“Catholic parents must learn to form their family as a “domestic church,” a church in the home as it were, where God is honored, his law is respected, prayer is a normal event, virtue is transmitted by word and example, and everyone shares the hopes, the problems and sufferings of everyone else. All this is not to advocate a return to some outdated style of living: It is to return to the roots of human development and human happiness!”
– Pope John Paul II
Review and Thoughts
I am blessed to have a wonderful mother who through the course of my life has kept Christ the center of our lives and our family. The rotating calendar of our church was reflected in our lives at home. We were sure to celebrate Lent and Advent, we celebrated mass each Sunday and on Holy Days. My parents both helped us grown in our personal relationships with Jesus by giving us opportunities to pray alone, with the family, and with them. And most of all, my parents made huge sacrifices to make sure we attended Catholic schools where we learned our subjects through Catholic eyes. I had a childhood blessed by God and I understand what a domestic church can look like.
Fast forward and now I am a mother gifted the task of creating my own domestic church for my children. The realization that God has given me four innocent souls to lead to heaven is not something to be taken lightly. Continue reading A Return to Our Roots: A Review of ‘The Catholic All Year Compendium’
“God is love. And we move toward the light to find the love of God. But is God’s love within us, even in the dark moments? Is the love of God there, hidden away? Yes, always! The love of God never leaves us. It is always with us. Do we trust in this love?”–Pope Francis, Address to Children 2014
Review and Thoughts
All of us need a little inspiration or daily reminders about the wonderful love of God. It’s easy to put Him on the back burner with the daily comings and goings of our lives, but Pope Francis encourages us to keep Him at the forefront in this lovely compilation of quotes.
The book is divided into six “chapters” with each being focused on a different aspect of love. Some of the titles include “I believe in love, and I want to love a lot” and “I believe in God’s patience, as good and welcoming as a summer’s night.” Each chapter then gives us many beautiful quotes by Pope Francis. The individual quotes are given their own pages with the date and time of the quote listed underneath.
I love quote books and this book is perfect for meditation at the beginning or end of each day. It serves as a wonderful daily reminder for each of us Catholics striving for sainthood. I personally think it would serve as a wonderful gift for anyone who loves to ponder and ruminate on the teachings of the pope and the love of God.
Continue reading What is Love?: A Review of ‘Believe in Love: Inspiring Words from Pope Francis’
“The crown of the aged is their children’s children….” – Proverbs 17:6
“Love multiplies. It doesn’t divide.” – Dr. Ray Guarendi
Review and Comments:
Dr. Ray’s book, Being a Grandparent, is a wonderful resource for those who are seeking advice and direction while adapting to the role of being a grandparent. It’s also a good choice for anyone who just wants to see if they are “on the right track.” Dr. Ray addresses many issues and recommends very practical solutions along with considerable wisdom and a good bit of humor.
I think most people will agree that being a grandparent is a huge blessing! That doesn’t mean the road is always smooth, however. Problems arise, goals differ, and personalities and egos clash. This book is organized into short chapters – each one addressing a concern from differing viewpoints. Dr. Ray then skillfully addresses each concern. He poses thoughtful questions, makes astute statements, and sometimes gives examples from his own family. Continue reading Love From One Generation to the Next: A Review of ‘Being a Grandparent, Just Like Being a Parent…Only Different’
“The Lord cannot be at work in me if I am only allowing him the time I spend doing pious or prayerful things. I must open the whole of my life to Christ and intentionally make him a vital part of everything I do.”–Father Gary Caster
Review and Comments
I’ll be honest, after having kids I have found prayer difficult. I find little time to myself and am constantly interrupted. I even have trouble making it through a rosary without falling asleep! Then, as an attempt to make up for my distraction/frustration/exhaustion, I try to find a new devotion/method/motivation to kick myself back in gear. Slowly I see myself becoming a Martha and less of a Mary and the downward spiral continues.
Enter Father Gary Caster’s book, Prayer Everywhere (which was obviously sent to me by the Holy Spirit). Through his simple suggestions and wonderfully entertaining anecdotes, I was reminded about the simplicity of prayer which I’d forgotten. Devotions aside, prayer is ultimately about our relationship with Jesus and it need not be complicated. Continue reading A Review of ‘Prayer Everywhere: The Spiritual Life Made Simple
“If Jesus didn’t expect perfection from His people and if he accepted them for who they were, warts and all, perhaps I should dial down my own expectations for my family. Jesus chose to hang out with the likes of Peter and Judas on the evening before He saved the world from sin. He invited them to be part of his salvific plan, so why do I worry so much about my own family’s idiosyncrasies? Jesus handpicked a handful of very imperfect people who messed up a lot, just like I do and just like my family does.”–Colleen Duggan
Review and Comments
What a blessing this book was! I have to tell you, it was perfect timing for this mom filled with all kinds of emotions in this season of my life. I seem to constantly stress over a constantly messy house and piles of laundry. I worry about my first child who is entering kindergarten next year and thus begins to spend more time away from my protective grasp. I continually look at the divisiveness of the world and wonder where my children will end up as adults. Luckily, Colleen Duggan has offered me so much consolation in her book and reminded me of what is really important when raising children: that I do my best to bring them to God, and allow Him to do the rest. Continue reading Peace for a Mother’s Mind: A Review of ‘Good Enough is Good Enough: Confessions of an Imperfect Catholic Mom’
Have you ever just sat there overwhelmed with everything going on?! Well, that’s been me the last few months.
Lots of illness.
