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Showing posts with label WellspringPublishing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label WellspringPublishing. Show all posts

Saturday, 11 January 2020

Good Night, Jesus - Matthew Kelly and Josh Nash

Good Night, Jesus
Matthew Kelly
Josh Nash (Illustrator)
Wellspring Publishing
formerly
Beacon Publishing for
Dynamic Catholic
ISBN 9781929266869


My children and I have read Why Am I Here?, by Matthew Kelly countless times. They will often ask to read it, we have lent it to our school, and purchased a copy for the teachers resource section. And this is a book we have wanted to read for years. The day it arrived, as soon as they were home from school my children wanted to read it. First my youngest read it to me, and then later my middle child read it to me. And we have decided to give it to friends who are expecting their first child.

This is a wonderful little board book on prayer. And specifically on ending the day in prayer. There are 16 pages. Some are prayer, some are prayer prompts , and some are suggestions of things to pray for. Both children loved the … where they could fill in their own prayers.

The illustrations in this volume are wonderful. Both children though well beyond board books loved this volume and especially the illustrations. A softer pastel pallet is used, but there is also great details in the art work.

It is an excellent early prayer book for children. If we had this when our three were younger it would have been read hundreds of not thousands of times by now. This is a wonderful little volume. That is a book we will want to keep copies of on hand to be able to give away when young children visit and for friends who have new children.

Another amazing read from Matthew Kelly.







Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 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











Saturday, 30 November 2019

The Advent of Christmas - Matt Maher and Mercè Tous

The Advent of Christmas
Matt Maher
Mercè Tous (Illustrator)
Wellspring
ISBN 9781635820515



My children and I have been big fans of Matt Maher’s music for years now. My youngest goes to sleep every night with ‘Lord I Need You’ Playing on repeat. And my son goes to bed with the Advent of Christmas album playing. And both are currently learning to plan songs from the album either on piano or ukulele. Their eyes popped when they saw this book sitting on the kitchen table when they came in from school. They were so excited. They could not wait to read it. So I read it to them whole they had a snack, and then my youngest read it to me.

This book was an instant family favorite. In fact, there was some debate over ownership as the boy wanted to keep it in his room, and the girls wanted to keep it in theirs. For now, it sits on the bookshelf in the living room. But I will likely pick up some more copies, one to donate to our school library and one so they can each have it in their rooms.

This book is wonderfully done. The illustrations by Mercè Tous are excellent. The pictures are stunning. Some are full two pages spreads with text over the artwork. Others are one page with a facing page of text. A few of them would make wonderful posters or prints for the children’s room. I particularly like the ones of the nativity and ancient scenes. My youngest loves the modern ones, the families, the crowds, and the holiday decorations.

The story goes back and forth, between a family celebrating advent now, and the first advent scenes. I was expecting something more lyrical from Matt Maher. But maybe it is much better that it does not read as a song put into a book.

This is a wonderful book that will be treasured by our family, and I am certain yours for years and years to come. A wonderful addition to our advent traditions.

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







Thursday, 7 November 2019

How to Make Great Decisions - Father Mike Schmitz

How to Make Great Decisions
Fr. Mike Schmitz
Wellspring Publishing
ISBN 9781635820669
eISBN 9781635820805
ASIN B07WDS11GV



I have been a fan of Father Mike’s videos through Ascension Presents for a few years now. And I enjoyed his contributions to Beautiful Hope and Beautiful Mercy. And have been waiting for a book by him. And it was worth the wait. I had this book on my wish list from the movement it appeared. And I picked up the eBook the day it released. I read the book slowly over three days. Each of those three days I attended mass and at some point, later in the day read two of the chapters. The sections in this book are:

The Cure For Expressive Individualism
Three Levels Of Vocation
Decisions And Discernment
Three Questions
The Door
Questions And Answers

And it was so worth the wait. I highlighted 37 passages in this volume the first time I read it through. There is so much valuable advice in this book. It is one of those books I will read over and over again. I will likely reread this book each year for at least the next few years. And it is a book I would love to see put in the hands of every Catholic High School graduate. This is a book I would have benefit greatly from reading in my teens, 20’s, and even 30’s. And as I approach 50 I still consider the lessons valuable and life changing. The first passage I highlighted was:

“Now, that word my is a really interesting word. It implies some sense of ownership. But in a deeper Christian sense, even my life is not really mine.”

