3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
"No matter where you are and where you have been, you can start not hating. Everyone is capable of not hating"; this is the central theme of Frank J. Donohue's transformative guide, From Hate to Love: A Spiritual Journey to Heal. In a world that is divided among partisans, races, and families, Donohue addresses the hatred that has become socially acceptable. He draws from both his wife's and his own brush-with-death experiences, contrasting the spiritual, mental, and physical consequences of hating versus the benefits of loving.
The 77-page guide is professionally edited and contains one instance of borderline profanity; Donohue cites the famous quote by the character, Rhett Butler, in Gone with the Wind. Donohue provides brief histories and descriptions of various religions. He explains that despite their differences, they agree on choosing love over hatred. Interestingly, just as hatred may take a physical toll on the body, choosing to love helps manage stress and reduce depression. At the end of the book, Donohue includes a "Trinity for Me" prayer featuring fill-in-the-blank portions for the reader's personalization.
Donohue quotes Socrates and cites examples of Jesus practicing love and forgiveness. He makes the interesting point that members of hate groups are often seeking acceptance and become united through socially acceptable hatred. I most like the way Donohue encourages readers to progress from hatred to love to philanthropy. He offers various suggestions, such as giving to charities, volunteering time, or even providing a meal.
On the other hand, I dislike the fear-based portions of the book. While many religions share a holy fear of God based on reverence and respect, Donohue's descriptions of "burned and blackened scars" of human souls may trigger sensitive readers. Also, some Christians may be uncomfortable with Donohue's exercise that encourages readers to imagine Lucifer at a party where "everyone is there to love, honor and glorify him." Although I understand his attempt to illustrate how he projects positive feelings toward someone he hates, Donohue's imaginary scenario seems directly opposed to biblical examples of Jesus's interactions with Lucifer. Additionally, the book contains repetitious content; the same paragraphs appear on more than one page.
Overall, I rate From Hate to Love 3 out of 4 stars. Despite the previously mentioned issues, Donohue delivers a much-needed message that will resonate with readers of various religions, especially Catholics. He frequently refers to teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, such as praying to Mary, purgatory, and excerpts from Fátima prayers.
From Hate to Love
View: on Bookshelves