Awakening is A Crossroads in Time Book written by Claudia Cangilla McAdam
Synopsis: Ronni is an 8th-grade Catholic student living in the 21 first century. She had a difficult past year as her father and brother were killed while helping someone. A non-Catholic friend from school invites her to go skiing over Easter Triduum. Ronni gets extremely upset when her mother insists she stay and participate in Holy Thursday and Good Friday. Ronni’s faith was lost after the deaths and no longer sees the point of Easter. As she gets angry with her mother, she falls ill and climbs into bed. Upon awakening, she is in Jerusalem two days before the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. She sets out on a mission to stop the death of Jesus, since “Nothing is worth dying for.”
Parental Thoughts on Awakening:
Positive: Faith can be broken down into four aspects. They happen in any order, and the way they are listed here is not indicative of a particular sequence of steps. 1) You must believe in something, such as the profession of the Apostles Creed. 2) You must celebrate it, for example, by participating in the Sacraments. 3) You must live it by following the Beatitudes and Commandments (as best as one can). 4) You must have a personal relationship with God which develops by having a prayer life, which consists of vocal, meditative, and contemplative prayers (The Catechism of the Catholic Church para 2558 and 2699).
Awakening would be a great tool to use for meditative prayer. The Catechism describes meditation as a quest where “the mind seeks to understand the why and how of the Chrisitan life” (para 2705). “Meditation engages thought, imagination, emotion, and desire” (para 2708) and “to meditate on what we read helps us to make it our own by confronting it with ourselves” (para 2706). Ignatius of Loyola recommends inserting oneself into the stories of Sacred Scripture (for more information on this see Praying with Scripture).
Scripture to me is not always descriptive, and I’m not that creative. Watching movies or reading books created by those blessed with creativity makes envisioning the stories easier for me. This book would generate an abundance of images to help one meditate especially on the last few days of Jesus’ life. Ronni participates in many different scripture stories such as one healing by Jesus, witnessing the Last Supper, she asks Peter and witnesses his rejection of Jesus, she is Veronica who wipes Jesus’s face with her veil, and finally the crucifixion of Jesus. The details are abundant, and one can easily place themselves at that time.
This book also does a great job of detailing Catholic theology on why Jesus Christ had to die. This is tied into the story and doesn’t seem like a theology lesson. I learned things not theological, but still interesting, such as Veronica comes from Latin Vera Icon which means true image. There are a few little tidbits like this throughout the book.
Negative: The main character, Ronni, is in 8th grade, so I assume around 13 years. She has a crush on her brother’s best friend who is about 15. This crush is a central theme throughout the book. Ronni’s thoughts about the crush are a little more mature than a typical 13-year-old crush. It was distracting. At the end of the book, there is a peck on the lips. There is also one degrading word that is used to describe a “boy crazy” girl.
For more information on Meditative prayer see paragraphs 2705-2708.
Catechism of the Catholic Church