Right from the beginning of this second paragraph of the book I knew it was not only going to meet expectations but exceed them. I will share some of the passages I highlighted to give you a feel for some of the knowledge and wisdom in this volume.

“True discernment is more than just thinking about something. Discernment involves action. It also involves a decision. And the very first decision is whether it’s about my life and my vocation or whether it’s about God’s will for my life and my vocation.”

“Vocation means that we are called out of ourselves. We’re living our life, and at some point, God steps in and says, “Okay, I’m calling you out of yourself. Calling you out of your life. I’m calling you to participate in my life. I’m calling you to look up from yourself and look at others.””

“The point is, no matter what God calls us to, there will be sacrifices. I always say that the vocation of marriage and family is where bad people go to die. Marriage is the vocation where bad people go to die to themselves out of love for their spouse and their kids.”

“That’s what your vocation is, and that’s also what holiness is. St. Maximilian Kolbe explained holiness this way to the novices in his community. On a chalkboard he would write this equation:

w (your will) + W (God’s will) = S (Sanctity)

Sanctity is when my will conforms to God’s will. That’s sanctity; that’s holiness. That’s it. That’s the whole thing. Holiness is not a matter of not sleeping because you’re praying all night. It’s not a matter of fasting all day. It’s never a matter of serving this way or that way or the other way. It’s all about your will conforming to God’s will. That’s holiness. That’s sanctity. That’s what it is to be a saint. That’s what your vocation is about. There’s nothing less and nothing more than that.”


The Three Levels of Holiness:

“When it comes to vocation, there are three levels. The first is the universal call to holiness—your will conformed to God’s will. Every human being on the planet is called to be a saint.”

“The second level of vocation is what we typically think of when we think of vocation: the call to the priesthood, to married life, to consecrated single life, to religious life.”

“The third level of vocation is: What is God calling me to today? What task has he given me today? What is the season he’s placed me in today? How is he calling me to say yes on a moment-by-moment, day-to-day basis? This sense of vocation changes a lot over the course of our lives.”

“The point is when we are discerning our vocation, what we’re really discerning is the primary relationship God is calling us to focus on. This kind of vocation might change once or twice in our lifetime.”

“That’s why this is a secondary vocation. Your primary vocation is to be a saint. Knowing that, where is God leading you right now? What will lead you closer to that? That’s what we discern. That’s why we get to make decisions.”

The two truths and three questions sections are amazing. And ones I will come back to frequently. Father Schmitz states:

“If you make it a habit to ask these three questions, I can absolutely guarantee you will never, ever, ever miss your vocation. You’ll never ever miss God’s call for your life. The channels will be open and connected to him. You’ll say yes on a regular basis. And by giving him at least twenty minutes every day, you’ll be giving him time to say, “Hey knucklehead, wake up—here’s what you need to do.” You will never, ever miss out on discerning God’s will for your life.”

This is an incredible read. And no matter what stage of life you are in you will benefit from reading it. And while you are at it pick up a few extra copies to be able to give away to friends and family.

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

Books By Father Mike Schmitz:
Made for Love: Same-Sex Attraction and the Catholic Church
How to Make Great Decisions
Quick Catholic Lessons with Fr. Mike


Contributed to:
Beautiful Hope
Beautiful Mercy
Pray, Decide, and Don't Worry: Five Steps to Discerning God's Will
Don't Be Afraid to Say Yes to God! Pope Francis Speaks to Young People


Audio Talks by Father Mike Schmitz:
Living Life by Design, Not by Default
Love - Sacrifice - Trust He Showed Us the Way
From Love, By Love, For Love
True Worship
The Four Last Things
Jesus Is …
Changed Forever - The Sacrament of Baptism
We Must Go Out - The Sacrament of Confirmation

 




Thursday, 21 February 2019

Why I Love Being Catholic - Matthew Kelly - Dynamic Catholic Ambassadors Share Their Hopes and Dreams for the Future

Why I Love Being Catholic: 
Dynamic Catholic Ambassadors Share Their Hopes and Dreams for the Future
Matthew Kelly (Forward)
Wellspring Publishing
for Dynamic Catholic
ISBN 9781635820454
eISBN 9781635820638
ASIN B07GXN8ZRH


This book is part of an ever-growing genre of books about why people are catholic. I have read a few books along this line over the last year. Titles such as:

Why I Am Catholic (and You Should Be Too) by Brandon Vogt
Why We're Catholic: Our Reasons for Faith, Hope, and Love by Trent Horn
Forty Reasons I Am a Catholic by Peter Kreeft

And a slew of other books I have not considered reading yet. And yet this book is something very different from those three and the others in the genre at large. For this book is a collection from numerous contributors. There is no index, so I am not sure f some of the contributors offered answers in more than one section. But overall this book is an interesting read. There are moments that will make you smile, a few that might pull tears, and a lot that are inspiring. The book is broken into three sections:

Foreword 
One Why Do You Love Being Catholic? 
Two What Is Your Favorite Memory as a Catholic? 
Three As a Catholic, What Are Your Hopes for the Future?

The answers rand from a single sentence, to several paragraphs. And the answers as a diverse as you would expect from asking a hundred people such open-ended questions. It was a great book to read through, at times I felt inspired, at times encouraged and at times just empathy for the story being shared. 

I could see this book being used in the recruitment of Dynamic Catholic Ambassadors. I could also see it as a bathroom reader, just pick it up every time you are there and randomly read a story or two. Or keep it by your bed site table or prayer corner for when you need a little inspiration or motivation. This is a book I could not see myself reading through from beginning to end again but could see my self flipping through and reading a story from time to time. Overall a good read but definitely a niche market.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 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

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Theology of the Body for Beginners - Christopher West - Rediscovering the Meaning of Life, Love, Sex and Gender

Theology of the Body for Beginners: 
Rediscovering the Meaning of Life, Love, Sex and Gender
Saint John Paul II Edition
Christopher West
Wellspring Publishing
formerly
Beacon Publishing for
Dynamic Catholic
ISBN 9781635820072

eISBN 9781929266456
ASIN B07B8WT4KJ


This book is the third revision of this text. And is in some ways a culmination of almost two decades work on this topic by Christopher West. Previously I have only read one book by Christopher West, Love Is Patient, But I'm Not: Confessions of a Recovering Perfectionist, and it was an amazing read. And I doubt you could find a Catholic that has not heard about Saint Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body. So it was about time that I dove into this topic myself. This book was first published in 2002, revised in 2009 and this third edition was released in 2018. I have the eBook of the second edition, and it has been sitting in my 'to be read pile' for a long time, but when I read about this new edition I picked it up and devoured it. The chapters in this book are:

Introduction
One: What Is the Theology of the Body?
Two: The Creation of the Body
Three: The Redemption of the Body
Four: The Resurrection of the Body
Five: Celibacy for the Kingdom
Six: Marriage as a Divine Gift
Seven: Marriage as a Human Sign of Divine Love
Eight: Theology in the Bedroom
Conclusion

The beginning of the description of this book is:

"Divorce. Broken families. Sexual abuse. Addiction. Pornography. Same-sex marriage. Gender issues. Everywhere we look, we find more and more confusion about the most fundamental truths of human life. As we lose our basic understanding of the meanings of man, woman, marriage, and sex, the question becomes ever more urgent: What does it mean to be a human being? The human race seems unable to answer this question."

