1Cor: 12 Image

Good Advent Reading

For Advent (2013) I read When Faith Feels Fragile by R. Scott Hurd.  His book, “Forgiveness: The Catholic Approach” has been an instrumental part of the women’s retreats I offer on forgiveness. I honestly can not imagine what my life would be like if I had NOT discovered that book when I did!!

When Faith Feels Fragile is Scott Hurd’s second book (fast forward … Around the Table his most recent publication (Ave Maria Press) will be featured onA Seeking Heart the 2nd week of December!) and when I heard of the release I was more than eager to dive in!!  I love Scott’s easy to read, right to the core of the matter, touches the heart style of teaching of the faith.  This book is organized into 40 short chapters, making it a perfect companion for Advent/Christmas as well as (of course) for Lent.

Adoration Chapel
My typical Adoration View – Where Most of my Reading and Reflecting Happens (Photo, Allison Gingras)
Chapter One, was so thought provoking, my hand-written journal entry was almost as long as the chapter.  Here are the abridged version of my thoughts:

Impediments to developing or maintaining a stronger faith

  • “Cultural Static” — As Scott Hurd puts it, “the world shouts at us”, scripture has taught me however, God’s voice comes in a whisper. Therefore, unless we make time to be quiet and listen, we may never hear Him.  Added Thought:  WHAT type of relationship would you have with someone you barely spoke to; and when you did speak you never listened back.
  • Responsibilities  —  Which reminded me that during this season I need to ask God for the Grace to find balance.   Added Thought: A great activity during Advent – especially as we come upon the year end – make a list of typical weeks or months ‘to do’s.  What can you let go this year to make more time for God, family and yourself!
  • “Outta sight, outta mind” — where too many people leave God and all things religious.
  • Info overload — how I feel 99% of the time when I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest!
  • Lack of Catechism — either past or present.  Confirmation is a completion of our Baptism, not our study of the faith.  It is not graduation – we aren’t given an degree in Faith but instead the ability to receive my fully God’s spirit. This gift allows us to understand and contemplate more deeply the things of God.  Education prepares us for our life’s work – there is no more important work in our life than to know, love and serve God!
  • Seek Guidance in all the wrong places (self-help books, Oprah, even sometimes well meaning friends) — for every aspect of our lives the best places to find the answers we seek is easy… Scripture, Sacraments and Prayer.   The beauty of our Catholic faith – at the very core are the amazing GIFTS that God lavishes us with everyday – not just one day a year.
  • The greatest of these: The gift of Faith, the gift of Love, and the gift of Grace.

When Faith Feels Fragile Book Cover


Speaking of grace:

​** GRACE:  The undeserved, yet freely given gift of God’s Holy Spirit within us.  In that Spirit we are better able to accept God’s call in our lives – a call to be holy because He is holy and to positively respond to His Will in our lives.  All we need to do is be open to receive it and cooperate with it. (Allison abridged definition)**

All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras 2013; 2016