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Reviewed by Mary DeKok Blowers for Readers' Favorite
Year of Trial, Year of Grace: A Catholic’s Search for Faith, by Clayvon C. Harris, is a surprising and delightful book of devotions. It was written as a series of reflections for a weekly church bulletin, and evolved into an examination of Harris’ own faith. Occurring during a crisis time within the Philadelphia Catholic church, many topics are covered including New Age teachings, love, guilt, and God’s occasional silence. Faith is extolled as the only remedy that matters when nothing else can make a difference, when no solution is humanly possible. Studded with Bible verses, these reflections convey hope and God’s sovereignty in any situation. The reflections are meant to ask a few questions about a topic, make the reader think, and ultimately draw him/her back to Christ.
Health problems? Conflicts with today’s carnality? Gross unfairness in circumstances? There is a supernatural answer and it is God. “God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in distress,” according to Psalm 46:2, and if God is all He says He is, who should we fear? Who can harm us? I found this book full of comfort as I, like everyone else, go through tough experiences at times. If I had never learned to lean on God, in fact to let Him carry me, I would never make it. When a person is young, they may feel they are invincible, that if they plan well nothing can go wrong. Nothing could be further from the truth. Death spares no one and so there are losses of loved ones or our own untimely illness to upset our plans. There is nothing like losing someone to make you reevaluate your life. But God is faithful and will never leave us or forsake us. Year of Trial, Year of Grace by Clayvon C. Harris would be a great comfort to anyone you know experiencing difficulties. I feel any Christian would enjoy it, although it is written especially for those of the Catholic faith.