By Matthew Lau
The Miracle of Love is a Coventry Press binding paperback authored by Margaret Ghosn, a Maronite Sister of the Holy Family.
Dr Ghosn has published articles in various journals on subjects ranging from multi-culturalism in Australia, to youth ministry, to a comparative study of the Catholic and Maronite liturgies.
Her latest publication features key themes of healing wounds and warming hearts in this pastoral care guide.
Dr Ghosn is quick to quash any notion that pastoral care is based solely on emotion, but rather the spiritual concern of caring.
“Pastoral care doesn’t come from one’s own capacity to love because we are limited and prone to sin,” stated in the intro.
The Miracle of Love is no strict instruction manual, it is purely a guide to understand how pastoral care matters and is needed by care-receivers and caregivers alike.
This book will touch your heart and strengthen your pro-life values as it hones in on Jesus Christ, the ultimate humanitarian.
It demonstrates how He freed so many from the chains of suffering and despair, how He was a man on a mission to create a world that cares, by first and foremost leading by example.
Dr Ghosn regularly uses parables from the Gospels to convey her message of why pastoral care is so important in the Catholic realm.
The underlying message is that we are all part of God’s holy flock, a flock that requires His shepherds to lead and care for its sheep – some members of its herd in more need than others.
Perhaps the best summary of the pastoral care that occurred in the early Church is seen in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 2:42-47).
The Miracle of Love makes abundant that pastoral care was not just an individual summons, but the combined effort of a community, of all Church members.
The author’s elaborate use of the scriptures is in order to explain that Jesus is our pastoral care model, meaning: do as He did.
As a roll on effect of which, the Church leads by example with the missionary model.
Pastoral care is, simply put, the pursuit of human wholeness; the call to give ourselves if we allow for it.
The book delves into the ministry of compassionate presence, which in-turn allows us to renew and enrich our relationship with God and others.
Dr Ghosn uses parables to give good examples throughout, such as how the Good Samaritan saw the dying man as a “chance” when the Priest and Levite saw “trouble”.
The Good Samaritan made a conscious decision to help his fellow man.
The book even makes subtle attempts to appeal to the younger generations, with an unnecessary video game and comic book reference.
The Miracle of Love opens our minds to understanding that pastoral care is more than just reaching out to others – as the Good Samaritan did – but also being aware that, on the flipside, refusing to engage with the world’s needs is a conscious choice.
There are moments in this book that will make you query that if you consider God as the light of the world, then what are we doing as Catholics to keep that light shining?
From dealing with how to preserve life to methods of dealing with death, The Miracle of Love will open your heart and mind to the wonders of pastoral care.
“Power without morality is ruthless, beauty without heart is cold, and knowledge without action is dead.”
The lasting taste in your mouth challenges you to contemplate what you want to be remembered for, what legacy will you leave behind?
Available via: coventrypress.com.au