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Title: Worry:
A Journey in Exodus
 

Author: Shawn Christopher Reeves 
ISBN: 0-8189-0987-0 
Paperback: x + 115 pp. 
Price: $6.95 + shipping 


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There are very few books tht describe why we worry, why we find it so hard to stop worrying, and how we can go about expelling worry from our daily lives. This book attempts to do just that by taking the reader on a prayerful journey through the Book of Exodus to discover not only what the true nature of worry is, but also the kinds of things that draw us away from anxiety into a closer union with Christ in peace. It is hoped that in these reflections on the events in the lives of the Hebrews in Exodus, the reader will find a deeper faith and hope in God's power, knowledge and goodness.
 
Shawn Christopher Reeves is a 1999 graduate of the University of Illinois (B.A. in English with a History Minor) where he serves as the Director of Religious Education at the Newman Foundation on the campus. He is presently working toward the completion of an M.A. in Theology and Christian Ministry through Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio and has twice appeared on the EWTN television show, The Journey Home

Reviews

In seven short chapters Reeves examines various aspects of worry and searches the book of Exodus for inspiration for dealing with it. The passsages from Scripture on which he reflects offer a picture of God who exercises power over both human faults and the terrifying power of evil. This is a God who knows all things and whose goodness is poured out on frail human beings. According to the author, the antidote to worry is absolute abandonment to this God. The biblical passages that introduce each chapter merely set the context for the reflection; the reflections are not limited to the specific texts. This little pocketbook shows how the biblical message might be relevant for today. It is more a book of spirituality than biblical commentary. --Dianne Bergant, C.S.A. in The Bible Today, May/June 2006

          The author of a new book called Worry: A Journey in Exodus said there is one person who needs his book the most -- himself. Shawn Reeves, director of religious education at St. John's Catholic Newman Center at the University of Illinois, said that worry had been "an ailment of mine since childhood."
          His book, a 115-page paperback published by Alba House, is a prayerful reflection on the Book of Exodus, examining people's trust in God, the nature of worry and the way people can be free from it. As a foundational text for Judaism and Christianity, Exodus demonstrates the "human condition of dependence on God in times of tribulation," Reeves said. The second book of the Old Testament, Exodus describes the oppression of the Hebrews by the Egyptians and their miraculous deliverance by God through Moses. Chapter headings in the book include: "Fear: The Heart of Worry"; "Hope: The Antidote to Fear"; "God's Power Over Human Faults"; "God's Power Over Evil"; God's Omniscience"; "God's Goodness", and "Abandonment to God."
          Reeves is a 1999 graduate of the University of Illinois with a bachelor's degree in English. He is presently working toward completion of a master's in theology and Christian ministry through Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. He told The Catholic Post that worry has been a pattern in his life as he repeatedly second-guesses decisions. Through prayer, he realized that he could not try to control his life and seek God's will for it at the same time. His hope is that readers will recognize God's invitation to peace in their lives through abandonment to God's will.
          A member of St. Malachy's Parish, Rantoul, Illinois, Reeves said that writing his book was an experience that brought him closer to God in understanding that people should not be burdened down by worries. This understanding, he said, is something "I'd like to pass on to others." He dedicates his book to his wife Tracy, "who has suffered patiently in my worries," and to the Holy Spirit, "who has given me the grace and wisdom to overcome them." --Stephanie Mader in The Catholic Post, March 19, 2006

          Staff member Shawn Reeves' recently published book Worry: A Journey in Exodus (Alba House, 2005), strives to facilitate the growth of others through the author's sharing of lessons learned through experience. Shawn, who currently serves as the director of religious education for the St. John's Catholic Newman Center, admits that he had struggled with worry since childhood. Much to his disappointment, he found few books that addressed the problem of worry from a spiritual perspective. Those that did were primarily Biblical reflections on why we shouldn't worry, which failed to provide the guidance that Shawn sought regarding how to deal with and overcome worry through God's grace.
          Worry: A Journey in Exodus grew out of the insights and reflections that Shawn gained through prayer and meditation as he struggled to overcome worry in his life. He credits the book Hope, by the German Catholic philosopher Josef Pieper, as having been a cornerstone resource while he worked on the book. He also found that discussions with his wife, Tracy, helped him think through the ideas that came to him and served to complement the insights he was gaining through prayer. Similarly, reflection on his responsibilities as a member of the Newman Center's pastoral staff and on the experience of students he worked with helped him to further develop some of the concepts in the book.
          Shawn's choice to compile his reflections into a book was driven by his knowledge that no similar books existed and the hope that these reflections might help others as they had helped him. He found the process of compiling the results of his prayer and reflection into a systematized manuscript to be the most challenging part of the writing process. After prayerful consideration, he submitted the book to Alba House, which seemed appropriate given its reputation and previous publications. It was the only submission he had to make. Through the process of writing this book, Shawn says that he "learned to trust God's power and goodness in all things." He hopes that his book may bring others to greater insight of these qualities of God as well. --via NEWMAN, A Magazine for Alumni and Friends of St. John's Catholic Newman Center at the University of Illinois -- Spring 2006


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