As a blogger and podcaster (formerly radio show host), I am blessed to receive a plethora of good Catholic books to review. As an avid (ok, veracious) reader this incredible benefit courtesy from excellent Catholic Publishers and Authors has been one of my favorite social media evangelizing surprises! My “free books received for consideration of a fair and honest review” pile [consider this my legal disclaimer] has been growing as the Summer gets closer. Today, I have grabbed a few gems in hopes of inspiring your warm weather spiritual reading.
As a kid, my family always took the Summer off from Church. Despite the commandment to keep the Lord’s Day or the Church’s teaching that missing Mass is a grave sin. Jesus never takes a break from us, how sad that so many do not desire to repay that incredible fidelity with our own! The grace we foolishly discard that we so desperately need to navigate not only our relationship with God but just be a part of this crazy world!
In addition to making time to spend with Jesus in prayer, opening the Scriptures daily, and keeping my Sunday commitment to spend Sunday (or Saturday evening) with the Lord in the Eucharist, I will also keep my heart filled and my faith growingwith good Spiritual Reading.
Here are a few of my recommendations for Summer 2017:
“The thoughts for each day, though short, contain profound material for reflection, meditation, and prayer. It is that combination of depth and brevity that makes Courtois’ “notebooks” stand out from other daily spiritual readings: readers will find that minds, hearts, and souls are all fully engaged in the reflections, but also that they can easily be read at the beginning of a busy day or in the evening when there is more time and leisure for thought. The daily reflections are written as though spoken in God’s own voice, communicating directly with the reader. While these thoughts are enormously helpful for the ongoing formation of priests, they are also accessible to all the faithful, and will draw anyone who reads them into a more intimate relationship with Our Lord.”
~ FROM Pauline Books and Media
“For more than four-hundred years, Introduction to the Devout Life by Doctor of the Church St. Francis de Sales has been regarded as the essential guide to holiness and loving God. This spiritual classic takes on new life in Lift Up Your Heart, where Rev. John Burns has interpreted ten meditations for the modern reader and distilled them into a ten-day mini-retreat that can easily be completed in the midst of a busy life. This practical book goes right to the heart of helping you kick the habit of floating along on your spiritual journey to start actively pursuing holiness and devotion to God. During the course of the retreat, you’ll learn the basics of forming a daily prayer routine, including how to offer yourself to God, meditate on his love, and maintain peace in the face of suffering and clarity in the midst of temptation.”
~ From Ave Maria Press
Using the eloquent and inspiring writings of holy men and women who share a love of, and commitment to, the Marian prayer, Editor Gretchen R. Crowe makes a compelling case for why praying the Rosary is more critical in today’s 21st-century world than ever before.Why the Rosary, Why Now?is an accessible and inspiring compilation of texts woven together with personal anecdotes that outline eight persuasive reasons why the Rosary should be an essential part of every Catholic’s life… Why the Rosary, Why Now? is not a typical “how-to book” about the Rosary. This is the “why-to book” that will inspire you to reach for your Rosary more often, and in doing so to receive the gifts it offers to each of us and the world.”
~ From Our Sunday Visitor
“The widely read author and philosopher Peter Kreeft presents a unique book about the important beliefs that Catholics and Protestants share in common. Inspired by Christ’s prayer for unity in the Gospel of John and Saint John Paul II’s encyclical Ut Unum Sint, Kreeft demonstrates that Christian reunification is possible. While he acknowledges that there are still significant differences between Catholics and Protestants, he emphasizes that they agree on the single most important issue: justification. The style of this book is modeled on Pascal, Solomon, and Jesus: short answers and single points to ponder rather than long strings of argument. The writing is direct, simple, and confrontational, but vertically rather than horizontally by “directing arrows not against each other (Protestant or Catholic) but against our own hearts and minds and wills.”
~ FROM Ignatius Press
“In Taste and See, Ginny Kubitz Moyer beautifully counters this common misunderstanding. Using personal stories, anecdotes, and Scripture, she demonstrates how the five senses are a powerful, biblically based means for us to encounter God, not only as we practice our faith but also as we participate in the “messy splendor” of daily life. Each sense is allotted five chapters, each of which highlights a different experience of that sense. Every chapter concludes with Ignatian Examen-inspired prayer steps that encourage us to recognize and reflect upon God’s presence and goodness in the physical world. From roses to the rosary, from candle smoke to Communion wine, Taste and See helps readers truly find God in all things—from the mundane to the sublime.”
~ FROM Loyola Press
All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras