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Showing posts with label PaulENowak. Show all posts
Showing posts with label PaulENowak. Show all posts

Thursday, 6 September 2018

The Prayer of the Christian Samurai - Paul E. Nowak

The Prayer of the Christian Samurai

Lord Jesus, 
I pledge myself wholly to Your service as a loyal Christian samurai. You alone will I serve, with no other master before You. Daily I will live as dead to the world so that I may live only in You. May Your Will always come before my own.
Give me the strength to tirelessly perfect myself and serve all humanity, for each and every person in this world is Your treasure. May I never forget that I have only the present moment to act, and to joyfully press on in times of difficulty.

Although everything I have in this life will pass away, so long as I remain focused on You I have nothing to fear, for I can never lose Your Love. When all that You require of me is done, may I rest forever in your embrace as your faithful servant.
Amen.

This pray is from a recent book I read. It stuck with me and I share it here again with you.


It is from the book: 

The Way of the Christian Samurai: 
Reflections for Servant-Warriors of Christ
Paul E. Nowak
Eternal Revolution

ISBN B002HMCLGA
ASIN 9780977223466


Books by Paul E. Nowak:
The Way of the Christian Samurai: Reflections for Servant-Warriors of Christ
The Eternal Revolution: An Exhortation to the Modern Christian
I Hate Christmas! How to Identify and Overcome Your Inner Christmas Villain
The Inconvenient Adventures of Uncle Chestnut
Guerrilla Apologetics for Catholics
Guerrilla Apologetics for Life Issues
The Microcapitalist Manifesto
...

Books edited or reprinted by Paul E. Nowak:
The Life and Letters of Father Damien, Apostle of the Lepers - Edited by Pamphile De Veuster
Joan of Arc - Hilaire Belloc
Characters of the Reformation - Hilaire Belloc
...


Thursday, 2 August 2018

The Way of the Christian Samurai Reflections for Servant-Warriors of Christ - Paul E. Nowak

The Way of the Christian Samurai: 
Reflections for Servant-Warriors of Christ
Paul E. Nowak
Eternal Revolution

ISBN B002HMCLGA
ASIN 9780977223466


This is the third book by Paul E. Nowak that I have read in the last few months. Each of them has been an excellent read, but by far this is my favorite. There are many people out there who do not like military or warrior imagery being used for Christianity of Catholicism today. I tend to be on the other end of the spectrum. The church is not just a hospital or social club. The church is to be an army, that had medics and military hospitals. And this book does an amazing job of looking at precepts from the Samurai tradition and tying them to the bible and what it means to fully be a Christian.

When I was in university, 30 years ago, I led a prayer group called Prayer Warriors. We met at 630am on campus 4 days a week to pray. Pray for the campus, the city and our country. This book would have been an amazing book to work through then, and it is now. I have already recommended it to over a dozen friends.

The description of the book is:

"The Samurai were soldiers of feudal Japan who dedicated their lives entirely to their lords. In fact, the very title of samurai means "one who serves." Legends of their skill, sacrifice, and service have been passed down for hundreds of years. As Christians, we are called to be both servants and soldiers of Christ. As this book demonstrates, there is much we can learn from the teachings and example of these legendary servant-warriors of Japan. We can respond to the call of our Lord, Jesus Christ, as Christian Samurai."

And the chapters in this book are:

Introduction
A Brief History of the Samurai
About the Samurai Cited
Service
Self-Sacrifice and the Pursuit of Perfection
Resolve
Prayer of the Chrstian Samurai
Additional Resources
References

This book draws from the Samurai wisdom of: Yamamoto Tsunetomo, Miyamoto Musashi, and Yamaoka Tesshu. Of these three I had encountered 2 before and read of their works, and the application of those works in leadership or business training courses. But what Nowak does is tie them back to personal discipline, personal development, and living in service to God, the church and to others. Nowak goes back and forth from the three warrior masters, and to our call as Christians. One example of this is:

"By being secure in our goal to love and serve God, trials and tribulations will do little to sway us from our course. We must work to improve our resolve by constantly keeping our Lord in the foremost part of our mind, and remembering it is with His Spirit we will endure and overcome.

