In 2002, author N. Gamil Dawes suffered a stroke, for which she had surgery. For the ten days following, though relatives and friends were able to communicate with her, she claims to have experienced life in her body, but while resting in a light – a place she describes as one of perfect peace and joy. She has no recollection of anything else during that period. This experience reawakened her fervor for God and her beloved Roman Catholic Church.
Her book, essentially an autobiography of the author’s life and faith experience, leads us from her childhood in the Philippines through her college graduation as a textile engineer. She immigrated to Canada where she met and married her husband John, with whom she has two children. Together, the couple made numerous pilgrimages to the great Catholic shrines, such as Fatima, Lourdes, Medjugorje, Garabandal, Rome, and also the Holy Land. John converted to Catholicism, and the pair became tremendously active in church activities.
All things being equal, Dawes’ writing is adequate to achieve the author’s purpose. But all things are not equal, considering that the author notes that she endures some lingering effects of the stroke. This is her second book on faith and the Catholic Church, and these accomplishments are a testament to the author’s faith, strength, and perseverance.
The downside to this work is that the author concludes her book with an angry rant about the deterioration of Western society that seems at odds with the gentle message of hope and love expressed by Jesus in the scriptures. This tone of condemnation is not likely to attract readers to the message of Christ. Further, the author’s focus too often seems to be on following the authority of the Catholic Church, rather than developing a deep personal relationship with God. As a result, this book will likely have appeal mostly to orthodox Roman Catholics. Included are prayers and some traditional Catholic devotions.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.