A crisis can begin with the telephone ringing, the earth rumbling, or a freight-train sound pushing against the wall of your home. It might start with someone whispering, “We have to talk,” or your doctor’s eyes slipping away from yours as you enter the examination room to get test results.
However they begin, crises can prompt questions about mortality, God, purpose, commitment and truth that can set our heads spinning and our footsteps on rocky and unsettling paths. We might doubt all that we’ve known to be true, including who we are and what our place in the world is.
But in this immensely comforting book, Maureen Pratt—award-winning playwright, journalist, patient advocate, and author of the syndicated column “Living Well”—offers antidotes to panic and despair. Using science, personal experiences and inspiration from the lives of others, Pratt asserts that “the times that try men’s souls” can, in fact, strengthen us. Memories of surviving them can give us greater courage. And most importantly, they enable us to witness how the Spirit works no matter what might be falling apart around us.
For anyone dealing with out-of-control events, this book will be a welcome guide to nurturing the internal resources given us directly by the creator—among them creativity, adaptability, foresight and compassion—that enable us to be stable when we are shaken and safe when we are bruised.
We do not need to take on the cloak of victim. We do not have to crumble under the weight of adversity. We don’t need to panic. But we could all use a bit more strength and courage. Don’t Panic! is a companion for anyone who needs help discovering the spiritual strength and heroic qualities within themselves.
Don’t Panic! can help each of us cope with the ups and downs of life, by getting in touch with the Spirit within and by using mindful breathing, prayers, and letting this grace-filled book be your guide. Don’t Panic! can transform you and your life from the inside out.
- Cheryl Wunsch, MEd, RNCS, clinical nurse specialist and psychotherapist in private practice
Maureen knows pain. She knows chronic illness and the isolation that comes with it, the feelings of abandonment and all the related emotional responses. However, as a woman of faith, she also understands that suffering can be a way to unite with Jesus, our suffering Savior. As a prayerful woman, she understands the spiritual medicine that is available to us through our conversations with the Lord. As a member of CUSA, an apostolate of persons with chronic illness and disability, she also knows the need for support from others. She offers her support through her writing apostolate as well as through her lectures. This latest effort is another in the library of wisdom that she has offered us, wisdom that is a product of her life of prayer and ministry to others.
- Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, OFM, administrator, CUSA, an Apostolate of Persons with Chronic Illness or Disability (www.cusan.org)
To those in crisis, to those who fear, to those who love, Maureen Pratt speaks from deep reservoirs of prayer and tender intimacy with pain. She leads us through the fire and calls us to pray, laugh, cry, reach out, choose, reflect, and pray some more. A guidebook for all of us who travel on the precarious road of life.
- Betsey Beckman, founder, The Dancing Word (www.thedancingword.com)
In Don’t Panic! Maureen Pratt offers a beautifully written and much appreciated consoling voice that integrates spiritual, psychological, relational, and behavioral insights to help those who are struggling and may be in the dark night of the soul. She journeys with the reader as a spiritual friend and trusted mentor. Her compelling book will be a cool and refreshing drink for the thirsty reader.
- Thomas G. Plante, PhD, ABPP is the Augustin Cardinal Bea, S.J. University Professor and Director of the Spirituality and Health Institute at Santa Clara University
Maureen Pratt is an inspiring writer who goes when the going is tough! Whenever I feel that I have it tough, I consider people like Maureen, who keep their cool in spite of adversity and fearlessly strive for life’s best. Whether reporting someone else’s, or sharing her own wisdom, she never fails to deliver!
- John Feister, editor in chief, St. Anthony Messenger magazine
This is not just another self-help book. Drawing on a deepening spirituality in dealing with her own life-shattering crises, Maureen Pratt focuses on how she’s lived her ordinary life, centered on an awareness of God’s active presence, and how it has prepared her to survive and thrive in the midst of crisis. Learning from her wisdom and experience is something like fastening your seatbelt when driving. You may ordinarily get by without it, but when you need it, it can mean the difference between life and death. Maureen’s is a wonderful story that we all can enjoy and take to heart.
- Fr. Tom Welbers, a retired priest in the archdiocese of Los Angeles
Don’t Panic! is the perfect name for a book so needed today. Maureen Pratt has a lovely and soothing writing voice that instills encouragement, faith-filled hope, and practical ways to manage the intense stresses we face. Are you having a tough time? You’ll be glad you picked up this book!
- Angela Breidenbach, president, Christian Authors Network