Long a Patrick Madrid fan -- it is not a surprise I loved his most recent book (Ignatius Press). It also never hurts to send Squirrel Girl books with SHORT chapters (reads as I think)!
How often do I have a long stretch of time to sit with a good book and read. Not often, sadly. This is made even more difficult since I read, review and discuss books as part of my radio show, A Seeking Heart with Allison Gingras on Breadbox Media. However, I have this great need to finish what I've started so there is actually some stress that comes when I am trying to make my way through a new book and don't have the proper time to complete it! That pull to read and finish verses the reality of my crazy, busy life means most often, sadly, the book must be put down.
That happens in my prayer life as well. I KNOW the importance of making time for spiritual matters and chatting with God but often find my mind wandering all too quickly when I sit to pray. Life Lessons by Patrick Madrid helped me navigate so many of these obstacles and issues.
First - presented in 50 short chapters, perfect for those days I only have a little time for reading. As a writer I also found the stories and lessons shared to be fabulous writing prompts (*high school teachers and catechists note!)
Second - content was engaging, insightful and downright entertaining!! Which means I usually read much more than one chapter at a time! Few authors can make me snort laugh like Patrick Madrid!
Third - Patrick's stories often inspired my own prayer time. Remembering or discovering for the first time the power the amazing gift from God prayer is, was in itself a great gift. When discourage or doubtful, seeing that prayer and the answers to those prayers is a very real part of a life in Christ, lifted my spirits and restored my hope.
Patrick's comical and conversational style coupled with his experiences and the commitment to sharing the truth makes Life Lessons: Fifty Things I Learned in My First Fifty Years, a delight and must read for anyone seeking to know that God is real and prayer works. Some of my favorites stories included the folklore of burying a St. Joseph statue to sell your home, the great wisdom of his mother when she 'locked' the keys in the car, and the what if paranoia discovered on a roller coaster. I guarantee YOU will find a story in here that you either automatically relate to or will be introduced to a new idea or concept of prayer that you will shortly be able to relate to (after you've adopted it!). Speaking of adoption - get a tissue ready before reading the chapter entitled, "The Heart of the Home." As an adoptive mom myself, this one tugged at my heart and awed me at the strength and depth of love some people possess!
The 50 short chapter format makes this a perfect companion for the Lenten; Advent or Easter season. Use it to open your RCIA or faith sharing group; read aloud with short discussion to follow will make for fabulous ice breaker or weekly introductory activity- so many great possibilities. Heck, given the short chapters, you can even leave it in the bathroom for others to discover God's goodness and faithfulness. HEY - Evangelize where you can right!!!
All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras 2016
**This book was provided to me compliments of Ignatius Press for a fair and honest review. The compliments included above were of my own accord because the book simply ROCKED!