Faith and Wonder Amid “Littleness”

It’s Good to Be Here by Christina Chase (Sophia Press, 2019)

Christina Chase’s book “It’s Good to Be Here” is as straightforward and challenging as the subtitle promises: “a disabled woman’s reflections on God in the flesh and the sacred wonder of being human.” This is not a book for the bedside pile, to be picked up at odd moments. I tried that, but “It’s Good to Be Here” demanded more from me. Chase drew me into sharing her reflections, not just observing them. Each chapter provoked thought as well as prayer.

The declaration “it’s good to be here” is strong stuff, coming from a woman living with physical challenges in a culture that devalues disability. Fortunately for herself and her readers, Chase doesn’t look to culture for validation. “When we think of living divine lives in a sanctified place, we may think of a world with no imperfections…[n]o suffering. However, that is not the definition of a sanctified place, of a holy place in which God dwells. For Christ dwelt here.”

This is neither a memoir nor a how-to manual for dealing with adversity. The book jacket calls Chase a “twenty-first century Thérèse of Lisieux,” and while the comparison is apt in some respects – chronic illness, profound faith in God, appreciation of The Little Way – Chase’s voice is very much her own. As I pondered her words, I felt as though I were with a down-to-earth mystic filled with warm good humor (though not flippancy).

Take time with this book. Haste will not do it justice.

Review originally published at

From “A Personal Plea Against Assisted Suicide”

It sometimes happens that I’m struck by an online piece, and in looking up information about the author, I find that she or he is a neighbor of mine. So it is today, with this marvelous reflection filled with beauty, grace and challenge, written by someone who lives just a few towns north of me. I hope I’ll meet her in person someday.

In this week when the District of Columbia Council has voted in favor of an assisted suicide measure,  Christina Chase makes her case for embracing life and rejecting suicide.

Do you know what it’s like to be weaker than an infant, laboring daily to breathe, ravaged by an incurable disease, completely and utterly dependent on others for every basic need of survival? I do.  Although I am not terminally ill, but rather chronically ill, I know that one chest cold can turn into pneumonia and kill me… probably an agonizing death over days… or weeks….And there have been times when I have wondered… is my life worth all of this? … all of this work, sacrifice and heartache?

If you know me, then you know how I answer this wondering.  My desire to live is very strong. In fact, I love life…. And, yet, even I feel the guilt and sadness of burdening the people I love… even I wonder if I’m worth it.

So, I can clearly imagine what a person who is terminally ill would face if physician-assisted suicide was made legal in my state.

Read her full post on, the web site for St. John the Baptist Church in Suncook, New Hampshire.