Co-worker's life falling apart

My daughter has a co-worker who is Catholic and has recently been through a lot of difficulty and even tragedy in her life. She told my daughter that she feels like her family is cursed.

Is there any book, article, or pamphlet available that might help someone who only has a Catholic understanding of Christianity and whose whole life seems to be falling apart?

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@blschumann7

Hi Barbara,

I’m so sorry to hear about your daughters friend. Times can be so tough and it is hard to know where to turn. Without knowing her particularly it is hard to know exactly what would be helpful. Spending time and praying with her might be the best, or giving her space and praying for her… it will probably depend on the relationship your daughter has with her. Again, without knowing the person, I’m not sure I would be worried about a Catholic worldview or not at this time, although others may disagree with me. If she is having a hard time I would focus on building her up in the Lord and being with her and praying with her and/or for her.

Other than the Bible (when I am struggling, I love reading Psalms for some reason, specifically Psalm 119)… I might suggest two books for you.

If I were God I’d end all the pain by John Dickson

This is a good book, not only because it’s content is great, but because it’s short and therefore not as daunting to some.

Also Walking with God through pain and suffering by Tim Keller

A longer read, but a thoroughly helpful look at exactly what the title suggests.

I hope and pray that God would be at work in this situation and that she can hold firm to the Lord in these difficult times.

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Tim, thank you so much for your counsel and for your recommendations on these excellent books! I will send all this to my daughter and be praying for her co-worker in the midst of her suffering.

~Barb

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Some years back, in the midst of great family stress (brother in Iraq, sister dying of cancer, job in peril, finances crumbling, etc), I came to some wisdom, I would presume through the Spirit. But I’m certainly not claiming to have heard God’s voice in this particular instance.

It was the question, “in the midst of this, what am I supposed to be learning?” Rather than focusing on the stress and anxiety that came with all of these stressors, I began to focus on how God was using this to shape me. Looking back now, it was a period where I grew tremendously in faith and the building up of my “trust” muscle. Times of suffering can bear tremendous fruit. That knowledge itself can help ease pain.

Last week in our weekly church prayer gathering, the leader walked us through each section of Hebrews 11–the “by faith” chapter. What one gatherer commented on was how these heroes of the faith stayed focused on the promise rather than the struggle even in the likelihood that the promise would not be fulfilled in their lifetime (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, etc).

That seems particularly poignant and important–to stay focused on the promise (the eternal perspective) and not the struggle (the temporal circumstance).

Since your daughter’s friend is Catholic, Barbara, I suggest she does some reading on (or by) Mother Theresa. She believed that by ministering to the suffering and dying she was in essence ministering to the suffering and dying Jesus–that in our suffering we can come closer, go deeper, to a fuller understanding of all the Christ suffered for us. I’m probably not saying that quite right, but it’s the gist that I remember.

We must all remember that the Good Shepherd will leave the 99 and go after the one. Thank you and your daughter for the care of that “one.”

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@blschumann7

Hi Barb,

You’re more than welcome. I hope and pray things turn out well.

In Christ
Tim

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