Life: Light and Dark, Joy and Anguish

Sister Mary Faith

Publisher: iUniverse Pages: 148 Price: (paperback) $13.99 ISBN: 9781663204790 Reviewed: January, 2022 Author Website: Visit »

Sister Mary Faith shares her intimate thoughts about Catholicism and more in this collection of brief thoughts.

Before bedtime each night, Sister Mary Faith asked God to inspire her. If she received an inspiration, she typed it into her computer, and eventually compiled, Life: Light and Dark, Joy and Anguish. The book opens with a comprehensive list of Scripture verses referencing “light” and “dark.” It then briefly explores a variety of topics, ranging from the annunciation of Christ to less theological themes like her struggles with online gaming and interactions with her husband and friends.

A member of the Roman Catholic Missionaries of Charity, Sister Mary serves the poor and is thankful for “the graces God has given [her] to help his people.” She is donating half of the book’s proceeds to support the organization.

Although her motives are pure, the author’s purpose is difficult to discern. The random selection of topics, with no exposition linking them, is more like a compilation of disconnected journal entries than a cohesive message for readers. For example, two pages contain a total of three short sentences that have no connection to each other or anything before or after. One of them reads: “My heart is healing from wounds inflicted years ago. I am content,” with no indication of what readers should make of the information.

Sister Mary also includes a poem entitled “Love’s Fire” that details a sexual encounter. Lines like, “You thrust in and out. I moaned and groaned,” feel shockingly out of place amid the book’s religious themes.

Additionally, an over-abundance of stock photos, most without commentary, fill valuable space. Several have captions that confuse rather than inform; for example, the photo of a smiling man with what seems to be a towel draped over his head has the ill-fitting caption: “The agony in the garden.”

Ultimately, the reflections in these pages are too random and personal in nature to relay much useful information to readers.

Also available in hardcover and ebook.

Available to buy at: