- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Some human suffering can't be "fixed." Maybe yours is like that, or maybe you have a family member or friend in that situation. John Janaro's been there—in fact, still is there. His struggles with debilitating illness, chronic depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder could easily bring on a ...
Some human suffering can't be "fixed." Maybe yours is like that, or maybe you have a family member or friend in that situation. John Janaro's been there—in fact, still is there. His struggles with debilitating illness, chronic depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder could easily bring on a massive case of self-pity, but Janaro has found a better way to live.
If you're thinking of retreating into your private world of pain—or if you know someone who has—Never Give Up will help you see how God's fidelity, the small wonders of daily life, a dose of humor, and the simple kindness of others can bring light into the darkness.
Part 1 In the Valley of the Shadow: A History of My Illness 1
Chapter 1 Bang! 3
Chapter 2 My Visible Illness 5
Chapter 3 My Invisible Illness 12
Chapter 4 The Cloud 18
Chapter 5 Stuck Inside My Head 24
Chapter 6 A Prayer: Crying Out in Pain From Body and Brain 29
Part 2 Suffering Day by Day 31
Chapter 7 Wake Up 33
Chapter 8 My Day? 36
Chapter 9 God's Day 38
Chapter 10 A Reflection: I Want to Go Outside 42
Chapter 11 In the Hands of God 45
Chapter 12 Praying the Promise 55
Chapter 13 A Sack of Potatoes Needs You 58
Chapter 14 Prayers in Sickness and Distress 62
Chapter 15 God's People, My People 66
Chapter 16 The Lament 69
Chapter 17 Offering Is Not Easy 79
Part 3 Jesus Christ in a Suffering World 87
Chapter 18 Listen to Your Heart 89
Chapter 19 Redeemer of Man: A Meditation 93
Chapter 20 Christian Communion 96
Chapter 21 Ask! 101
Chapter 22 Family and Friends 106
Chapter 23 Family Prayers 112
Chapter 24 Little Things 119
Chapter 25 God's Love Is Real 123
Chapter 26 Prayer of Trust 131
Part 4 Lord, Teach Us to Pray 135
Chapter 27 The School of Prayer 136
Chapter 28 All Things Are Possible 140
Chapter 29 The Mother of God 142
Chapter 30 A Meditation on Entrusting Ourselves Totally to Mary 146
Chapter 31 The Eucharist 150
Chapter 32 Reflections on the Mystery of the Eucharist 155
Posted April 17, 2010
John Janaro's Never Give Up is a blessing for those who suffer from debilitating illness and the important people in their lives. The author is a family man and professional writer and teacher who battles the ongoing effects of Lyme disease, chronic depression, and obsessive/compulsive disorder. Although the book is filled with examples of spiritual challenges and comforts derived from deep trust in God's mercy, it does not shy away from human tendencies toward bitterness, self-pity, and a "Why me?" attitude.
"One thing I have learned is that suffering does not automatically make one a better person," Janaro writes. Instead, it can bring about a host of negative attitudes, including the feeling that God is "distant, unresponsive to prayer, and even cold." Never Give Up contains a mix of personal stories and practical suggestions for reliance on God's mercy and love to deal with the effects of debilitating illness.
In the part on day-to-day suffering Janaro advises healthy, able people not to undervalue time spent with those who are ill. "Cheering up" does no harm and can sometimes be helpful, even for those who are clinically depressed. Visitors need not try to solve problems or entertain, but they can be consistent about showing up and standing by. "In human things, time and presence are the media of love," Janaro writes. "If when you leave he is sulking, you have not failed." Come again, and bring along something to occupy your attention. Whether you are reading a magazine or cleaning out your wallet, staying is an act of love.
A chapter on lamentation contrasts the grumbling of the Israelites in the desert with laments that permeate the psalms. Hungry and thirsty, the chosen people don't ask for food and water, but grumble about God's leading them out of Egypt. On the other hand, the prophet Jeremiah expresses woe at being publicly humiliated and tortured for his prophesies, yet he trusts in God and continues in obedience. The grumble is a complaint; the lament is a prayer.
Janaro sees prayer not as a dialogue, but as a conversation initiated by God. He also suggests that we turn to Mary, the Holy Spirit, and the Church to teach us to pray. He offers a meditation on entrusting ourselves totally to Mary, which reads, in part "I cry out to you with all my afflictions. / Help me, Holy Virgin. / Heal the afflictions of my body. / Free me from the prison of fear. / Obtain for me the true freedom for which my spirit yearns."