The samurai forged their spirit and resolve through rigorous training. Tesshu's school of Muto Ryo was considered especially harsh and repetitive, for he placed importance first on their resolve.

Tesshu selected his students carefully - not based on their skill or talent, but their willingness and perseverance of spirit. He would challenge applicants to attack him, and he would force them down - only to order them to attack again, and again, until they were exhausted. Tesshu would keep this up for as much as a week in order to get a feel for the trainee's determination to enter the school. Their ability to wield the sword was not nearly as important as the strength of their spirit."

Nowak walks us through so many vital aspects of life in this small volume. And it concludes with a prayer. The prayer in the book is:

The Prayer of the Christian Samurai


Lord Jesus, 
I pledge myself wholly to Your service as a loyal Christian samurai. You alone will I serve, with no other master before You. Daily I will live as dead to the world so that I may live only in You. May Your Will always come before my own.
Give me the strength to tirelessly perfect myself and serve all humanity, for each and every person in this world is Your treasure. May I never forget that I have only the present moment to act, and to joyfully press on in times of difficulty.

Although everything I have in this life will pass away, so long as I remain focused on You I have nothing to fear, for I can never lose Your Love. When all that You require of me is done, may I rest forever in your embrace as your faithful servant.
Amen.

This book was an excellent read, and one I desperately needed to read right now. I typically do not keep physical books, preferring eBooks, but because of the nature and style of this book, I plan on picking up a physical copy to keep on my shelf. That way I can randomly flip it our and read sections. Or just constantly have a book mark in it as I read it again and again. I have already read it through twice and know it will not be long before I read it again.

This book is a fantastic read, and I believe that anyone who read it with an open heart, will be challenged, motivated, and encouraged to grow in discipline and through that discipline in their relationship and service to God!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Paul E. Nowak:
The Way of the Christian Samurai: Reflections for Servant-Warriors of Christ
The Eternal Revolution: An Exhortation to the Modern Christian
I Hate Christmas! How to Identify and Overcome Your Inner Christmas Villain
The Inconvenient Adventures of Uncle Chestnut
Guerrilla Apologetics for Catholics
Guerrilla Apologetics for Life Issues
The Microcapitalist Manifesto
...

Books edited or reprinted by Paul E. Nowak:
The Life and Letters of Father Damien, Apostle of the Lepers - Edited by Pamphile De Veuster
Joan of Arc - Hilaire Belloc
Characters of the Reformation - Hilaire Belloc
...


Monday, 23 July 2018

I Hate Christmas! How to Identify and Overcome Your Inner Christmas Villain - Paul E. Nowak

I Hate Christmas!
How to Identify and Overcome Your Inner Christmas Villain
Paul E. Nowak
Eternal Revolution
ASIN B00A8H0XKC

  

This was the third book by Paul Nowak that I have read in the last few weeks. My introduction to his works of Paul Nowak was part of his effort to rescue out of print books and bring them back to life in high quality eBooks. Specifically, a book on The Life and letters of father Damien, Apostle to the Lepers, it was an excellent read, as was Paul's introduction to the work originally published in 1889. After reading that picked up three other books by Paul and this was the second I have read. What attracted me most to this book is that I love Christmas but hate the holiday season. I would prefer to not have to spend much time in public from early November until mid January. I was immediately attracted to the book, by both the title and the description:

"Sometime between the ever-earlier marketing of Christmas to the time that suburban streets are lined with dead evergreens, we wish for Christmas to be over. For some of us, the whole season can fill us with loathing and hatred instead of peace and goodwill.

