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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.
Maureen Pratt is an award-winning playwright, journalist and author, as well as a sought-after speaker and patient advocate. Her syndicated column, "Living Well," is distributed through Catholic News Service. Maureen's popular blog, "Good Days...Bad Days with Maureen Pratt" appears on Beliefnet.com. A graduate of Georgetown University, Maureen speaks French and Spanish. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in theater arts from the University of California Los Angeles School of Theater, Film and Television. Previous books include Beyond Pain: Job, Jesus, and Joy and Peace in the Storm: Meditations on Chronic Pain and Illness.