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I admit it: I’m a scifi, fantasy, YA kinda reader/listener. I like light reading; “The Help” is the deepest book I’d gotten into for a loooong time before this one. So why did I pick this up? A woman I know is Mary Johnson’s sister, and she mentioned it, so I read the synopsis and thought “Why not?”
Never did I think a book this deep could “read” so easily. It was marvelous to have the author do the reading as well. She did most every accent brilliantly and I could see her “characters” through the voices she used. Mary Johnson’s story is fascinating, even if it’s difficult because of it's deeply personal nature. There were times I cringed for her, but her style of writing made is so clear and lovely, I couldn't stop listening. I wanted to know what she would choose to do next.
The thing that was toughest for me was the feeling that in the early years of Mary’s involvement with the MC’s had too many parallels to an emotionally abusive relationship. Add to that the king rat tangle of Mother Teresa’s focus on suffering and slavish devotion to dogma, the inability of many sisters to truly lead rather than intimidate, and a lack of methods for proper communication within the order and you can't help but see what hinders a group that does so much good, yet could be so much more not only for the poor, but for the sisters themselves.
To balance that, for all Ms. Johnson does to reveal the faults and flaws of the Missionaries of Charity, her obvious love for the good of it shines through. She shows clearly those sisters and Priests who are amazingly real human beings that manage to transcend the limitations and reveal the love that is Mother Teresa's most basic message for the order.
Mary Johnson takes us down a rough road with such integrity, intellect, and thoughtfulness; you can’t help but want to take this trip with her.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
It takes discipline to get through this book and story. There are so many details to the very disciplined way of life that being an MC (under Mother Theresa) insisted upon. It was not an easy listen but I was compelled by Ms. Johnson's story and glad to have listened to the entire three parts. I kept wanting to know if Ms. Johnson found peace after all.
Ms. Johnson seemed very honest and sincere as she described what life was like as a Missionary of Charity. She seemed honest in her struggle to understand her role in the missionary and ultimately her struggles to figure out what was best for her.
Ms. Johnson certainly examined another side to who was Mother Theresa, a side most of us have never had a glimpse into. Very fascinating.
As someone curious and always interested in spirituality and wanting to live an authentic life, I was moved by Ms. Johnson's constant questions, search and hunger for knowledge and most importantly her bravery in sharing her humanness.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful