4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
The Narrow Gate[/i] by John Servant is a kind of Christian book which teaches people to follow Christ and the teachings of the Bible, the teachings of Apostle Paul, and gives us a good example of the life of a very successful political figure, Senator Joe. The book is a fiction novel, all the characters, situations in the book, names, places, dialogues are the product of the author's imagination, they are fictitious.
The book is embedded in a frame, an assignment given to a reporter named John Kelly to write an article about this former Senator Joe. The former senator is now in hospital on his deathbed. The reporter is not very happy about his assignment but still goes to the hospital to visit him, makes some searches on Google about him, and accepts the task. While visiting him in hospital, he finds there a nun, praying at the rosary for this former senator, which incites the curiosity of the reporter, who becomes really interested in the life of Senator Joe and does research in his life. The whole novel revolves around the life of the senator, how he reached the top of worldly political fame, how he fell from political power, and how he changed his ways of life, his focus, and how he saved his life while he lost it.
His story resembles very much the story of the prodigal son, who returns to his father, who receives him back with a great feast. The story has two guidelines to follow, the guidelines on how to be successful in the world, in politics, in money, and how to be successful in the eyes of the Father God. These two ways do not go parallel, hand in hand, because many times to achieve worldly success means a loss for eternal life. Joe was a man who had everything needed to achieve political and worldly success, good manners, education, good looks, loyalty to the party, intelligence, ambition, and so on. Going up on the social and political ladder at the same time means that a person must make moral compromises to please other people and political figures to be advanced.
The book teaches at the same time that small, innocent-looking moral compromises lead to a big fall, and it is not possible to satisfy both the world and God at the same time. He had natural charisma, he understood he should be loyal to his party and closed his eyes any time when his conscience told him he should not act in a certain way or should not do this and that.
Sister Francis is a true Christian nun, who taught Senator Joe, later taught the senator's son, and she can perceive everything when somebody is not loyal anymore to Christ and to God's teachings. She acts as the senator's conscience. She sees the hidden sins and when are people departing from the ways of God. Her role in the novel is a key role in showing the way back to God. She is very happy, as she reached to be a person who can show the way to Christ not only to the senator after he lost everything, his son, his wife left him and he lost his political power at the same time. Sister Francis shows that many time hardships and difficulties in life are often God's ways to lead people to choose the narrow path which leads to eternal life with God.
I like the way how Sister Francis's prayers and life made the senator completely change his way of life after he lost everything, his son, his wife, and his power as a political leader. He became first a worldly success-seeker person, then a God-centered person, open to all kinds of good deeds. Sister Francis became a model person not only for the former senator but also for reporter John Kelly, who also became interested in the narrow path which leads to eternal life.
It was a pleasure for me to read this book, as it showed very well the psychology of people drunken from worldly success and greedy for money and fame, and how compromises considered small compromises lead to slow, first invisible but sure moral downfall, which later becomes visible and lead to big losses.
I liked the way the book gave a picture of political life, social relationships, family matters, questions of fidelity and betrayal, and so on. I also liked the insight the book gave into the life of a Catholic nun in the person of Sister Francis.
The book has a clear Christian teaching, based on the Bible, but I can recommend it to everybody interested in good deeds and a good life centered on charity and religion. I rate this fiction book 4 out of 4 stars, for its content and for its readable, teachable and enjoyable nature.
The Narrow Gate
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon