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Friday, 25 February 2022

Finding God in Doubt and Disbelief - Nick Donnelly - CTS Finding God Series

Finding God in Doubt and Disbelief
CTS Finding God Series
Nick Donnelly
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 
9781784691769
eISBN 9781784692377
ASIN B072BC32GP
CTS Booklet PA36


I have now read several books in the ‘Finding God Series’ from the Catholic Truth Society. The first book I read in this series was by Deacon Donnelly as well, Finding God When Prayer Doesn't Work. I have read almost 275 volumes from the Catholic Truth Society over the last several years. I have read several books that are part of the CTS Devotions and Prayer Series. I have read many in the CTS Biographies and also Saints of the Isles Series, and the Great Saints Series. But this series is very different. All the titles and volumes in this series are about difficulties in life, or in the family, in faith. I have benefitted from all the books I have read from the Catholic Truth Society and from the pen of Deacon Nick Donnelly. There are a few different descriptions of this book they are:

“It can be difficult when experiencing indescribable pain and suffering to turn to the very God who allows it to happen. During such crises of the soul, we may even find ourselves doubting whether God is truly present in our lives or, worse, disbelieving his very existence. Recounting his own experience of doubt and disbelief, Rev Nick Donnelly offers understanding and a ray of hope for those in this position. Drawing on Sacred Scripture, 2,000 years of Christian living, and the wisdom of some formidable figures of the past, he seeks to provide comfort and support to help Christians keep going – and even grow closer to God during times of agonising uncertainty.”

And also:

“Drawing on Sacred Scripture, the wisdom of others, as well as his own experiences, Nick Donnelly provides comfort and support in growing closer to God during times of uncertainty and distrust.

There are many things that can cause us to doubt or disbelieve in God. Crises, grief and suffering may make us question, ‘How can God allow such things to happen?’ Prevailing secularism may also lead us to doubt whether God is truly present in our life, or even cause us to disbelieve in his very existence.

Nick Donnelly presents a sensitive exploration of the things that can lead to doubt and disbelief, and offers real hope. Drawing on Sacred Scripture, 2,000 years of Christian living, the wisdom of women and men who overcame doubt, as well as his own experiences, he provides comfort and support to help Christians grow closer to God during times of uncertainty and distrust.”

The chapters in this small volume are:

Sometimes Faith Can Be a Struggle
It’s Alright To Ask Questions
Famous Christians Who Struggled with Doubt
When Doubt and Disbelief Become a Problem
Tips to Get Through Times of Doubt and Disbelief

But I want to highlight not only the chapters but also the sections in those chapters:

Sometimes Faith Can Be a Struggle
     Our Lord On The Struggle Of Faith
     Our Wounds
     My Wound
It’s Alright To Ask Questions
     Salvation Begins With A Question
     Jesus Christ Is God’s Answer
     Our Questions Are Necessary
Famous Christians Who Struggled with Doubt
     St Teresa Of Calcutta
     The Way Of The Cross Is The Way Of Light
     St Teresa Benedicta Of The Cross [Edith Stein]
     The Unexpected Gift Of Faith
     C.S. Lewis
     Truly Encountering Christ
     The Trouble With Lack Of Faith
     Where Is God?
When Doubt and Disbelief Become a Problem
     The Certainty Of Faith
     The Three Threats To Truth
          “You’ve Got Your Truth, I’ve Got My Truth”
          “Nothing Is Absolutely True”
          “I Doubt That Religious Beliefs Are True”
     The Obedience Of Faith
Tips to Get Through Times of Doubt and Disbelief
     Keep Your Gaze Fixed Upon Christ
     Trust That Christ Will Give You The Necessary Help
     Stay Close To The Blessed Virgin Mary
     Lord, I Believe, Help My Unbelief
     Put On The Armour Of Faith
     Believers Strengthen Themselves By Believing
     Listen To The Symphony Of Faith
     Draw On The Wellsprings Of Faith
     Hold Onto Your Own Past Experiences Of Faith
     Don’t Make Any Life-Changing Decisions
     Tips To Get Through Times Of Doubt And Disbelief: Prayer Reflections

At the end of each chapter is a prayer reflection, an example is:

Sometimes faith can be a struggle: prayer reflections

In the battlefield of life, when doubts and disbelief confront me, give me the grace to fight the good fight and let Christ heal the wounds I am afraid to let even him touch.

In the depths of my heart, let the soil become deep through: prayer; the sacraments; daily study of Sacred Scripture and the teaching of the Church; and, imitating the life of Jesus Christ.

In the fire, when I stand on the tenth floor of the burning building, give me the courage and wisdom to jump into the safety net of God’s love.”

And the final section of the book ‘Tips To Get Through Times Of Doubt And Disbelief: Prayer Reflections’ states:

Go to Eucharistic Adoration: Keep your gaze fixed upon Christ
Trust: Trust that Christ will give you the necessary help
Pray the Rosary: Stay close to the Blessed Virgin Mary
Pray: Lord, I believe, help my unbelief
Ask for faith, hope and love: Put on the armour of faith
Choose to believe: Believers strengthen themselves by believing
Read the Catechism: Listen to the symphony of faith
Train the habits of faith – prayer, religious reading, church going and sacraments: Draw on the wellsprings of faith
Remember: Hold onto your own past experiences of faith
Hold on to Christ: Don’t make any life-changing decisions.

This book is an excellent read. I read it because of the author and series. And I was greatly blessed. I have recommended the volume to a few friends who do struggle with doubt, disbelief, or depression. The greatest strength of this volume is the personal examples from Deacon Nick. Wow! His vulnerability, and transparency are deeply moving, and I am certain will be encouraging to readers. His sharing about losing siblings and his own children is very honest and raw. I had a great deal of respect for Deacon Nick before reading this book, and even more after reading it. This is an excellent read in a very important series. Pick it up and give it a read, then pass it on to a friend who could use it. Or pick up a few copies to be able to give to friends as the need arises. 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2022 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Books by Nick Donnelly:
Finding God Series:

Finding God in Anger and Bitterness
Finding God in Doubt and Disbelief
Finding God When Prayer Doesn't Work
Finding God When a Loved One Loses Faith

Other Books by Nick Donelly:
Living with Illness and Suffering
Loving Mary: What Pope Francis Says
Finding Forgiveness with Pope Francis
Stations of the Cross with Pope Francis
Who Is the Devil?
Hope and Healing: Living with Illness and Suffering
Prayers for Grieving Parents: Help After a Miscarriage or Still Birth
Praying the Rosary with the Martyrs
Praying The Creed In The Year Of Faith
Praying the Rosary with the Saints
Our Journey to Christmas: With Pope Francis










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