Book Review

The following review by Paul Pojman of my book Thoughts of a Blind Beggar was published in the September 2010 edition of Catholic Library World:

 Gerard Thomas Straub presents a series of musings on his own faith journey – from an atheistic and cynical worldview to a re-connection with his Catholic upbringing. The catalyst was a struggle with a novel he was trying to finish, in which the character of St. Francis of Assisi influences the protagonist. While visiting Franciscan friends in Rome, he describes a life-transforming moment in an empty church, where God suddenly broke through the silence and revealed in all clarity His all-encompassing love. From that moment, Straub knew what to do, namely, to depend upon God for meaning and direction in life. Shortly thereafter, he discovered his life work – to showcase the needs of countless poor and homeless people to worldwide audiences through his expertise as writer and producer of media.

 The author grouped his random collection of thoughts around the seven hours of monastic prayer. They were written down in all parts of the world at all hours and in many situations; but all are suffused with Franciscan spirituality and have the common theme of the will and love of God shinning through all creation. Many bear resemblance to thoughts of Thomas Merton, Karl Rahner, and other mystics and theologians. Straub often quotes Jesus, the Gospel writers, St. Francis, Mother Teresa, and other religious figures. One finds much insight here, prayer, poetry, contemplation, even a little humor.

 One can read this book in sequence or not. What one gets is a lot of starting points for prayer and musings of one’s own. It is a good addition to parish libraries, and it could also support religious studies in high schools and colleges.

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