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Showing posts with label Rosary. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rosary. Show all posts

Thursday, 6 February 2020

Multicam Soldier Rosary with a St. Joseph Medal - Rugged Rosaries - Product Review

Multicam Soldier Rosary with a St. Joseph Medal
With Copper Rosary Ring
Rugged Rosaries

I love a good Rosary. And I always have one on me, and one in my pack. A few years ago, my wife made me promise to stop buying new ones because I had do many. But I also tend to give a lot of them away. That is what happened in this case. I received this rosary to review. A couple of years ago I got a Black Armour of God Paracord Rosary from Catholic Milestones in Canada and love it. I also received a Spiritual Ammo Can from Roman Catholic Man which had a  set of WWI Battle Beads. Both have excellent rosaries. But after a recent post about breaking one of my favorite Pope Benedict XVI rosaries a few people suggest I test the Rugged Rosaries.

This was one of two I was interested in trying. The other being the Crusaders Rosary in Black and Red. I liked this one from the moment I opened the package. First it not only contained the Rosary, but also a sturdy carrying pouch. It also contained a matching copper rosary ring.

I took this one to church and had it blessed a few days after it arrived. And then I went out to visit a friend. He is currently in a wheelchair and to be honest had hands larger than mine. His face lit up when I showed him the rosary and he loved the heft, size and feel of it. Also, the finger rosary was large enough to fit his fingers. He has two others, but they do not fit all the way up his fingers. I felt prompted to gift them to him. And he was very appreciative. He also was able to test how rugged they actually are. A few days after he received it some stuff fell from the tray on his chair. He thought he had it all picked up until he heard a loud sound when he moved the chair. He ran over the rosary. It survived with out even a mark. These truly are Rugged Rosaries.

This was a beautiful rosary and as can be seen from the story above it is durable. I like the larger beads so I can pray it while walking in the winter. If their other products are as good as this, I have no qualms recommending them. Great Rosaries to pick up for yourself or as a gift for others.

Friday, 20 December 2019

The Tale of Patrick Peyton - Philip Kosloski, Jim Fern, Michael Lavoy, and Willy Raymond C.S.C.

The Tale of Patrick Peyton
Philip Kosloski
Jim Fern (Illustrator)
Michael Lavoy (Illustrator)
Willy Raymond C.S.C.
Holy Cross Family Ministries
Voyage Comics & Publishing
ISBN 9780578571027

I am not much of a comic or even that much of a graphic novel guy. But this one really grabbed my attention. I knew the name of Father Patrick Peyton but really did not know about his story. And this book was every eye opening. This book has been a real challenge to me, and I have added other books by and about Father Peyton to my wish list. And it all started with this little volume.

The life of Father Peyton presented in this book is incredible. Follow him from his time as a young boy dreaming of being a priest. Being turned down by ever order in Ireland. Coming to America with his brother to make his fortune. To returning to that original dream of the priesthood. He miraculously overcame tuberculous. And he lived to spread devotion to Mary and the Rosary.

The work that he did first developing radio programs for the family rosary. Then developing television and movies to support the ministry. Some of the stars and media personalities that he got to work with the ministry. And His traveling the world to teach the importance of the Rosary. No matter what the station of life. Parents, families, prisoners, the elderly. He believed everyone could pray the rosary. And that it was important for them to be doing so for themselves, for their country, and for the whole world. 

The story itself is incredible. And the illustrations are wonderfully done and really add to the story. There is a wide variety of page layouts, and designs used. And it makes it an excellent story. I have read this and reread it with my son. And I will look for other biographies from Kosloski and Voyage Comics & Publishing. 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Philip Kosloski:
Basic Field Manual for Hearing God's Voice
3 Methods of Prayer That Will Change Your Life
In the Footsteps of a Saint: John Paul II's Visit to Wisconsin
Star of the Sea: A Mariner's Journey
A Practical Guide to Discern God's Will
Serviam: A Practical Guide to Discerning God's Will
Distractions: A Step-By-Step Guide on How to Stay Focused During Prayer
The Horarium: A Simple Guide to Creating a Daily Prayer Schedule That Will Change Your Life
The Last Monks of Skellig Michael

The Tale of Patrick Peyton

Finnian and the Seven Mountains:
Issue 1
Issue 2

The Mission of Joan of Arc:
Issue 1

Sunday, 8 December 2019

Learning to Love Journeys Through Life with the Rosary - Father Nigel Woollen

Learning to Love: 
Journeys Through Life with the Rosary
Father Nigel Woollen
Veritas Publications

This is the second volume from the masterful pen of father Nigel Woolen that I have read. In fact, as I write this review I am reading it through a second time. One sentence in the book stood out and felt like it was written directly to me:

“We sometimes feel that everyday we fall short of doing his will, but God loves a good trier and will never let us down, if we keep learning to trust on the way.”


