Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Witness to Mercy: God's Love and Mercy Are Available For Every Person, Without Exception

A sneak peek inside God Moments II: Recognizing the Fruits of the Holy Spirit.

I just love this story.

In the sequel to God Moments: Stories That Inspire, Moments to Remember, Catholic authors, pro-life advocates, bloggers, home educators, a radio show host, speakers, a Marian Catechist, and publishers including Nancy Carabio Belanger, Belinda Bondi, Andre J. Bottesi, Rejeanne Buckley, Chris Capolino, Sharon Cecil, Maribeth Criscenti, Ellen Gable Hrkach, Gene X. Kortsha, Janet MacKinnon, Tom Mulcahy, Sean McVeigh, Paul A. Ray, Susan Schoenstein, and Jerry Weber join author Michele Elena Bondi in sharing their encounters with the Divine through stories which encourage you to recognize the Holy Spirit working within you and through you.

May God Moments II: Recognizing the Fruits of the Holy Spirit create a greater awareness of God’s unfathomable love for you and for every person, increase your understanding of the meaning and purpose of your life, and inspire you to greater virtue and deeper surrender to God. Available Fall, 2011.

From Chapter 7 ~ Joy

“When the heart is pure, it cannot help loving,
because it has found the source of love,
which is God himself.”

St. John Vianney

A Witness to Mercy
God's love and mercy are available to every single person, without exception.

My children and I had the privilege of hearing Fr. Donald H. Calloway, MIC speak at the Valley Forge Convention Center during the Catholic Marketing Network’s International Trade Show in August, 2010, where he shared the story of his life and miraculous conversion. Afterward he signed copies of his book No Turning Back: A Witness to Mercy (Marian Press; 2010).

Fr. Calloway’s written account of his very troubled youth and subsequent encounter with the mercy of God through our Blessed Mother is so compelling, readers will find it difficult to put the book down.

We get a sense of what his early life was like from chapter titles that include "Animal," "Burning Down the House," and "The Divine 2 x 4."

The effects of years of reckless drug and alcohol use and criminal activity had him bound and chained by the forces of evil. Then early one morning he literally ran in search of a Catholic priest and found himself at Holy Mass. During the Consecration he heard a voice say to him, twice, "Worship!"

More extraordinary than reading his personal testimony of the tremendous love and mercy of God that saved him from disaster was hearing him speak about it all in person. Fr. Calloway is a powerful witness to the fact that God loves each one of us so very much, and reminds us that every single person has a mission. He assures us that there is hope for everyone, that prayer works (so don't stop praying!), and that we have a most loving Mother in the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Victory.

The audience was captivated by his down-to-earth approach and engaging ability to tell it like it is (in my teen son's words) that had us laughing so hard we cried and also had us crying because we were touched so deeply by the man, his mission, and the immeasurable and eternal love of God always available to us.

Fr. Calloway spoke very poignantly on man's search for happiness, a topic he also wrote about in his book. "I had put a lot of different things on my tongue looking for happiness. I had drunk a lot of different liquids looking for that eternal high, something that was more, something that would satisfy me forever. Here was the answer. God! And He had penetrated my world through the Virgin Mary and had drawn me to Himself and invited me to partake of His very self, the food that brings eternal life. And the drink that sustains. I was totally blown away." 1

We spoke briefly with Fr. Calloway after his lecture. As I looked into the eyes of this remarkable Marian priest who is sharing the love and mercy of God in such a powerful way, it was so beautiful to realize that he now uses his sense of sight, which once sought the elusive joy the world promises and cannot sustain, to look into the eyes of his flock made up of all of humanity and shepherd us toward true joy which is found only in the eternal love of God.

One of my favorite parts of No Turning Back is his mother's letter, which concludes the book.

She wrote, "God, I love the boy who became a man ordained by mercy and grace to do God's will."

If you have not read No Turning Back: A Witness to Mercy by Fr. Donald H. Calloway, be sure to get it, read it, and pass it around! God's love changes lives.

For more information, visit:

1. Donald H. Calloway, MIC,
No Turning Back: A Witness to Mercy (Stockbridge, MA: Marian Press, 2010), p. 172.
Cover of
No Turning Back Copyright 2010 Marian Press.
All other photos Copyright 2011 Joseph Karl Publishing.