This may be the cause of your inner Christmas villain. I Hate Christmas! takes you through four classic Christmas villain archetypes, how they may relate to your life, and how to conquer them and have a Merry Christmas."

And the chapters in this book are:

Introduction
The Grinch - The Distracted
Ebenezer Scrooge - The Fearful
Jack Skellington - The Selfish
Miss Doris Walker - The Unbeliever
Saving Christmas

I think the only think that could have made this book more awesome would be if there was a chapter on 'John McClaen - The Complainer'. But even the chapter on Jack Skellington is amazing. It would be hard not to make it through this book in a single sitting. But that is one of the great things about it. It can be reread easily over a cup of coffee each year as a reminder. This book dissects the villain in 4 classic Christmas movies as personality types. Types each of us can easily fall into with the stress, bustle, and hustle of the season. By looking at a character from each of these movies How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Dickens' A Christmas Carol, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Miracle on 34th Street Nowak helps us seem them in a different light and offers some tips to counter that type when we find it creeping up on us or has complete hold as the case may be. And yea I read and reviewed this book in July, I just had to read it after coming across it, and even though I know I will be reading this book again, I wanted to review it so it can get on peoples radar as soon as possible to avoid the central villain types this next holiday season. 

The section on Jack Skellington begins with a quote from the movie: For those who have not see in Jack is trying to figure out Christmas after wandering into Christmas town, and he has been experimenting using the Scientific method speaking to himself he states:

"You know, I think this Christmas thing is not as tricky as it seems! But why should they have all the fun? It should belong to anyone! Not anyone, in fact, but me! Why, I could make a Christmas tree! And there's not a reason I can find, I couldn't have a Christmastime! I bet I could improve it, too! And that's exactly what I'll do!"

Nowak begins his section on Jack by saying:

"There are a myriad of Christmas villains that have embodied a greedy thirst for possessions, attention, or some other temporal benefit for themselves. A lot of the ones I considered were T.V.-special, one-dimensional stock characters that have become, shall we say, Christmas cookie-cutter. Among the more spectacular ones were B.Z. From Santa Claus: The Movie, Mr. Potter from It's a Wonderful Life, Heat Miser, Freeze Miser, and the other Rankin-Bass Christmas villains who wanted to stop Christmas for their own reasons.

Yet when it comes to choosing a Christmas villain that seemed to best embody the selfishness of all those villains, but was relatable, one who is converted and not conquered, and part of a story that is generally considered a classic, Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas takes the pumpkin pie."

I can not count the number of times I have watched this move. My kids even call our call Jack, because it is white with Jack Stickers on the rear side windows. My children one Jack Skellington onesies and slept with Jack blankets. And yet I have never connected the dots and considered Jack selfish, I had always seen him as misguided. And the insight Nowak has into Jack and the other villains is penetrating. And his insights will help you see yourself, and hopefully grow and learn. Each chapter ends with a brief playlist, a playlist to help counter the main fault of that character. The book ends with these words:

"As a Christian, we are called to constantly turn our wills towards God's Will. In a fallen world, this requires an ongoing re-turning, or to use the Latin word volvere (to turn), an eternal re-volution. What better point in the calendar year to ignite this once again, at the celebration of our Saviour's birth? There may indeed be a war on Christmas, but the battle fought within you is far more important than buzzwords and displays and news stories in the media. Defend the front this year, and take back your Christmas celebration by identifying and silencing your own Christmas villains. 

So who's going to save Christmas this year? If you're going to do it (and no one else can) it starts right now with the resolve to keep Christmas, and not let anyone - even your internal Christmas villain - get in the way."


I cannot say it any better than that. I highly recommend this book even if you think you are just picking it up for fun, I guarantee it will have a lasting impact!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Paul E. Nowak:
The Way of the Christian Samurai: Reflections for Servant-Warriors of Christ
The Eternal Revolution: An Exhortation to the Modern Christian
I Hate Christmas! How to Identify and Overcome Your Inner Christmas Villain
The Inconvenient Adventures of Uncle Chestnut
Guerrilla Apologetics for Catholics
Guerrilla Apologetics for Life Issues
The Microcapitalist Manifesto
...