"When we don't know what to pray, recite the lord's prayer it is enough, as it contains everything we need.Trying to pray is already praying - and God loves a good trier."

From the moment I picked up this volume, till I finished it the first time. I felt the words flowing into my heart and spirit. I struggle with reading physical books, but this one was worth the effort not only once but now almost a second time through. The chapters in this volume are:

Introduction: You Shall Love the Lord, Your God

I.  When You Sit in Your Houses:
Encountering the Lord – Joyful Mysteries
The Lord Comes to our House: Called and Chosen
1. The Annunciation: Learning to Receive
2. The Visitation: Bearing the Bearer of All Things
3. The Nativity: Glory to God and peace on Earth
4. The Presentation: The New temple
5. The Finding in the Temple: In My Father’s Company

II. When you Walk By the Way
The Apostles – Mysteries of Light
The Time of Missions: Sharing the Love We Have Encountered
1. The Baptism of the Lord: Learning to Walk
2. The Wedding Feast of Cana: Trusting in Him
3. The Proclamation of the Kingdom: Life in the Spirit
4. The Transfiguration: The Only Way is Up
5. The Institution of the Eucharist: You are What You Eat

III. When You Lie Down:
Sickness, Suffering, and Death – Sorrowful Mysteries
The Greatest Apostle of All: Blessed and Broken
1. The Agony in the Garden: Learning to pray
2. The Scourging at the Pillar: making Sense of Wasted Pain
3. The Crowning with Thorns: Behold Your King
4. The Carrying of the Cross: Out of the City
5. The Crucifixion: Into Your hands

IV. And When You Rise:
The Life of heaven – Glorious Mysteries
Toward the Goal: Their Fruits Go Before Them
1. The Resurrection: New Life
2. The Ascension: Learning to Hope
3. Pentecost: Receive the Holy Spirit
4. The Assumption of Mary: Drawn by Love
5. Mary is Crowned as Queen: Happy Endings

Postscript: Open Your Lips and Let God’s Word Be Heard

But this is not another book on how to pray the Rosary. And it is not a how to book. It is a series of deep meditations and reflections that tie into our lives the mysteries. I have loved the Rosary most of my life. Even when I had fallen away from the Catholic Church, I always kept a Rosary and often prayed it. But reading this book has had a profound impact on me and on my journey. For years now my personal email signature ha begun with ‘Yours, learning to be’. And when asked about it I would state that my goal as a Christian, as a Catholic was to learn to be, and learn to be good at being. Or as Matthew Kelly would put it to work to ‘become the best version of myself’. Or as Pope Benedict XVI would put it ‘Do not be afraid to be saints’. This is a life changing book. A few years ago I was asked to come up with my Top Ten Catholic Books, if I was making that list today this book would be on it. 

This book is a wonderful little volume. I am thankful to have had the chance to read it. I just wish it was easier to get in North America or that there was an eBook edition available. Father Nigel writes in such a down to earth and engaging style that I have loved both his books, and know that I will track down any future releases. I highly recommend this book. Give it a try I am sure you will not be disappointed. 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Nigel Woollen:
The Lamb Will Conquer: Reflections on the Knock Apparition
Learning to Love: Journeys Through Life with the Rosary

Friday, 2 November 2018

The ROSARY of Saint John Paul II Meditations, Prayers, and Practical Aids - Tom Hoopes

The ROSARY of Saint John Paul II:
Meditations, Prayers, and Practical Aids
Tom Hoopes
Holy Heroes Books
ISBN 9781936330775

This book is a wonderful volume. It would be a great addition to any personal or family library. It was so good that after finishing reading a physical copy I picked up the eBook, so I could always have a copy on me. The book begins with a mix of personal story and the teachings of Saint John Paul II. Tom shares with us his family’s journey to praying the Rosary together and how important it has become for them. He also draws from the writings of Saint John Paul Ii, to highlight what started their family Rosary and what inspired them to go deeper with this devotion. The sections in this first chapter are:

Daily Rosaries transform the world.
Daily Rosaries transform families.
Daily Rosaries strengthens us against sin.
Daily Rosaries can transform your life.
The Daily Rosary can transform your death.

The complete list of chapters in the book is:
Rediscover the Rosary!
The Method of Saint John Paul II
The Joyful Mysteries
The Luminous Mysteries
The Sorrowful Mysteries
The Glorious Mysteries
Closing Prayers

The second chapter of the book is a 4-page overview of how to pray the rosary according to the method of Saint John Paul II.  And once we get into the chapters on each set of mysteries. Each Mystery has a full-page picture a piece of artwork to help with the reflection. Each Mystery then has a biblical passage with breaks marked so that a part can be read with each Hail Mary making this a biblical Rosary devotion.

There are many wonderful books on why, or how to pray the Rosary. And in the last few years there have been numerous books on a renewed interest in this devotion. This is not a volume about the theology, history or reasons to pray this way. It is a clear concise guide on praying the Rosary. It is a wonderful little book. It would be an excellent edition to your spiritual toolbox. So pick it up and grab your beads and get praying.

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

Books by Tom Hoopes:
The ROSARY of Saint John Paul II
What Pope Francis Really Said: Words of Comfort and Challenge

Books from Holy Heroes:
Fatima Family Handbook
The ROSARY of Saint John Paul II
Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy

Thursday, 11 October 2018

A Rosary Litany - Fr. Edward Looney

A Rosary Litany
Fr. Edward Looney
Our Sunday Visitor
ISBN 9781681923376

This book was first published in 2016 and is now republished in 2018. And with the reprinting it has a new cover and also an eBook edition. Over the last few years I have read a number of books about the Rosary, I have several others on my to be read list. And have read many over all my years of reading. And this book was a wonderful surprise. The description of this book is:

""A Rosary Litany" reintroduces the Christian faithful to a pious custom of praying the rosary, promoted by St. Louis de Montfort, and recommended by Bl. Paul VI and St. John Paul II. Fr. Looney recommends several phrases which could be inserted into the Hail Mary after the names of Jesus or Mary. Inserting these phrases guides and focuses one's meditation on the rosary mystery and when prayed in succession, the rosary becomes litany-like."

And the chapters are:

The Rationale Behind A Rosary Litany
How to Use A Rosary Litany
From the Popes

Joyful Mysteries
1. Annunciation
2. Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth
3. Birth of Jesus
4. Presentation in the Temple
5. Finding of Jesus in the Temple

Luminous Mysteries
1. Baptism in the River Jordan
2. Wedding Feast at Cana
3. Proclamation of the Kingdom
4. Transfiguration
5. Institution of the Holy Eucharist

Sorrowful Mysteries
1. Agony in the Garden
2. Scourging at the Pillar
3. Crowning with Thorns
4. Carrying of the Cross
5. Crucifixion

Glorious Mysteries
1. Resurrection
2. Ascension
3. Descent of the Holy Spirit
4. Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
5. Coronation of Mary

About the Author

Father Looney in the introduction states:

"Perhaps in our technological era, which is consumed by noise, people are no longer able to be still for twenty minutes to bring themselves into the presence of God and reflect. It has become difficult to meditate on one thing for a short amount of time because our thoughts are fleeting and the worries of life distract us. That is why, in recent years, Rosary devotional books have been written - to assist in the meditative and contemplative aspect of the Rosary.

This small devotional book, A Rosary Litany, reintroduces the Christian faithful to an old custom of praying the Rosary. Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort, in The Secret of the Rosary, proposed for devotional purposes the addition of a meditative element to the Hail Mary prayer.

Popes Paul VI, in Marialis Cultus, and John Paul II, in Rosarium Virginis Mariae, also encouraged this devotion. These additional phrases guide and focus the meditation of the mystery within the context of the Hail Mary.

In each decade of A Rosary Litany, the de Montfort suggestion is provided, in addition to several other invocations that could be inserted after the name of Jesus or Mary. When prayed in succession, the Rosary becomes like a litany, on account of the varied invocations.

This book is a wonderful devotional guide. It was a very interesting read and wonderful way to read the rosary. In the chapter 'How to Use A Rosary Litany' we are offered three main ways to use a Rosary litany. Over all this is a wonderful little book. Over the last year I have read two other wonderful books on the rosary, first Marrying the Rosary to the Divine Mercy Chaplet by Shane Kapler and the other was Rediscover the Rosary: The Modern Power of an Ancient Prayer by Matthew Kelly. What I loved about the Kapler book was there were audio download links in the book, and you could download mp3's of the different mysteries. My son and I have been praying this version for over a year now. And that would be my only recommendation for this book, I would love to have audio downloads of even a few of the litany variations that I could pray along to while commuting to work. But other than that, this is an excellent book. If you already have a devotion to the rosary this book will help you experience it in a new way. And if you do not it is an excellent jumping off point. This book is wonderful, and I give it a solid 5/5 stars! I have already picked up father Looney's 'A Heart Like Mary's: 31 Daily Meditations to Help You Live and Love as She Does' and added it to my reading list. Give this little volume a try you will not be disappointed!

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

Books by Fr. Edward Looney:
A Heart Like Mary's: 31 Daily Meditations to Help You Live and Love as She Does
Our Lady of Good Help Mary's Message and Mission for Adele Brise and the World
A Rosary Litany
Our Lady of Good Help Prayer Book For Pilgrims

Lenten Journey with Mother Mary

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Product Review - Spiritual Ammo Can Set

Spiritual Ammo Can Set
Roman Catholic Gear
Roman Catholic Man

I received this as a Christmas present from my mother and sister in law. I had seen them online for a long time. It is a beautiful gift, and a wonderful tool in the spiritual life. The tin contains the following:

A Combat Rosary
A Scapular Medal Dog Tag
A Cloth Brown Scapular
A Holy Water Flask
A Blessed Salt Flask
54 Day Basic Training in Holiness Book
Combat Prayer Book
A leather Pouch

Over all I am very impressed with the concept and the execution. This is a little box full of spiritual weapons. And as we know our fight is not against flesh and blood but against powers and principalities. We have Holy Water in each bedroom, and around the house. But I love this little flask. It has never leaked and yet holds a good amount of holy water.

The rosary is very sturdy, I enjoy using it while walking. The rosary is the middle one on this picture:

(See picture for comparison. The four rosaries are:
The Paracord Rosary
A handmade stone rosary from a friend.
The Combat Rosary
A tiger's eyes gem from my wife for our wedding.
A rope rosary I carry in my pocket.)

I have asked my parish priest for blessed salt so I can have some. I remember a speaker years ago saying he would put blessed salt in his pockets when giving talks. He also carried both blessed salt and holy water and blessed every hotel room he stayed in when he travelled for work. I had never really thought of carrying my own. But will as soon as I can get some.

My only regret is that the tins are not a little sturdier. Mine was dented from the shipping process. And they do dent easily. So they are more for show than functionality.

Overall I am very happy with the set and appreciate the elements contained. It is a great gift, and my son is already asking when he can get one.

Review of books about the Rosary:
Rediscover the Rosary: The Modern Power of an Ancient Prayer - Matthew Kelly
Champions of the Rosary - Donald H. Calloway
Praying the Rosary Like Never Before - Edward Sri
Marrying the Rosary to the Divine Mercy Chaplet - Shane Kapler
A Single Bead - Stephanie Engelman
Rosary Books - Various Authors

Pocket Oratory

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Mary: Help in Hard Times - Marianne Lorraine Trouvé

Mary: Help in Hard Times
Marianne Lorraine Trouvé
Pauline Books and Media
ISBN 9780819849397

eISBN 9781306807135

I was intrigued by this book from the first time I read the cover. For even in the times when I wandered from the Catholic faith, I always felt a closeness and a grounding in my devotion to Mary. And this book was so much more that I had hoped for. The description of the book is:
"Discussing four of the Blessed Virgin's roles, Mary: Help in Hard Times is a combination of history, stories, and prayers in an approachable, practical size. Divided into three distinct sections, the book's first segment discusses four key moments of Mary's life. The second section contains personal stories of Mary's intercession, and the book closes with various Marian devotions and prayers. An added feature is the reflection questions after each section. Bringing strength to those who feel overwhelmed, Mary: Help in Hard Times is a hope-filled companion for everyone."
And the chapters in the book are:

Our Lady of Lourdes and the Immaculate Conception
Mary picks the lowly ones
Mary asked not only for prayer but for penance
Mary brings healing and peace
The Immaculate Conception
For Reflection and Prayer

Mary, the Virgin-Mother Who Brings Us Joy
Mary shows us how to have a happy life
Mary was full of joy
Mary's gift of self
For Reflection and Prayer

Mary Is Our Mother Too
Mary called Juan Diego by name
Mary spoke Juan's language
Mary asked for a church to be built in her honor
Mary Is the Mother of God
Mary Leads Us to Jesus
For Reflection and Prayer

Mary and the Assumption
Why Intercession?
The Assumption
For Reflection and Prayer

Basic Marian Prayers
The Oldest Prayer to Mary
The Hail Mary
The Angelus
The Regina Caeli (Queen of Heaven)
Hail, Holy Queen
Various Marian Prayers and Devotions
Loving Mother of the Redeemer
Prayer for the Ministers of the Word
The Rosary
How to Pray the Rosary
The Mysteries of the Rosary
Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Litany of Loreto)
Stabat Mater (Our Lady of Sorrows)
The Scapular Devotion
The Flower of Mount Carmel
The Miraculous Medal
Pray of Dedication to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal
Symbolism of the Medal
Cardinal Newman's Prayer in Honor of Our Lady
Devotion of the Five First Saturdays
The Three Hail Marys
Devotion to Mary, Untier of Knots
Mary in the Liturgy


From the introduction it states:
"Since then, Catholics and other Christians have held Mary in a unique place of honor. Her journey of faith is a model for our own. Through the Communion of Saints, as members of the one Body of Christ, she still helps us now. It's as if every time we ask her help, the curtain between earth and heaven is drawn back and blessings flow more abundantly, like a vast waterfall of grace."
I found this to be a powerful and moving book. I have always had a devotion to Mary, and in many ways turn to her in ways I never could or would have with my mother. In my darkest hours it was Mary whom I relied on. And this book has helped to deepen my devotion to her. I love that my children go up to the statue of Mary after mass, and after confession, I love that they want to spend time with Mary. I love that they kiss the statue or their hands and touch the statue. After reading The Saints Pray for Us, I loved it so much I bought a copy for each of my children and their school teachers. This is a book I will be buying for each of my children as they get to be a bit older. Next to Scott Hahn's Hail Holy Queen this is my favorite book on Mary to date. 

This book does an amazing job of balancing history, tradition, and faithful devotion. This is a book that anyone with a high school education can easily read and understand. But it is also a book that will open the heart. It draws heavily from the bible, the writings of the popes and from saints. The 'for reflection and prayer' at the end of each section of the book are wonderful. And to be honest I believe the most important paragraphs in the whole book are:

"Mary Leads Us to Jesus 
So what is the point of all this? It shows that everything about Mary leads back to Jesus. In calling her Mother of God, in fact we are affirming the truth that Jesus is both God and man. Whatever the Catholic Church teaches about Mary is rooted in its faith in Jesus Christ. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states this very succinctly: "What the Catholic faith believes about Mary is based on what it believes about Christ, and what it teaches about Mary illumines in turn its faith in Christ" (no. 487). 
Every teaching about Mary, whether it concerns her virginity, her Immaculate Conception, her Assumption, or her maternal mediation, is rooted in Jesus Christ and leads us to a deeper knowledge of him. Mother and Son are always found together. So we don't have to worry that if we honor Mary, we will forget about Jesus. Not at all! In fact, the great Marian shrines around the world are places of pilgrimage not just to honor Mary, but also to honor Jesus. Lourdes, for example, is famous for its Eucharistic procession, where Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is honored and invoked."

And that is what this book will help do, It will help root us deeper in Christ Jesus through Mary. This is a wonderful book and I highly recommend it.

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

Books by Marianne Lorraine Trouvé:
Mary: Help in Hard Times
A Scriptural Rosary
Sacred Heart of Jesus Prayer Book
Angels: Help from on High
Novena St Thomas Aquinas: Patron of Students and Catholic Schools
Divine Mercy in My Pocket
Purgatory Purifying Power
My Favorite Prayers & Novena
Praying Mysteries of Light
Praying the Rosary for Priests
Our Lady Undoer of Knots: Novena and Prayers
The Rosary with Pope Francis

Consecrated Life: John Paul II
Saint Thomas Aquinas: Saints By Our Side

Encounter the Saints Series:
Saint Catherine Labouré: And Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal
Saint Clare of Assisi: A Light for the World
Saint Thomas Aquinas: Missionary of Truth

Books contributed to:
The Catholic Answer Book of Mary
Honoring Mary with the Holy Father
Pope Francis in the U.S.: Words of Mercy and Hope

Books Edited by Marianne Lorraine Trouvé:
Mary Leads Us to Jesus
Mother of Christ, Mother of the Church: Documents on the Blessed Virgin Mary

Ordinary Grace Daily Reflections:
Ordinary Grace, Weeks 1-17
Ordinary Grace, Weeks 18-34
Easter Grace

Translated by:
Adventures of Saint Paul

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Black Armour of God Paracord Rosary with Stone Our Father Beads

Black Armour of God Paracord Rosary with Stone Our Father Beads
Paracord Rosary
Catholic Milestones

I have been seeing paracord rosaries online for a while now. A number of them have caught my attention. But shipping from the US has always been prohibitive. Plus taking the risk of huge customs charges. But holding this one, was the first time I had to really feel the weight and heft of one of these rosaries. When I opened the package, I wanted to use it right away. But I waited until I could have it blessed the next day at mass.

The description of this specific rosary on their website is:

“The original battle ready Catholic Milestones Armour of God Paracord Rosary.

Genuine Jasper Stone Our Father beads are a perfect accent to synthetic black coloured beads.  A powerful combination. Order yours today.  The Saint Benedict medal is included, and the Via Crucis crucifix features the stations of the cross on the back.

Paracord Rosaries are strong, durable, and will never tangle.  Perfect to carry in your backpack or bag.”

And it more than lives up to those statements. It is by far my largest rosary. And it is not a pocket rosary, unless you are always in cargo pants of shorts. But there are some advantages to the size of this rosary.

(See picture for comparison. The four rosaries are:
The Paracord Rosary
A handmade stone rosary from a friend.
A tiger’s eyes gem from my wife for our wedding.
A rope rosary I carry in my pocket.)

This rosary is not a lot longer, but it is much more solid. I walk in the winter a lot. This one has large enough beads that I can pray it while walking with my gloves on. One-day last week it was -15 C and while walking at lunch I was able to pray this rosary. I have prayed with this rosary many times over the last few weeks. I know that it will be one I use often. I carry a small rosary in my pocket, but this one will stay in my work laptop backpack.

My children loved this rosary and I will need to plan to get each of them one over the next year. These are beautifully crafted, but also made to stand up to heavy use. Over the years I have given away dozens of rosaries. If someone commented that they like the one I was using I passed it on. But over the years I have also had many, many rosaries that broke just with daily use. That will not be the case with one of these paracord rosaries. These would make beautiful gifts. And I love that it is a Canadian company. If you are in the market for a new rosary for yourself or for a gift you cannot go wrong with one from this company!

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Rediscover the Rosary - Matthew Kelly - The Modern Power of an Ancient Prayer

Rediscover the Rosary:
The Modern Power of an Ancient Prayer
Matthew Kelly
Wellspring Publishing
Beacon Publishing for
Dynamic Catholic
ISBN 9781929266500
eISBN 9781929266524 
ASIN B0772WH865

In the last two years I have read 14 books by Matthew Kelly. And I have found that all of them have helped me grow in my faith. From reading 'Why Am I Here?' with my children, many times over to just finishing this read and devouring it in 4 sittings over 2 days.  It all Started with 'Rediscover Advent' back  in 2015, and now in the fall of 2017 I am reading 'Rediscover the Rosary' and absolutely loved it. There are a number of books currently available in the Rediscover series, it Started with 'Rediscover Catholicism' and this books mentions another forthcoming volume 'Rediscover the Saints'. The books in this series are:

Rediscover Catholicism 
Rediscover Advent
Rediscover Lent
Rediscover Jesus
Rediscover the Rosary 
Rediscover the Saints

And to be honest this book was so good I look to see if I could find a release date for the Saints book, and went back and bumped 'Rediscover Catholicism' up to the top of my to be read list. But back to this specific book. The sections in this book are:

Part One
1. My Journey with the Rosary
2. A Unique Perspective
3. Praying with Beads
4. Dynamic Prayer
Part Two
5. The Joyful Mysteries
6. The Luminous Mysteries
7. The Sorrowful Mysteries
8. The Glorious Mysteries
Part Three
9. A Scriptural Rosary
Part Four
10. Every Family Needs a Prayerful Giant
11. Beautifully Aware
The Basics: How to Pray the Rosary
Quotes, Prayers, and Hymns About Mary and the Rosary
Marian Feast Days

Kelly in the first chapter mentions that the first book he wrote was 'Prayer & the Rosary' and he intended to sit down and rewrite it many times. For Matthew first wrote and published it when he was just 18 years old. But Many times he came back to reworking that book. And it often fell to the side. But this is finally the book he wanted it to be.

Now you might ask why another book on the Rosary?  A quick search on Good reads returns over 1100 results, Kindle almost 600, and books on Amazon returns over 4000 titles. And I have read 3 books on the rosary this year almost a dozen over the last 10 year. And I have two others I plan on reading that have been sitting in my 'to be read pile'. So why would I read another one? Well To start with everything I have read by Matthew Kelly has been excellent, he writes in such an engaging and succinct style. I find that when I read his books I often feel like he was writing directly to me. It was the same with this book. I have been praying the rosary almost every day for a few years now. And I feel this statement by Matthew is bang on: 
"Prayer makes me a better person. It makes me a better friend, a better father, a better husband, a better son and brother, a better employer and leader, a better citizen of this country, and a better member of the human family. Prayer makes me a-better-version-of-myself."
And on why he prays the Rosary:
"It just works. When I pray the Rosary, I am a better person. It makes me a better son, brother, husband, father, employer, neighbor, citizen, and a better member of the human family. It brings an incredible peace; it teaches us to slow down, calm down, let go, surrender, and listen. The Rosary teaches us how to just be, and that is not a small or insignificant lesson. In some ways it is the perfect prayer for busy people in a busy, noisy, confused world."
And those two quotes sum up why we pray and why we pray the Rosary! I also really appreciated this statement:
"I don't know how often you should pray the Rosary. There are some people who think everyone should pray the Rosary every day. In my own life, there have been months, even years, when I have prayed the Rosary every day. At other times, I have gone weeks and months without praying it. Generally I have discovered that when I make time for this simple but profound practice of prayer, I am a better person. When I have the discipline to pray the Rosary regularly, I seem to have a certain calmness and a heightened awareness, which makes me more readily disposed to living a life of virtue."
Kelly does not present a formula, but he speaks from his own experience and the benefits from praying it more often. The book also focuses some on prayer life in general and the Rosary being a great tool for prayer. There are three appendices, the first is the predictable How To Pray The Rosary. The second is a series of quotes about the Rosary, and a collection or prayers to Mary. And the Final is a selection of Marian Feasts.

This book was an excellent read. Before I had finished it I had already purchased another from Kelly to start next. I know that I will also likely reread this book again in a few months. And I can think of dozens of people I would love to hand this book to. This is another great read by Matthew Kelly, and I know reading and applying the advice in it, will help transform your prayer life, your life, and help you become the best version of yourself!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2017 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Matthew Kelly:
I Know Jesus
The Long View
Decision Point: The Workbook
Decision Point: The Leader Guide
The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic
The One Thing
Off Balance: Getting Beyond the Work-Life Balance Myth to Personal and Professional Satisfaction
Why Am I Here?
Perfectly Yourself: 9 Lessons for Enduring Happiness
Perfectly Yourself Discovering God's Dream For You
Building Better Families: A Practical Guide to Raising Amazing Children
The Dream Manager
The Seven Levels of Intimacy: The Art of Loving and the Joy of Being Loved
The Rhythm of Life: Living Every Day with Passion and Purpose
Building Better Families - 5 Practical Ways to Build Family Spirituality
The Book of Courage
The Shepherd: A Modern Parable about Our Search for Happiness
Mustard Is Persecution, Matthew Kelly Foundation
A Call to Joy - Living in the Presence of God
The Rhythm of Life: An Antidote For Our Busy Age
Words from God
Resisting Happiness
The Narrow Path
Our Father
Beautiful Hope
Beautiful Mercy
The Biggest Lie in the History of Christianity
Why I Love Being Catholic
Good Night, Jesus
In a world where you can be anything ...

Rediscover Books by Matthew Kelly:
Rediscover Catholicism: A Spiritual Guide to Living with Passion & Purpose
Rediscover Advent
Rediscover Lent
Rediscover Jesus: An Invitation
Rediscover the Rosary: The Modern Power of an Ancient Prayer
Rediscover the Saints

Audio by Matthew Kelly from Lighthouse Media:
Becoming The Best Version Of Yourself
The Best Way To Live
Don't Just Try, Train
Faith At Work & The Holy Moment
The Four Signs Of A Dynamic Catholic - Excerpt
The Jesus Question
My Spiritual Journey
Our Lives Change When Our Habits Change
Raising Amazing Children
The Seven Levels Of Intimacy
The Seven Pillars Of Catholic Spirituality

Monday, 31 July 2017

Praying the Rosary Like Never Before - Edward Sri - Encounter the Wonder of Heaven and Earth

Praying the Rosary Like Never Before:
Encounter the Wonder of Heaven and Earth
Edward Sri
Servant Books a division of
Franciscan Media
ISBN 9781632531780

For the last couple of years I have had a few books by Edward Sri on my to be read list, but had not got to them yet. After reading this book they have jumped way up in that pile of books waiting to be read. Dr. Edward Sri packs a lot of material into this short volume on the Rosary. In 12 chapters and under 200 pages this book is about encountering Jesus, engaging Jesus through Mary and being encouraged in our faith through this devotion. Dr. Sri encourages us by unfolding this simple prayer and taking the intimidation factor out of this practice. Throughout the book we are inspired to engage with Jesus and Mary and the biblical narrative. And Through the reflections, and meditation we will encounter Jesus and be drawn closer to him.

The book opens with a quote from Pope Saint John Paul II: "These words express, so to speak, the wonder of heaven and earth; they could be said to give a glimpse of God's own wonderment as he contemplates his "masterpiece"-the Incarnation of the Son in the womb of the Virgin Mary.… The repetition of the Hail Mary in the Rosary gives us a share in God's own wonder and pleasure: In jubilant amazement we acknowledge the greatest miracle of history." And that is Sri's starting point. He outlines how the Rosary can be integral to our faith, and how it can draw us home.

The chapters in this book are:
Why Pray the Rosary?
The Wandering Mind and Other Struggles
Too Much Attention to Mary?
The Hail Mary: Jesus at the Center
Repetition: You Can Never Say "I Love You" Enough
The Origins of the Rosary
More than Words: Ten Ways to Encounter Jesus More in the Rosary
Seeds for Contemplation: Biblical Reflections on the Joyful Mysteries
Seeds for Contemplation: Biblical Reflections on the Luminous Mysteries
Seeds for Contemplation: Biblical Reflections on the Sorrowful Mysteries
Seeds for Contemplation: Biblical Reflections on the Glorious Mysteries
A Scriptural Rosary
How to Pray the Rosary

In the preface Sri states:

"A good Catholic friend of mine summed up what I think is the sentiment of many: "If you could help a simple, ordinary guy like me understand what the rosary is all about and inspire me to find time to pray it, that would go a long way. I just need to figure out how to pray it in a way that will be meaningful to me." 
That's what this book aims to do: inspire ordinary Catholics to turn to their beads more often and help them pray the rosary in a way that is meaningful for their lives-in a way that is truly life-giving. And in the process, I hope they'll discover what many great saints and ordinary folk throughout the centuries have experienced: a deeper peace, joy, and encouragement that comes from the subtle but profound encounter one can have with Jesus and Mary in this prayer."
And that is what he does throughout the rest of the book. As you work through the book either on your own or in a group, each chapter ends with a series of questions. They are intended for group study but can also be worked through individually. Each chapter has either 4 or 5 questions in this section. The chapter that had the greatest impact on me was "More than Words: Ten Ways to Encounter Jesus More in the Rosary" The questions from the end of this chapter as an example are:

"Group Study Questions
1. Why is the Glory Be a fitting finale for each decade of the rosary? How does this prayer relate to the mysteries we contemplate?
2. How do the beads aid your prayer of the rosary?
3. Pope St. John Paul II wrote, "It is clear…that many people will not be able to recite more than a part of the Rosary" every day, and hence comes the practice of reciting different sets of mysteries on different days. Some people might find it difficult to recite even five decades at one sitting-or kneeling. What are some ways of incorporating the rosary into a busy schedule?
4. The pope suggested that reciting different mysteries throughout the week "has the effect of giving the different days…a certain spiritual 'color'" (RVM, 38). How can the Joyful Mysteries color your Mondays and Saturdays? The Luminous, your Thursdays? The Sorrowful, your Tuesdays and Fridays? The Glorious, your Sundays?"

The four chapters going deeper in the bible on each of the different mysteries are wonderful. And overall it is an excellent book. I would see it becoming a spiritual classic on the Rosary over the next few decades. It is a wonderful book and a great tool for our spiritual life. I highly recommend it!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2017 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Edward Sri:
Mystery of the Kingdom: On the Gospel of Matthew
Follow Me: Meeting Jesus in the Gospel of John
Queen Mother: A Biblical Theology of Mary's Queenship
Dawn of the Messiah: The Coming of Christ in Scripture
A Biblical Walk Through the Mass: Understanding What We Say and Do In The Liturgy
Men, Women and the Mystery of Love: Practical Insights from John Paul II's Love and Responsibility
Walking with Mary: A Biblical Journey from Nazareth to the Cross
The Bible Compass: A Catholic's Guide to Navigating the Scriptures
The New Rosary in Scripture: Biblical Insights for Praying the 20 Mysteries
The Real Story: Understanding the Big Picture of the Bible
Who Am I to Judge? Responding to Relativism with Logic and Love
Dawn of the Messiah: The Coming of Christ in Scripture
Love Unveiled: The Catholic Faith Explained
The Advent of Christ: Scripture Reflections to Prepare for Christmas
Pope Francis and the Joy of the Gospel: Rediscovering the Heart of a Disciple
A Guide to the New Translation of the Mass
Praying the Rosary Like Never Before: Encounter the Wonder of Heaven and Earth
The Da Vinci Code and the Bible: Separating Fact from Fiction
The Da Vinci Deception: 100 Questions about the Facts and Fiction of the Da Vinci Code

Contributed to:
Catholic for a Reason: Scripture and the Mystery of the Family of God
Catholic for a Reason II: Scripture and the Mystery of the Mother of God
Catholic for a Reason III: Scripture and the Mystery of the Mass
Scripture & the Mystery of the Mass
Letter & Spirit, Volume 8: Promise and Fulfillment: The Relationship Between the Old and New Testaments