By Kent Gilges
A Grace Given is a powerful personal account about a father’s life in the shadow of his daughter’s terminal illness, and the beauty, spiritual growth, and joy that can eventually come from suffering. This is the personal account of the impact that one life, however seemingly insignificant, can have on those around it. Beyond that, it explores the meaning of faith, the growth and deepening of spirituality that comes from suffering, and the gift that a severely handicapped child represents.Most of all, it is the story of hope and a father's love.
In a popular culture oozing with saccharine banalities that can only hope to parody true love and loss, A Grace Given stands apart for its humility, honesty, and genuine devotion. Through this heartfelt telling of the life and death of his oldest child and his own spiritual journey, Kent Gilges invites his readers to discover the high adventure of our humanity—to find, as Pope John Paul II put it, “the splendor of the truth that shines forth deep within the human spirit.”
—George Weigel, author of Witness to Hope: The Biography of John Paul II
A Grace Given is a decade-long window into the metamorphosis of the soul. This is a modern day Pilgrim’s Progress told with humor, deep love, and unflinching honesty. A book every Christian should read.
—Donald E. Wildmon, founder of the American Family Association and American Family Radio
Don’t read Kent Gilges’ A Grace Given if you don’t want to cry along with Kent and Elizabeth. With searing tenderness, Kent tells the story of Elie’s sufferings, Elizabeth’s courage, and his own doubts, fears and longings during these traumatic years…. Kent Gilges has lived through suffering and death to gain a very Catholic understanding of life. To experience something of that journey—and perhaps somehow to help Kent and Elizabeth bear their cross—read A Grace Given.
—Dr. Jeff Mirus, founder of CatholicCulture.org
It has been said that a great book should be read three times in life: once in childhood, once in early adulthood, and again in old age. I would venture to say that A Grace Given deserves to be read at least three times: once at the outset of marriage, once in the middle of life, and again in old age. It details a husband’s journey from skepticism toward religion in a way that will leave you feeling grateful for the gift of the Catholic Faith. Above all, it is a testament to the exquisite beauty of family life that is as deep and abiding as a father’s heart. Read it, and you will never be the same.
—Alice Gunther, The Long Island Catholic
A Grace Given is a beautifully written treatise on love. It is one of the most pro-life books I have ever read. The love of a father for a child that can give him almost nothing in the traditional sense, no open arms, no endearing words, no loving glances, no soft caresses, is so complete that we are transformed and ennobled merely by witnessing it.… I read the entire book in only two sittings.
—Leticia Velasquez, Catholic Exchange
Gilges is a superb writer.… As the book unfolds, one understands that it’s not only a story about the life, worth, and gift of a severely disabled child but also a love story. It’s the story of a parent’s unconditional love for his child, for a husband and wife’s love for one another, and of God’s unconditional love for all his children.
—Tina Dennelly, National Catholic Register
In the current debates about the “worth” (or not) of human life, when illness or old age make it seem unproductive and useless, this text—and similar testimonies—should have a foremost place.
—Francis Phillips, Mercatornet.com