By Sarah Reinhard
Confession: I wasn’t keen on reading Dawn Eden’s new edition of The Thrill of the Chaste (Catholic Edition), but an editor asked me to interview her, and I determined that yeah, I should probably read the book to prepare myself.
I was NOT prepared for (a) excellent writing that (b) applied to me and that was (c) page-turningly compelling. There’s a reason Eden is a Catholic rock star, huh? (I’m an idiot, yes. But you knew that already and love me anyway.)
Within the covers of this book there’s wrenching honesty and truth that shines through. Eden bares herself, but she doesn’t ever go all TMI the way some chastity writers are prone to do. She’s mature and I suspect that this edition of the book is a different book altogether than the initial book.
Yes, there are men who, while not belonging to religious orders, make private vows or promises of consecrated celibacy, and there are women who do so as well (I am one), including consecrated virgins. But I think if you talked to any one of them and asked, “When did you realize your vocation was to be celibate,” he would very quickly tell you that his vocation is not celibacy. Rather, he has a celibate vocation. There is a difference. The difference is that a vocation is a positive call to give your entire self—mind, body, and spirit—in the way that will most glorify God, according to the disposition and gifts that you have been given. (from page 120)
I found myself making notes in the book, rereading sections, and thinking about the book when I was far from it. That speaks to the way Eden writes and engages her readers and her topic: deeply, passionately, colorfully. I couldn’t help but hope for the day when I have an opportunity to actually sit down and talk with her, sharing at least a meal (and maybe more than one!), to just share thoughts.