Hello! Catching up once again with all of the great reads I got through this month.
I feel like this book should be mandatory reading for all Christians. Though it is a pretty lengthy and chewy read, each chapter felt like a spiritual retreat–a daily lectio divina for the soul.
The book really is a masterpiece. Archbishop Sheen has an incredible ability of taking his readers by the hand and pulling them into the life of Christ, making him come alive and feel deeply personal. Reading it will make you fall ever more in love with Jesus.
This is definitely a book I will be returning to time and time again. I highly recommend it.
I recently spoke a bit about this book, but I didn’t really get into how drastically it affected my life. This book was so timely for me, because when I started reading it I was battling a small bout of depression. For a couple of weeks I was really struggling with my self esteem and self worth, and this book not only brought my life into perspective by reminding me that I am a child of God, but also helped me re-frame my life in the right order so that I could begin thriving again, and stop feeling as if I was merely surviving.
There are some real crunchy aspects to the book (she’s big on homeschooling, and repurposing household items), but if you are not in to that I still think you will get a lot out of it. Her voice is honest and raw, and easily relatable. It is a practical handbook on living the married life well. If you are feeling overwhelmed in your vocation as wife and mom, I HIGHLY recommend it.
“Deep Conversion, Deep Prayer” by Thomas Dubay, S.M.
Like “A Mother’s Rule of Life,” this book is a calling to refocus energy towards God in a positive, practical, and purposeful way. Ultimately, it is an invitation to sainthood. The author encourages the reader to give up willed venial sins so that he/she may further enter into the depths of conversion. So often we focus on avoiding mortal sins, but neglect to hone in on and change our lesser sins. We fail to realize, though, that all sin prevents us from truly converting our lives to Christ. This book will help you develop a deeper sense of prayer and closeness to God.
“Resisting Happiness” by Matthew Kelly
Can you sense a theme in my books of choice from April-May? I was really working on revamping my spiritual life! Ha, I needed it. This book helped round out my excitement and enthusiasm for living a more purposeful life. I especially liked this book because it was an easy read, with simple and practical advice for living a more meaningful life. I really loved that it offered daily meditations along with calls to action, which made it easier to implement all I was reading and inspired by.
“The Apostles” by Pope Benedict XVI
This book was suggested reading by Dr. Edward Sri, in preparation for my pilgrimage. The book definitely primed my mind for the trip, providing me with deeper knowledge about the life of the early saints of the Church–the Apostles.
The book provides a detailed picture of how the Church is rooted in the first Apostles, who were commissioned by Christ’s authority to build the Church.
“The Magnolia Story” by Chip and JoAnna Gaines
After reading so many heavy duty books, I wanted to read something a bit lighter. I ordered this one for my plane ride to Rome and couldn’t put it down. It made my usual anxiety that comes with flying a breeze to get through.
Along with the rest of the Country, my family loves Chip and Joanna. Fixer Upper is a family favorite in our home, and I admire not just their style, but the way they live out their Christian lives. I particularly fell in love with them after hearing their response to attacks made against them. They handled it so admirably, and I respect that they stood up for their faith and weren’t afraid to lose fans for doing so.
The book was better than I expected it would be. It alternates between Joanna and Chip’s perspective, which–you might imagine–is quite hilarious. They have a great way of making room for each other’s different personalities, and together, told the story of their love, life and business that they’ve built over the years. I loved how freely and openly they talked about God, never leaving out his hand in all of their success.
One of my favorite things I learned in the book is how involved Chip is in the success of the business. He really is the brains and heart behind it all. If it weren’t for his cheery yet determined outlook on life, they wouldn’t be where they are today. I admire his optimism and go-get-it attitude!
Such a fun, easy, and inspiring read.
“Life Lessons: Fifty Things I Learned in My First Fifty Years” by Patrick Madrid
This book was an easy read, full of life stories from the great theologian, Patrick Madrid. It was really enjoyable reading about all of the lessons he gained over the years. So many of his stories left me in tears, both from laughing, and from crying. It was insightful, funny, and inspiring.
“Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith” by Bishop Robert Barron
I admit I never had any intention of reading this book. Though I love Bishop Barron, I kind of just assumed this book was for people who weren’t Catholic, or who had a very basic understanding of the faith. I planned to give it to someone in need, but after my trip I started flipping through it out of curiosity. I was initially pulled in by all the pictures of places I had just visited on my pilgrimage, but soon found myself enthralled with the book.
I have to say, much like Sheen’s “Life of Christ,” this book is a must read. Bishop Barron has a great way of explaining the faith in its entirety, making it both easy to understand, yet rich in all of it’s beautiful complexity.
Below is one of my favorite quotes from the book. Bishop Barron somehow managed to put into words exactly what I was feeling after my trip to Rome. I was so overcome by the tangibility of our faith, which always and everywhere points us to Christ our Savior. If someone were to ask me why I am Catholic, I will definitely reference this powerful summation of our faith:
Have you read any great books lately? Comment below! I’d love some suggestions for my next three months of reading!
If you are interested in more, here is my last quarterly review!