Books edited or reprinted by Paul E. Nowak:
The Life and Letters of Father Damien, Apostle of the Lepers - Edited by Pamphile De Veuster
Joan of Arc - Hilaire Belloc
Characters of the Reformation - Hilaire Belloc
...


Friday, 20 July 2018

The Eternal Revolution - Paul E. Nowak

The Eternal Revolution
Paul E. Nowak
Eternal Revolution
ISBN 9780984710201
ASIN B00L03H2KW

 


My introduction to the works of Paul Nowak is his effort to rescue out of print books and bring them back to life in high quality eBooks. Specifically a book on The Life and letters of father Damien, Apostle to the Lepers, it was an excellent read, as was Paul's introduction to the work originally published in 1889. After reading that volume I read this book and have already picked up two others by Paul and have them in my to be read pile. This little book is a powder keg! And it will spark your spiritual life and set it aflame. The description of the book is:

"To be a Christian is to be at war with the world." The Eternal Revolution is a brief charge for Christians to see their lives as part of an unending battle for the Kingdom of Heaven, and provides an exciting perspective of following Jesus Christ as a daily fight that will endure until the end of our lives.
And it delivers on that promise. The book begins with a warning, the start of which is:

"This is a book written for Christians, that is, those who accept that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God, the Second Person of the Triune Godhead. For those who believe Jesus was just a good man, or a fiction, or wrong, or that Christianity is basically about being good to others, kindness, and tolerance - this book is not for you. Close it now, and go read something else.

 There are many books that explain Christianity and attempt to justify it. This is not one of them. I would suggest G.K. Chesterton's Orthodoxy, one of many books bearing the title Introduction to Christianity, or, best of all, read through of our sacred text, the Bible. If you then find you accept the basics of our faith, then come back to this book."


And the warning is followed by three quotes:

"We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our great war is a spiritual war. Our great depression is our lives."

Fight Club

Give me a reason
For life and for death
A reason for drowning
While I hold my breath
Something to laugh at
A reason to cry
With everyone hopeless
And hoping for something
To hope for 

Switchfoot,
Life and Love and Why

"The full value of this life can only be got by fighting; the violent take it by storm. And if we have accepted everything we have missed something - war. This life of ours is a very enjoyable fight, but a very miserable truce."
 G.K. Chesterton

And as can be seen by the description, warning, title and the three quotes, the direction of this book is clear. The sections in the book are:

Warning
You Are at War
Our War is an Eternal Revolution
Our Revolution is Fought Within
Set the World on Fire
Fighting the Eternal Revolution
Afterward

The sections in the chapter on 'Fighting the Eternal Revolution' are:

Martial Discipline
Heroic Virtue
Temperance
Prudence
Justice
Fortitude
Faith
Hope
Charity
Fearlessness
Memento Mori
Personal Acts of Charity

Having spend years involved in campus ministry, as a student, and as staff. This book is one I wish I had had at my disposal back then. This is a book I will read again and again. As soon as my children are a little older I will read it with them. And encourage them to read it annually, as I plan to do. This is a book that can change your life and through that change have a great impact on the world around you. The book ends with these words:

"The personal actions we choose to make will have more impact than any amount of words, financial contributions, or publicity we can muster for the work of others. If our example is consistent with our profession of faith, others will change their minds and attitudes - in this way the fire Christ came to kindle on earth will spread, making this world as much as possible a reflection of heaven, until the day the Kingdom of Heaven is firmly established.

This will not be easy. It is something you will have to fight for every day, in a thousand small ways. It will require you to choose God and others before everything else. It will eventually cost your life in this world, so that you may gain your life in the next."