If we look at secular culture today we can see the world turning itself over to every kind of identity issue. The sexual revolution has run amok and we have the #me2 movement and the clergy abuse scandal of 2018 that highlight the opposite ends of those failures. In this book Christopher West gives an introduction, and summary of Saint Pope John Paul II's teachings on the theology of the body. He delves into questions on the meaning of life. How do we fulfil our deepest desires? Questions around God having created us male and female, and what that means to us as individuals and as societies.  And he draws us to conclusions around finding true happiness on earth and eternal life through finding God's will and pursuing it.

In many ways this book is a crash course or 'Coles Notes' on decades of writings from Pope Saint John Paul II. It is an easily accessible read, and would be good for high school students, university students and adults beginning their study of this subject. Looking back on my own life and my years away from the Catholic church a book like this would have caused me much less hurt, and helped me to hurt others less. 

This book is thoroughly Catholic. It clearly and concisely explains many aspects of the Catholic world view around sex, sexuality, and intimacy. I know that Christians of other denominations have used this book for study, but if you are not Christian there is likely much in this book that would be opposite your world view. It was an excellent read and I wish I had read it earlier. And I give this new edition top marks.

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

Books by Christopher West:
Good News About Sex & Marriage: Answers to Your Honest Questions about Catholic Teaching
Heaven's Song
At the Heart of the Gospel: Reclaiming the Body for the New Evangelization
The Love That Satisfies: Reflections on Eros & Agape

Thursday, 30 August 2018

The Biggest Lie in the History of Christianity - Matthew Kelly - How the Modern Culture Is Robbing Billions of People of Happiness

The Biggest Lie in the History of Christianity: How the Modern Culture Is Robbing Billions of People of Happiness
Matthew Kelly
Wellspring Publishing
for Dynamic Catholic
ISBN 9781635820409
eISBN 9781635820614
ASIN B07FCS6TTQ


I have been a fan of the works of Matthew Kelly since I first read one of his books late in 2015. Since that time, I have read a book by him a total of 18 times. I have been bouncing around his different titles randomly pickling what to read next. This book is his most recent publication, at the time of writing this review. This book has a densely packed 15 chapters:

1. Life Is A Puzzle 
2. Your Happiness Project 
3. The False Promises And Lies Of This World 
4. I've Been Lying To Myself 
5. So Many Lies About Christianity 
6. The Biggest Lie 
7. Prove It! 
8. One Beautiful Truth 
9. The World Needs Changing 
10. It's Been Done Before 
11. History Is Presenting Christianity 
      With A New Opportunity 
12. Everyday Miracles 
13. Live An Intriguing Life 
14. Our Dirty Little Secret 
15. Now Is Your Time! 

After the last book I reviewed by Matthew Kelly a reader reached out to me and asked if Kelly was just a Catholic version of Max Lucado. I thought about that for a while, when I was involved with non-denomination campus ministries I read a lot of Lucado. Eventually I stopped because it all felt the same. It came to feel like Lucado just continued to present variations on a theme without having much real new content. And I feel the same way about Mark Batterson. But with Matthew Kelly I have not felt that at all yet. Yes Kelly writes with a great deal of passion, and he does sometimes use the same illustrations. And his catch phrase: 'Becoming the best version of yourself' appears often in his writings. But even with all of that with each new book by Kelly that I read I have a renewed interest in reading more of his works. Every time I finish one I go and pick one I have not read and add it to my to be read pile. 

In this book Kelly states:

"Transforming people one at a time is at the heart of God's plan for the world. It is also essential to developing dynamic marriages, loving families, vibrant Christian communities, thriving businesses and economies, and extraordinary schools and nations. If you get the man right (or the woman, of course), you get the world right."

and

"The thing is, our deep yearning isn't for momentary pleasures; it is for lasting
happiness in a changing world. The world is always changing; we cannot control every situation. Situational happiness is easy. It is easy to be happy lying on an exotic tropical beach all day for a week. But so much of this happiness is dependent on the situation. What we are really hungry for is a happiness that is independent of the situation."

