In the sense of full disclosure, Rosemary Ellen Guiley is a very good friend to me. She sent me a copy of one of her latest books, and I will be as objective as humanly possible with my review. I know her to be honest, loyal, dedicated, and the hardest working researcher available on her subjects.
Before we start, I reflect on a time when I was very young – roughly 1950. I was walking down a very remote, dusty, rural road. It was quite narrow, and the tall trees on either side reached very high. The branches bent toward one another, forming a natural arch. A dark cloud peaked through the branches, and I knew it was God, frowning down on me. He was always in my head, haunting me. I’ve heard the term “Catholic Guilt,” and I surely had a monstrous case. I never felt good after confession, knowing I always left some sin unspoken.
Shift ahead a few years, and I start going to all the monster movies I could find. They gave me nightmares, and my mother forbade me from going. Of course, that was my signal to sneak off to even more scary movies. The film, “Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy” is supposed to be funny, but it scared the crap out of me.
The most frightening movie was the 1954 “Them!” with James Arness. I was nine years old. My bedroom had a broken window, and the broken pieces looked exactly like the claw of a giant ant. To make matters worse, a breeze was blowing the leaves around, making the claw “move.” There was no way I was going to sleep. I grabbed a huge crucifix off the wall, and held it to my chest. No good. I ended up getting permission from my mother to sleep with her.
The 1943 movie “The Song of Bernadette” also frightened me. I was afraid of the visions because I took them as real. I wept inside when others fought Bernadette’s reports, including the bishop. Why couldn’t they believe – it really happened! Her plea makes me tear up even now, “Perhaps I haven’t suffered enough.” (Guiley includes Lourdes in this book.)
I’ve since stopped being frightened by monsters – I’m now 68 – but God and I are still on the outs. So, if God is a monster in my mind, it seems logical to say that I am having a Crises of Faith.
About 1993, my faith took a very heavy blow when I read a pamphlet on depression that said, ” . . . severely depressed people sometimes have beliefs not based in reality about . . . sinfulness.” The DSM IV psychiatric manual told me, “Individuals imagine that they have special connections with God . . ” Such thoughts are called “Grandiose delusions.”
Rosemary Ellen Guiley is obviously on the other side of the spectrum. A quick glance at her bibliography of over 50 books reveals many positive titles like: “Angels of Mercy, The Miracle of Prayer, Blessings: Prayers for the Home and Family, Dreamwork For The Soul,” and “The Dreamer’s Way: Using Proactive Dreaming To Heal And Transform Your Life.”
“Develop Your Miracle Mind Consciousness” shows once again how thoroughly Guiley pours her heart into her work. As always, her research shines. You might have reservations about reading this book if you have doubts about God, miracles, or prayer, but I encourage everyone to read the book with an open mind. The research alone deserves attention.
Guiley has written many encyclopedias, and this book has a quiet history of miracles and how they have effected people’s lives. Not as thick as most of her encyclopedias, you will zip through the examples and be anxious to see how she rolls miracles, God, prayer, consciousness, and “The Power of Thought and Belief” into a positive force.
For me, the highlight of the book is Guiley’s personal experience related in pages 63-66. Please don’t jump to these pages before reading the preceding pages. For now, be content with her words, “I was being purified in some way by unconditional love.”
Her testimony alone is worth your time.
There is one sentence in the book that is distracting to me, but not worth discussing here. It is my problem, not the author’s.
A clarification on page 21 would be helpful. Guiley is used to writing about mysticism of all kinds, so when she uses the word “magic,” I know she means “spiritual magic,” not theatrical tricks. Simply inserting a word like “spiritual” in front of the first paragraph would help other readers.
Usually, I have no trouble marking up books and underlining key portions. If I had started that process with this book, I would have run out of ink. For example:
– “No guaranteed miracle-making formula exists at present. However, we can make changes in our daily lives that profoundly affect our consciousness and stimulate and strengthen the divine currents around us.” p. 126
– “Narrow-mindedness and limited vision shut off miracle consciousness.” p. 128
– “WE MANIFEST WHAT WE THINK ABOUT.” (emphasis mine) p. 129
Personally, I do not accept all the examples Guiley lists, but I will re-read the book for its overall theme – we ARE loved by God. We CAN feel His love with a little effort. The more effort we give, the closer we will feel.
COINCIDENCE?: As I write this, a front page story in my local paper describes, “Reliving a miracle.” ‘’The people of Cokeville were blessed with a miracle, a side of the story people don’t know about because the stories from the children came out weeks after the event,” said Christensen. . . . . The miraculous events Christensen refers to are the angelic visitations witnessed by many of the students, and the unsolved mystery of how the bomb exploded without killing a single child. . . . Just before the bomb went off, many of the kids, including Nate, attest to being warned by angels to go by the windows. . . . . “My son said there were angels for everyone, saying his deceased grandma told him to go to the window,” said Harley. “Seeing the room afterwards, I thought there was no way they could all be fine, so there was no doubt that all these kids had seen a miracle.”
I highly recommend this book.
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