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My Sisters the Saints: A Geeky Review

My Sisters the Saints: A Spiritual Memoir by Colleen Carroll Campbell was a wonderful read. Reading this book was like having a conversation with a close friend that shared many of the trials that I have faced as a young woman growing up in today's culture. Colleen, like many of us, explored the world of partying that left her empty and constantly searching for more meaning in her life. Like many of us, she came from a good home full of love and faith...but slowly drifted away from it as the delights of the world beckoned her. Like many of us, she felt a sense of longing and desperation after years of meaningless relationships and little to no responsibility. As a fellow "sister," I completely understood where Colleen came from and where she would go once she allowed the Holy Spirit to transform her longing into a new life full of love and peace...even as she watched her father succumb to dementia....even as she sought to become a mother after years of failed attempts and refusal to undergo IVF. Colleen's struggles will echo the struggles of many women out there...and many women reading this book will find themselves having quite a lot in common with Colleen.
Through Colleen's many struggles, she continually finds the inspiration, faith, and strength to continue by drawing on the words and lives of quite a few of our favorite "sister saints." I won't spoil too much about how each of the saints lead her on a path to recovery, self-discovery, and serenity...but I will say that Teresa of Avila, Therese de Lisieux, Faustina Kowalska (a personal favorite of mine), Edith Stein, Mother Theresa, Mary of Nazareth...and other notables like Dorothy Day make an appearance. As hard as it is for modern-day women to consider the messages of these saints in today's time and age, Colleen demonstrates time and time again that the examples and words of these saints are timeless. In Faustina, for example, we learn the importance (and benefits) of maintaining steadfast trust in God. We all know how hard it is to trust in God, having been brought up a culture that teaches us to trust only in ourselves. Colleen, too, was reluctant at first to heed the Saint Faustina's advice...but eventually learned this trust as she faced a major life decision.

This book is a wonderful introduction to the writings of some of these sister saints and will certainly help others explore the works of these saints in manner that is relevant to today's world. Life it tough and there are always plenty of tough decisions to make, but a little bit of good advice goes a long way....as Colleen demonstrates time and time again. All in all, it was a quick...but very fulfilling read. I found myself chuckling at some of the more humorous moments of her life...and crying at others (especially as she witnesses redemptive suffering first-hand). I did not put this book down until I had finished it (at 3 in the morning...but the lack of sleep was worth it). I would highly recommend this book to any woman out there who is just beginning to learn that there is much more to life than the present culture has to offer...as well as women who are experiencing tough issues like the loss of a loved one or infertility. I cannot stress enough just how comforting and helpful this book may be for those experiencing tough times.

The opinions expressed in this review are my own. I was offered a copy of My Sisters the Saints by Colleen Carroll Campbell for review.

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