Father Benedict Groeschel, Rest in Peace

I learned this weekend that Father Benedict Groeschel, C.F.R., died on the eve of the feast of St. Francis of Assisi.  May he rest in peace!

He was such a sensible, holy voice in so many ways. Anyone who saw him on EWTN‘s “Sunday Night Live” for many years will recall many great interviews and insights there.

Here are four books that I consider Father Groeschel classics, from a quick perusal of my bookshelves.  I know he wrote many more, and I loved many more, but it’s a start.

Father Groeschel was a psychologist, and worked in the field for many years, so his advice about matters emotional and mental is both time-tested, professional and sensible, but with gentleness.

Here is where I briefly reviewed Arise from Darkness: What to Do When Life Doesn’t Make Sense, along with several newer classic book about mental health issues.  But it’s a gem.

Travelers Along the Way: The Men and Women Who Shaped My Life is a  relatively easy read, but very substantial and edifying at the same time.

I’m going to excerpt from my prior review of this great read:

This book is like a “who’s who” of Catholicism, from mini-biographies of saints and blessed, the famous and the obscure, in fascinating color. Each chapter is a little gem of anecdotes and memories of the particular fellow “traveler,” from Cardinal Cooke to Groeschel’s secretary.

The prolific Fr. Groeschel is easy to read (in the best sense of the word); he’s such an excellent writer that he makes it look easy to write in a conversational, relational style. Travelers Along the Way puts that great style to good use, as you can easily pick up and read one “traveler’s” story.

The Saints in My Life: My Favorite Spiritual Companions is very similar to Travelers Along the Way, but instead of stories of people Fr. Groeschel knew, the stories here are about his spiritual friendship with saints over his life and vocation. Nicely organized and useful for considering how the reader is impacted by saints.

Finally, here is a book I couldn’t locate on my bookshelf–I must have loaned it out to someone.  But even thinking about this book again brings up strong emotions.

In , A Priest Forever: The Life of Eugene Hamilton, Father Groeschel writes so beautifully about the life of a young man who had a longtime vocation to the priesthood. From the description (since I can’t peruse the book, nor can I find where I’ve written about it before–it must be offline):

This is the true story of Eugene Hamilton, a young man who dreamed of becoming a priest; a young man stricken with terminal cancer as his life was just beginning; a man who was ordained, by papal dispensation, just hours before he died.

My memory of reading it:  I  was a new mother with one baby when I first read this book.  I found myself weeping about his death, but also deepening my sense of by the nature of vocation, the gift of the priesthood to the rest of the people of God, and the beauty of life and death.

Do you have a favorite Father Groeschel book?  Any impressions of his life or advice?