Book lays out challenges, opportunities amid loss

| November 4, 2014 | 0 Comments
About the book “Catholic & Mourning A Loss:  5 Challenges and 5 Opportunities” by Mauryeen O’Brien, OP; Acta Publications, 2014; paperback, 63 pages; $6.95.

About the book
“Catholic & Mourning A Loss:
5 Challenges and 5 Opportunities” by Mauryeen O’Brien, OP; Acta Publications, 2014; paperback, 63 pages; $6.95.

For people grieving, every hurdle to overcoming their loss affords an opportunity that can help them through their grief.

That’s the message Dominican Sister Mauryeen O’Brien preaches in “Catholic & Mourning a Loss,” a brief, 63-page paperback that delves into five of those challenges and opportunities they present to those grieving for any number of reasons — the death of a loved one, of course, or the loss of a job, health, ability, pet, etc.

It’s part of human nature to mourn what we have loved, she writes, but “unless we mourn that loss sufficiently and successfully, we will not be able to move on with our life and live it to its fullest.”

Sister Mauryeen, who is director of separated, divorced and bereaved ministry in the Archdiocese of Hartford, Conn., points throughout to Catholic prayer and ritual to bring the grieving a sense of balance and peace.

Faith, she noted, can help us realize that, even though loss produces suffering, we can recover and move to new life.

Among the challenges discussed is that loss is tiring, discouraging, confusing and leaves one feeling alone and questioning one’s value. A person who loses a job may feel no longer useful.

The opportunities those tests provide, however, include the chance to find “new meaning in and appreciation of life,” Sister Mauryeen says, time to say goodbye, occasions to treasure memories, and reasons to encounter the love of God in a new and real way.

“When those of us who mourn feel we have lost ‘everything,’ ” she writes, “when we feel completely empty and alone, we often seem to be ‘pushed’ or even ‘forced’ to turn to God, and there we discover a power that loves us. . . . It’s almost as if our emptiness becomes a gift, for we finally realize that only God can fill the void and only our faith can sustain us.”

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