It is true it will not be easy, but it will be worth far more than the effort. Pick up this book and let it challenge you, and as you grow in living out what you believe, and the lessons in this book you will be used to set the world on fire! This is an amazing read, so do not hesitate to pick it up now and give it your attention.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Paul E. Nowak:
The Way of the Christian Samurai: Reflections for Servant-Warriors of Christ
The Eternal Revolution: An Exhortation to the Modern Christian
I Hate Christmas! How to Identify and Overcome Your Inner Christmas Villain
The Inconvenient Adventures of Uncle Chestnut
Guerrilla Apologetics for Catholics
Guerrilla Apologetics for Life Issues
The Microcapitalist Manifesto
...

Books edited or reprinted by Paul E. Nowak:
The Life and Letters of Father Damien, Apostle of the Lepers - Edited by Pamphile De Veuster
Joan of Arc - Hilaire Belloc
Characters of the Reformation - Hilaire Belloc
...

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

The Life and Letters of Father Damien, Apostle of the Lepers - Edited by Pamphile De Veuster

The Life and Letters of Father Damien, Apostle of the Lepers
Joseph Damien De Veuster
Auguste Pamphile De Veuster (Editor)  
Paul E. Nowak (Introduction) 
Robert Louis Stevenson (Afterword)
Eternal Revolution (eBook Edition 2013)
Catholic Truth Society (First edition 1889)
ASIN B00K1OUY2E


This book was first published in 1889, by the Catholic Truth Society. That edition appears to be long out of print. But if you search you can find multiple used copies some even at reasonable prices. This reprint eBook edition appears to be out of print now as well, it can be found on Amazon but no longer purchased, and even the editor does not have it listed on his website. But if you can track it down it is an excellent read. The chapters in the book are:

Introduction to the Digital Edition
Preface
Introduction by Father Pamphile
Chapter 1: Early Life and Entrance Into Religion
Chapter 2: Mission to the Sandwich Islands
Chapter 3: Work in Hawaii
Chapter 4: Molokai: The Leper Colony
Chapter 5: His Last Years and Death
Afterword by Robert Louis Stevenson

But it should be noted the 1889 edition does not contain the afterward, but that letter is in the public domain, and or you can get it in a different volume from the Catholic Truth Society. The preface begins with these words:

"The issue of the following volume would have been impossible without the kind assistance and encouragement of Father Damien's brother, Father Pamphile. It is he who has furnished us with the interesting letters it contains. It is he who has supplied the notes which form the substance of it. It is he who has written the Introduction, which is literally translated in the following pages."

Over the years I have read numerous books about Father Damien and watched films about his life. This volume is the most complete collection of his own words that is available in the English language. As such it is a fascinating read, especially for anyone with a devotion or affinity for Father Damien. It is wonderful to read him, in his own words, to hear his voice after a fashion. As compared to the stories about him, no matter how good those books are The eBook edition also contains an afterwards 'An Open Letter from Robert Louis Stevenson to Reverend Charles McEwan Hyde'. But as that is in the public domain numerous copies are available.

After all the books I have read about Father Damien in was truly a blessings to be able to read his personal letters. This is an excellent little volume, weather you track down the original or the reprint.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here. And if you need it this one can be found online here.


Reviews of Books and Movies about Saint Damien:
Apostle of the Exiled St. Damien of Molokai - Margaret Bunson & Matthew Bunson
Pilgrimage and Exile: Mother Marianne of Molokai by: Sister Mary Laurence Hanley, O.S.F.
Molokai: The Story of Father Damien by: Paul Cox
Molokai: The Story of Father Damien
Saint Damien of Molokai - Virginia Helen Richards and D. Thomas Halpin
Father Damien de Veuster Apostle to the Lepers - Glynn MacNiven-Johnston
The Life and Letters of Father Damien, Apostle of the Lepers - Edited by Pamphile De Veuster 

Father Damien's Letters
...

Prayer of the Day - Saint Damien Prayer