Catching up on things I’ve procrastinated on.
Needless to say there haven’t been many reviews and there’s been little action on our Facebook page. BUT things are falling back in place (for the time being) and so I hope to be able to get things going on the blog once again.
Happy kids and parents reading books.
Hopefully you’ll stick with us as we pick it back up again! Thanks for supporting us!
“Love is shown by little things, by attention to small daily signs which make us feel at home. Faith grows when it is lived and shaped by love. That is why our families, our homes, are true domestic churches. They are the right place for faith to become life, and life to grow in faith.”–Pope Francis
Review and Comments
This is the second book I have read by Greg and Lisa Popcak and I am once again in love! After spending so much time reading parenting advice from every online article and opinion piece someone writes on their blog, I have found something I can get behind and learn from.
The Popcaks begin with a lot of statistics and research that indicate the difference between parenting and “Catholic” parenting to help lay the foundation for why we should listen to their advice. They explain the difference between punishment and discipline and the effect that can have on children (and there is a difference!). It provides numerous examples of children who were raised through “punishment” and how, as adults, they became great rule-followers, but not empathetic caring people. These people often followed the rules to their own detriment and the detriment of others. After reading this intro, though it was very long, I was convinced that they had done their research and were going to give some great advice. Continue reading Building a True Domestic Church: A Review of ‘Parenting with Grace: The Catholic Parents’ Guide to Raising Almost Perfect Children’
“Our body is a cenacle, a monstrance: through its crystal the world should see God.”–St. Gianna Molla
Review and Comments:
I’ve always been fascinated by the lives of the saints. Their ability to see God through suffering, their bravery in evangelization, their relationship to Jesus and His mother, and their willingness to face death and persecution for Him are awe=inspiring. As a cradle Catholic, I have read many of their stories and wished to be closer to them and learn more about them. They have been the celebrities I have looked up to, and though my favorite saint has changed with my season of life, I have found that often I feel as though their stories are unrealistic in this day and age. I can’t see myself being like them and I feel that their virtue is unattainable.
It is for this reason I enjoy reading about more modern people who may not be saints (yet) but nevertheless they have lived holy and virtuous lives. A few years ago I read about Immaculee Ilibagiza and her suffering through the Rwandan genocide. Her joy and faith amidst terrible suffering have been a beautiful witness of God’s forgiveness and love for those involved. She became someone I aspired to be for a long time, but her suffering was extreme, and often times I could not fully relate. (You can read more about her here.)
My newest role model is Chiara Corbella Petrillo. I saw Chiara’s story make the rounds in the Catholic blogosphere a year or so ago. I read a bit about her and thought it was a sad story, but moved on as people do when they read something online. Then her book popped up as a recommendation for me. I couldn’t put it down. Continue reading Redemption Through Suffering: A Review of ‘Chiara Corbella Petrillo: A Witness to Joy’
I’m so excited to get to share my interview with Leslea Wahl with you all today! I am a little star struck, I have to admit, whenever I get talk to someone I really admire. Ms. Wahl is one of those people! Not only is she a great young adult author, but she tells her story and shares her faith with such entertainment! Her books are great adventures and mysteries and I, for one, am so glad she has decided to start writing.
We are so blessed to have her books entering the Catholic fiction genre. Check out my interview…I think you will love her as much as I do!
Can you tell us a bit about you and your family?
I live in beautiful Colorado with my husband and three children. Although “children” doesn’t really describe our kids anymore. Our oldest just graduated college, our middle child is currently in college and our “baby” will be a senior in high school. As a family, we love to travel and try new adventures like zip-lining, jet skiing and scuba diving.
What made you decide to start writing and why did you chose to write for a young adult audience?
I’ve always been creative but never thought about writing a novel, especially for teens. But when my older children were preteens and began searching for YA books to read, I was having a really hard time finding books that they wanted to read that also reflected our values. I wondered why no one was writing these kinds of books. Then one day I woke up and the story of my first novel, The Perfect Blindside, just came to me. The characters and scenes kept flooding my mind until I finally started to write them down. I definitely felt God called me to write that book. Since then my passion has been to write Young Adult fiction and to encourage teens in their faith. Continue reading An Interview with Catholic Author, Leslea Wahl
Dads, I know what you’re thinking…I’m super busy. I don’t have time to read. Believe me, my husband has said it time and again. But what if I told you that these books were filled with great prayers, lessons, opportunities, and hope to aid you in your tremendous vocation?! They don’t have to be read in one sitting, they can be aids to your prayer life. Chapters at a time with periods of reflection are often better than taking it all in at once.
Check out this list. There are some books here that could change your outlook, give you a boost, and bring you closer to your own heavenly Father. Father Lawrence Lovasik reminds all dads that “Fatherhood is a vocation in God’s service, to not be held lightly or frivolously, but with the serious determination of serious men.” (Click on the pictures for affiliate link.)
The Original Fathers’ Manual is the first Father’s Day gift I gave to my husband. I had received The Original Mother’s Manual as a gift from my mother and loved it. The Father’s Manual is much the same. There are prayers for every possible need for one’s children, marriage, and vocation. The end lists the responsibilities of fathers for reflection. It’s a powerful book and my husband uses it often.
In Be DADitudes: 8 Ways to be an Awesome Dad, Greg Popcak takes each beatitude and explains how fathers can use these points to become amazing fathers and husbands. Greg Popcak is a counselor and presents the information in a simple way. This is one of those books that would be great for short periods of reading.
Continue reading 10 Books for Dads This Father’s Day