Matthew also shares with us form his personal experience. He states:

"Through my own quest for happiness, there are a few things I
have learned:

 Happiness and pleasure are not the same thing.
 Getting what I want doesn't make me happy.
 Focusing on myself almost never leads to happiness.
 I am never happy when I pretend to be someone I am not.
 Too much of the happiness I experience is dependent on unsustainable circumstances or situations.
 The more I help others in their quest for lasting happiness, the happier I seem to be.
 Lying never makes me happy.
 Happiness is always found by embracing the present moment.
 It is impossible to be grateful and unhappy at the same time.
 Anything that helps me become a-better-version-of-myself makes me happy, even if it is difficult or painful.
 Happiness is contagious."

And he shows us that the way we find true happiness is by pursuing answers to four questions. 

"Who am I?
What am I here for?
What matters most?
What matters least?"

He also shares with us that:

"It is this fact-that we lie to ourselves-that is of particular importance
here. Humanity's ability to deceive itself knows no limits."

Or

"Whenever and wherever Christians have taken the idea that holiness is possible seriously, Christianity has thrived. Whenever and wherever the biggest lie in the history of Christianity has prevailed and everyday holiness has been set aside, Christianity has fumbled along clumsily with limited impact or become stagnant."

"I don't like alarm clocks. Just the name disturbs me. Who wants to start the day alarmed? But when you check into a hotel, they often ask you if you would like a wakeup call. I like that. We all need a wakeup call from time to time. I needed one last year. Maybe you need one right now. It is just so easy to fall into the mode of sleepwalking through life."

I hope that those few quotes will help you appreciate some of the message that is in this wonderful book. Of all the books I have read by Kelly this is the best so far. I highly recommend it.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 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


Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Invest Yourself: Daring to Be Catholic in Today's Business World - John M. Abbate

Invest Yourself:
Daring to Be Catholic in Today's Business World
John M. Abbate

Wellspring Publishing
formerly
Beacon Publishing for
Dynamic Catholic
ISBN 9781635820232
eISBN 9781942611875
ASIN B07B3GDB8D

 


I need to start by saying that I enjoyed this book. But I believe that some people will give up on it, or not engage because the examples so often come from McDonald's. John Abbate is an owner operator who has spent years investing in his business, and the people who work for him. There are some incredible stories in this book. So please if you give it a change I am sure you will be challenged, and inspired by this volume.

Lately I have come across a number of books on work and faith. In the last few months I have read this book and two others on similar topics. The books I have read recently are:

Working well, working for love: On the sanctification of work in the teachings of St Josemaría Escrivá by Javier López Díaz
Force for Good: The Catholic Guide to Business Integrity by  Brian Engelland

And my favourite book on the topic is from a few years back by Kevin Lowry called: 'Faith at Work: Finding Purpose Beyond the Paycheck' This book is a good read and really does approach it from a different perspective. This book was on my radar for a while. But because I had already picked up and read the two books above I hesitated investing in a third book on the same topic in such a short time. And yet I kept encountering this book, on Facebook, on twitter, and even a few friends mentioning it. So I decided to give it a chance. I am very thankful that I did.

The chapters in this volume are:
Choosing Prosperity
In the Beginning … There Was Economics
From "Me First" to "Daring to Be the First"
Pilgrimage: Who Do You Say That I Am?
Realizing Our Christian Identity
A Novel Perspective: Work as Vocation
Finding Our Strength in Humility
The Power of Christian Hope
A Journey toward Happiness
Discovering Joy in Sacrifice
Living a Legacy Today
Leadership at the Service of Life
Afterword

This book is part personal story but also includes stories from many people Joh, his wife and his organization have worked with. In the first chapter on prosperity John states:

