very interesting accounts of the author's personal life as a Christian and a doctor, which make good points for discussion. It is also a book that I would recommend reading outside a Lent Course and I would commend the sincerity with which the author approaches her faith and leads us to challenge our own attitudes to some of life's fundamental problems.
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on 1 March 2018
A w derful read. Powerful . Came in excellent condition.. Would order from them again.
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on 17 March 2013
Sheila Cassidy provides a feast of (possibly for some) controversial yet inspiring thoughts around the broad theme of LOVING. She is not conventional or predictable but offers some sharp thinking and perceptive comments about an otherwise well-covered theme. Her considerable life experience, wisdom and knowledge help make this little book both interesting to read and stimulating to follow. The Refections and Prayers provide an excellent follow-up exercise at the end of each chapter.
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on 13 February 2014
Very good condition would recommend anyone to seriously think of buying this way
Lay Minister All Saints' Church Willian Thanks
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on 3 February 2013
As I purchased this book for someone else I can't really give a view but I am sure she will be very pleased with it.
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