"Redemption can result from reaching out when we have many good reasons not to. It can come from forgiving the unforgivable. Redemption is often the result of opening a closed heart -- no matter how justified we have been in shutting it. Redemptions are the hard mental, emotional and spiritual reversals in life. The woman who was in my office when this book was conceived said about the difficulty of redemptive work: "It's like making a U-turn with your face pressed up against granite." And although redemptive paths often require great exertion, the success of that effort is not always in the hands of the one making the effort. I think redemption straddles the border between the territory of the psyche -- where effort and intention are useful and necessary -- and the mysterious dimensions of spirituality from which grace emerges."
-- from the Introduction to Redemption Stories: Unwasted Pain
PRAISE FOR Redemption Stories: Unwasted Pain
For her book, Redemption Stories: Unwasted Pain, psychotherapist Mary Ciofalo collected the narratives of people who have experienced trauma and come out the other side...Despite the sadness in these pages, Ciofalo's book is not depressing. In fact, the overall effect is hopeful, even inspiring. The message is that there are second chances -- even for people who have committed hideous crimes, or been victims of senseless violence. -- quoted from Connie Matthiessen, New Bernal Journal
This book is definitely a brightly shining candle in a sometimes-darkening world. Redemption Stories will mean a lot to people who are lucky enough to find it... I spent much of last night reading it. And that's the first and most important comment: this book is compelling reading -- and not just because of the stories themselves, but because of the very clear and compelling telling.