Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Appalling Strangeness of the Mercy of God by Ruth Pakaluk

From the publisher: "This book is the powerful story of an amazing woman, Ruth Pakaluk, who converted to Catholicism at Harvard, married her college sweetheart and joyfully welcomed seven children. She became a renowned pro-life leader and brilliant debater, who was struck with breast cancer and died at the young age of forty-one. 

Ruth's inspiring story is told primarily through her humorous, sparkling and insightful letters in which her realistic cheerfulness shines. A biographical overview by her husband fills in important details about her life, and a collection of her talks on abortion, faith and being a Catholic wife and mother conclude the volume.  

Ruth Pakaluk exemplified the powerful integrity of someone who lived what she believed. She was steadfastly committed to Christ and to the culture of life, and this commitment was manifested in her consistent affirmation of life in her family, in society and even in the face of her own death. Peter Kreeft, well known Professor of Philosophy and author, described Ruth as the best, most effective and inspiring pro-life speaker he had ever heard. She was such a compelling, articulate pro-life debater that eventually Planned Parenthood spokeswomen refused to spar with her in public.

All Ruth's virtues revealed in this book  - her love as a devoted wife and mother, her zeal for the truth, and her faith & hope while battling a terminal illness  - offer inspiration and encouragement to anyone striving to put Christian faith into action."

My Take:
I love this book so much that I read a download version of it and then bought a hard copy to re-read and highlight and save.

I shared it with a friend who gave it to her husband who read it in one night and said "this book changed my life!"

I read one of her pro-life talk transcripts from the late 1990s to my high school son who was doing a paper on the views of 2012 candidates. Her talks are so articulate and clear.

Moreover, as I turned every page, I said to myself "this is the kind of life I want to live"~full of life, full of purpose, full of things that matter (raising a big family, teaching the faith and standing up for life.)

Although Ruth died at 41, she lead a full and amazing life. I can only hope to be inspired by her, imitate her and give glory to God every day that I am on this earth.

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