"My experiences with Catholic conferences, pilgrimages, and professional business organizations such as Legatus have opened my eyes to the abundance of talented and faithful men and women who are willing and able to carry on the mission of the Church. These heroic people are the future of this great faith. Their enthusiasm, sacrifice, and talent are infectious."
Knowing Beacon Publishing I was not worried the book would begin with a 'Health and Wealth' gospel so popular with TV Evangelists.  But even so I was not sure exactly what to expect. From this chapter the above quote and this one below both really had an impact on me:
"We have all received an abundant inheritance from our forefathers. We stand on the shoulders of so many resilient and courageous figures of our past. Today we must choose to be the link that keeps our Catholic history alive in our families, our communities, and our culture. When we choose to learn about and share our own family history and embrace the richness of the tradition of our Catholic faith, we become the instrument that continues the mission of Matthew 28. We spread the Good News to all corners of the world."
John talks about his own failings in an open, honest and vulnerable way. He takes us through his own journey from being a business man, to his encounter with God in a new way, to being a Christian in business. He shares with us stories about working with his team members through difficult times. And he shares about what being an owner does in allowing him to give more flexibility and support to his people.

Nearly every business these days talks about employee engagement. John walks us through how his faith changed his management style and how employee's became the purpose and not the process. It is a great read and I highly recommend it. And if you do enjoy it I am sure will be engaged with the others listed above.

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


Books about Faith and Work:
Faith at Work: Finding Purpose Beyond the Paycheck - Kevin Lowry
Working well, working for love: On the sanctification of work in the teachings of St Josemaría Escrivá - Javier López Díaz
Force for Good: The Catholic Guide to Business Integrity -  Brian Engelland
Invest Yourself: Daring to Be Catholic in Today's Business World - John M Abbate



Thursday, 17 May 2018

Rediscover Catholicism A Spiritual Guide to Living with Passion & Purpose - Matthew Kelly

Rediscover Catholicism:
A Spiritual Guide to Living with Passion & Purpose
Matthew Kelly
Wellspring Publishing
formerly
Beacon Publishing for
Dynamic Catholic
ISBN 9781937509675
eISBN 9781937509019
ASIN B005FHXSQ6


In the last three years I have read 17 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 finally getting around to reading this book. I say finally because this book along with The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic, were the first titles of Kelly's that I kept hearing about. But it would be a while before I got around to reading either. I think part of it was fear if disappointment. I had heard so many great things about this book, it was going to be hard to live up to the hype. And I loved the other Rediscover … books by Kelly that I had read. But I should have known better. This book is an amazing read. And why this book has been so popular for the 16 years since it was first published. When this book was first published, in 2002, the subtitle of the book was: 'Journeying Toward Our Spiritual North Star', but the subtitle changed around 2010 to the current one of 'A Spiritual Guide to Living with Passion & Purpose'. But no matter what the subtitle of the book is it is an incredible read. For devote Catholics it will help deepen your faith, for those considering Catholicism or a return to Catholicism I would considerate almost essential reading. It will lay the ground work for a devoted, committed, and vibrant practice of faith. 

The sections n this book are:

Prologue Imagine This...
Introduction Where to From Here?

PART ONE We Become What We Celebrate
Our Universal Hunger
The Prevailing Philosophy
Is Jesus Still Relevant?
Searching For Identity
What Are We Celebrating?

PART TWO The Authentic Life
What Is The Authentic Life?
The Path Is Well Trodden
Even A Blind Man Knows...
What Sets Them Apart?
Their Attraction And Influence
Who Will Be Next?

PART THREE The Seven Pillars of Catholic Spirituality
Confession
Daily Prayer
The Mass
The Bible
Fasting
Spiritual Reading
The Rosary

PART FOUR Now Is Our Time
Time For A Change
Leadership
Return To Virtue

Once I started reading this book I could hardly put it down. And with how many of Kelly's book I have read and talks I have listened to, much of the book was familiar. Some of the stories he uses, and examples from his life or lives of others are uses elsewhere in his works. There was so much in this book that we need to learn and learn again. This book is an incredible read if all you walk away with is the 7 Pillars of Catholic Spirituality. But there is so much more than that in this volume. 

This is one of those spiritual books I will return to often. I believe in the years and generations to come that it will become a spiritual classic, along the lines of Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence. It is a book that has been impacting lives for 16 years and shows no inclination to slow it's impact and reach. This is a book I would be comfortable giving to any Catholic, fallen away Catholic, or friend interested in knowing about Catholicism. It is hard not to read this book and feel your faith invigorated and inspired. 

