Thursday, April 7, 2011

There are No Accidents: In all Things Trust in God by Father Benedict Groeschel with John Bishop *Review*

After the impact of the car shattered his body on the evening of January 11, 2004 the hospital trauma-unit staff offered little hope that Father Benedict Groeschel, C.F.FR., would survive. Then the news spread. And the prayers began.

There are No Accidents is a book in two parts. The first part of the book is a lengthy interview Father Benedict did with John Bishop before his accident. In this section Father Benedict gives his opinion on the state of the Catholic Church in society today as well as his opinion on such topics as 9/11, abortion, atheism, clergy and the sex abuse scandal, Mother Theresa, and the poor.

The second part of the book is reflections from Father Benedict while he was recovering for months in the hospital and, later, in the nursing home. He reflects on subjects like gratitude, progress, hope, keeping faith , visiting the sick, and death is never far away.

I found this quiet, simple, humble man to be quite profound in his wisdom. One thing he repeats throughout the book is- "No plans, be led." He speaks about not making plans because if you start making plans you start thinking they are God's plans. Instead, just let him lead you to whatever he wants you to do,

He talks about always knowing what God wanted him to do. He was seven-years-old when he decided he was going to be a priest! He watched as one of his teachers, Sister Teresa, everyday after school would go a deliver a tray of steaming food to an old lady on the top floor of a tenement building in a poor neighborhood in Jersey City. He was curious to see what this old lady looked like so he snuck up the fire escape of the building one day and peeked in her window. Three inches from his face was the face of the "wicked witch" from Snow White! He was so frightened he scrambled down the fire escape, ran to the church, threw himself down in front of the statue of Our Blessed Mother and prayed. He asked "How come the witch doesn't kill Sister Teresa?" Then he said to himself, "Maybe it is because Sister is nice to her. And if people were nicer to witches, maybe they wouldn't be so bad." Even at the age of seven, he was quite the thinker!

I enjoyed this short read of Father Benedict's. I found his insight after his accident to be very revealing of the way he lives his life every day, as one that is truly happy, loves to serve others, and is totally devoted to God. I rate this book 3/5 stars.