“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’
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
Being a mother is hard. The list of things that need to be taken care of is endless. The concern for our children is constantly on our minds and our love for them consumes every bit of us. So, I know what you are thinking when you see this list. WHO HAS TIME TO READ?!
The books I’ve collected for this list are practical for moms, short daily readings, resource books, small reflections, and calls to action in our homes. Even the busiest moms can take a few minutes each day with some of these books. We have been entrusted with such an important vocation. Let these books bring you closer to Jesus, his mother, and help lead our children to Him as we grow.
God Bless You, Mothers!
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Prayer Books and Devotionals
The Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion: A Book of Daily Reflections is a wonderful prayer book for daily reflection. Each day provides a short reflection and prayer. It ends with something to reflect on or provides one simple act for moms to try to complete during the day. The lovely thing about this book is that each reflection speaks to the vocation of motherhood and I often find much comfort in similar feelings and situations shared in the book.
The Original Mother’s Manual was a gift to me from my mother and she received it from her mother-in-law. It is by far my favorite prayer book. There is a prayer for everything in here. Prayers for marriage, childbirth, nursing, child’s companions, child’s studies, and sick children just to name a few. Each prayer is beautiful and offers me comfort each time I open it. It is my constant companion. Continue reading 15 Books for Moms this Mother’s Day
”And of what should we be afraid? Our captain on this battlefield is Christ Jesus. We have discovered what we have to do. Christ has bound our enemies for us and weakened them that they cannot overcome us unless we so choose to let them. So we must fight courageously and mark ourselves with the sign of the most Holy Cross.”–Saint Catherine of Sienna
Review and Comments
If there was ever a story of courage, faith, and commitment, it is the story of Father Gereon Goldmann. His story begins with him being drafted into the loathsome SS during WWII. As a strong German Catholic who had been in the seminary, this is a great struggle. Father Goldmann is strong, however, and remains committed to our Lord through it all and because of this, he is able to minister to so many. Continue reading Fight Courageously: A Review of ‘The Shadow of His Wings: A Graphic Biography of Fr. Gereon Goldmann’
“I am not capable of doing big things, but I want to do everything, even the smallest things, for the greater glory of God.” – Saint Dominic Savio
Reading Level: 3.1 (according to Scholastic)
AR Reading Level: 3.7
Review and Comments:
The Clown of God is a story about Giovanni, a remarkable Italian juggler, who performed for royalty and became very famous.
Giovanni’s early life was definitely a harsh existence. As a matter of fact, as a young boy Giovanni was an orphan who had to beg for food. It was when he witnessed an ensemble of actors performing before an audience that a yearning began to grow in his heart. He was begrudgingly given a chance to join the group after he demonstrated his amazing juggling skills. He then added a bit of flare to his act by dressing as a clown. Continue reading A Simple Gift of Love: A Review of ‘The Clown of God’
Obviously we feel that there is no better gift to give a child than that of a book. And what better way to start a child’s life than with plenty of good Catholic board books! Perfect for Baptism, First Christmas, First Birthday and other major events in the first couple of years, these books teach valuable lessons, prayers, different aspects of our faith, and Jesus’s love for his children. These books are not to be missed! Continue reading 20 Of the Best Board Books for Catholic Babies & Toddlers
“I am giving you three ways of exercising mercy toward your neighbor: the first—by deed, the second—by word, the third—by prayer. In these three degrees is contained the fullness of mercy, and it is unquestionable proof of love for Me.” –Diary of St. Faustina (742)
Review and Thoughts
Once again I’ve uncovered a book that is perfect for the Year of Mercy. Don’t worry! If you’ve forgotten all about the Year of Mercy, now is your chance to be reinvigorated! This book is beautiful, simple, and one of my most favorite ‘mommy books’ I’ve read. Continue reading Simple Love for Him: A Review of ‘Divine Mercy for Moms: Sharing the Lessons of St. Faustina’
“Continue, dear young men, to give the best of yourselves in sports competitions, always remembering that the competitive spirit of the sportsman, though so noble in itself, must not be an end in itself, but must be subordinated to the far more noble requirements of the spirit. Therefore, while I repeat to you: be good sportsmen, I also say to you: be good citizens in family and social life, and, even more, be good Christians, who are able to give a superior meaning to life, in such a way as to be able to put into practice what the Apostle Paul said about athletes to Christians of his time: ‘Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it … They (athletes) do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable’” (l Cor 9:24-25).—Saint Pope John Paul II from his address to the Bologna Soccer Team, December 9, 1978
Grade Level Equivalent:
Review and Thoughts
Kwame Alexander’s book The Crossover would’ve made my basketball-lovin’ heart oh so happy back when I was in middle school. Alexander uses poetry to write so passionately about the sport and brings in a close family to add to the drama of the novel. Continue reading The Games In Which We Compete: A Review of ‘The Crossover’ and ‘Booked’
“Pray, hope, and don’t worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer.”—St Padre Pio
Review and Thoughts
*I am so excited to be able to review this book. It comes out today! I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy. Please share and spread the word for this lovely author!*
I spent the majority of my twenties as a single woman. There were a few romances along the way, one or two that broke my heart, but most of my time was alone. Waiting, wondering, praying and hoping for my husband to find me. I’m pretty sure I prayed every Catholic novena, some with my other single friends and many on my own and I prayed every night for my husband…wherever he was. Continue reading A Blessed Time: A Review of ‘The Moment is Now’