This book is an easy read, in that it is accessible, and the material is presented in a clear and concise manner. But it is not an easy read in that you will likely be challenged, some of the stories may hit close to home. Once you have been awakened by this book you will have a choice, either to follow Jesus and the Catholic faith, or to try and go back to sleep. But that second option will be harder than you think. 

Another incredible read by Matthew Kelly, and after reading this I really look forward to his forthcoming 'Rediscover the Saints'! I can give this book, all the Rediscover books, and likely anything by Kelly mu highest recommendation. 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 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








Friday, 4 May 2018

Moving in the Spirit - Richard J. Hauser

Moving in the Spirit
Richard J. Hauser

Wellspring Publishing
formerly
Beacon Publishing for
Dynamic Catholic
ISBN 9781929266258
eISBN 9781929266555
ASIN B075VQPX5Z



This is not a large book. The print edition comes in at under 115 pages. But it is a book that can have significant impact. A few years ago, Hauser's book Moving in the Spirit was recommended to me. I did pick it up, but it has sat in my to be read pile. I just do not get around to reading physical books. But after how much I loved this I am going to put in the extra effort and read that one. Richard J. Hauser, SJ was a professor of theology. He was also a directory of graduate programs n theology, spirituality, and ministry. He only published 3 books and if the other two are as good as this one as readers we will be blessed.

This book was originally published in 1983 by Paulist Press, this new edition is from Beacon Publishing and was released in 2017. And it is available in paperback, eBook, and Kindle editions that are currently in print. Thankfully Beacon Publishing is making this book available through Dynamic Catholic. It is one of the best Catholic books I have read in the last few years. The five chapters in this book are:

Awakening to the Holy Spirit
Recognizing the Holy Spirit
Obstacles to the Spirit
Seeking God's Will
Keeping a Spiritual Journal

And there is a section of notes and a selected bibliography in this book. This book is written from Hauser's personal experience. Spanning his years from Jesuit novice to a more mature Jesuit who 's experience of God and specifically the Holy spirit shifted over the years. He states:

"I now know that all growth in union with God flows from the Holy Spirit; my efforts, therefore, ought to be focused on responding to the Spirit. I also know that my human nature is fundamentally trustworthy because redeemed by Christ and that the grace of Christ in me is stronger than sin in me. Finally, I know that the cutting edge of my growth in union with Christ flows from the generosity of my service to others day by day and not from the length of time I spend in explicitly spiritual activities."
And he attributes his growth and change to three main sources. First The thought of Thomas Merton. Secondly a growing appreciation of the Holy Spirit's life in the Christian life. And finally, his growing understanding of the life and spirituality of St. Ignatius. In the first chapter Hauser states:
"Each of us is led by God toward an understanding of Christian spirituality that best meets the needs of our temperament and life situation."
He then looks at three main trends for Christians living in the spirit, historically and today. But he draws readers to understand that each approach is good, but they are better when lived in reference to each other.

At the end of each chapter is several questions for reflection. These questions are great for person use, either just thinking on them or journaling out full answers. These questions would also be excellent for using this book for use in a book club or group study.

One of the things that impacted me most in this book was Hauser's honesty about his own struggles. His faith in action. How he was open and honest about some of his own weaknesses. I really appreciated his openness about his first response to be to turn down new opportunities. And the process he has created to reflect and see the spirit's guidance in those situations.

Of note 14 of the 16 references in the bibliography are from fellow Jesuits. And I have already added 8 if them to my wish list to read in the future. This book is an excellent read. It is one I know I will come back to again, and one I look forward to sharing with my children when they are older. This is the type of book I wish I had read in my late teens or early 20's. It would have helped my journey not have been so rough. This is a book I believe will benefit any Christian who reads it and prays to be receptive to the Holy Spirit while doing so.

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

Books by Richard J. Hauser:
In His Spirit
Moving in the Spirit
Finding god in troubled Times