Sunday Snippets: A Catholic Carnival (June 16, 2013)

Sunday Snippets

Time for Sunday Snippets over at RAnn’s place where we share our (mostly) Catholic posts from the week. Won’t you come join us?

I only have three posts this week:

Weekly Goals

How to Have Happy Kids When Traveling

Book Review: The Divine Family

Happy Father’s Day to all you dads!

Book Review: The Divine Family Experiential Narratives by Marcelle Bartolo-Abela

The Divine Family

The Divine family given to me to review by Marcelle Bartolo-Abela whom you may remember wrote a guest-post series on God the Father last year. The posts were God the FatherGod is my Father, and Fidelity to the Father.

From the book introduction:

In this book, the lived experiences of the author with the Members of the Divine Family and others are presented openly in print for the first time. These experiences occurred from 2010 through 2012. Written predominantly in a dialogical narrative style suitable for believers and non-believers alike, the author chronicles first-hand some of her personal experiences with the archangels Michael and Raphael; demons and Satan, the Virgin Mary, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and God the Father.

My thoughts:

Before sharing my thoughts on the book I want to mention that I am not going to state my belief or lack of belief in the narratives described in this book. Each person who reads the book can decide for him or herself whether or not he or she believe the words contained therein. It is not my place to judge either way and I will leave my comments to the actual content of the book.

Having said that, The Divine Family is a short (84 pages), beautifully written book  that describes the Archangels Michael and Rafael, the Blessed Virgin and Jesus. It also describes Satan and vividly points out that hell is very real and that it only takes one moral sin for us to go there.  The author even directly questions non-believers who may be reading the book and  one of the questions she asks is, “Do you really want to wait until you are dead to find out whether all this [hell] is true?” More importantly, though, the book, through the experiences of the author, reminds us how deeply we are loved and cherished by the Holy Trinity and the Blessed Virgin Mary.

In sharing her experiences, the author relates her experience of the power of the Sacrament of Confession and her experience of the illumination of conscious (something spoken about by many mystics). She also relates several experiences of communication with the Virgin Mary, Jesus, God the Father and the Holy Spirit. As I read these experiences, I could almost tangibly feel God’s love.

There wasn’t anything in the book that struck me as being  doctrinally unsound or contrary to Catholic faith and morals. So, even if the experiences aren’t true, they are worth reading because I am sure they will lift your heart up to the Triune God, as it did for me.

I give this book four (4) stars.

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Book Review: The Divine Family

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Sunday Snippets: A Catholic Carnival (June 9, 2013)

Sunday Snippets

Another week has gone by and it is time to head over to RAnn’s for Sunday Snippets! Come on over to read all the great posts or add your own blog into the mix.

This week’s posts are

Weekly Goals

Book review of Candles in the Dark (a biography of Fr. Richard Ho Lung, founder of the Missionaries of the Poor)

It’s done! (Shameless blurb about the changes to blog finally being finished. 🙂 )

7 Quick Takes: Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Have a blessed week everyone!

Book Review: Candles in the Dark (Biography of Fr. Richard Ho Lung)

Candles in the Dark tells the life story of Father Richard Ho Lung, “poet, teacher, mystic, musician” (from book description) and the founder of the Missionaries of the Poor religious congregation. I remember seeing Father Lung on EWTN once a long time ago so I am happy to have had the chance to read this book and learn about this humble man of the poor.

In reading about Father Lung’s life, I am struck with the feeling that he is almost a male counterpart to Blessed (Mother) Teresa. Like her, he felt called by God to serve the poorest of the poor. But of course, their lives were very different. According to Candles in the Dark, Father Lung was born to a poor family in Jamaica. He is a convert to Catholicism (from Buddhism) and lost his mother at a young age. As you journey through the book you walk with Father Lung as he goes to seminary, becomes “famous” and begins his missionary work to the poor.

The book is well-written and full of inspiring anecdotes, stories and inspiration from his life. They give you a sense of his fearless faith and devotion to God and His people. Father Lung is not afraid to speak out for those who have  no voice and to call out those not living according to moral principles. And he is willing to use any means, such as music and musicals to get his message across. As a matter of fact, he wrote music that was popular in Jamaica which led to his nickname, “Reggae Priest.” We also read several heartwarming and heart-wrenching stories about the work of the Missionaries of the Poor.

I think you will enjoy this book and give it 3 (three) stars.

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I received this book free from the publisher through Saint Benedict Press <http://saintbenedictpress.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Sunday Snippets: A Catholic Carnival (June 2, 2013)

Sunday Snippets

It’s time for another week for Sunday Snippets over at RAnn’s place. Come join us with your posts from this past week. My posts for this week are:

Weekly Goals

Book Review: Navigating the Interior Life (a book about spiritual direction)

The Busy Woman’s Guide to Making Time for Prayer eBook

7 Alternatives to Boy Scouts

A Happy and Blessed Solemnity of Corpus Christi everyone!

Book Review: Navigating the Interior Life, Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God

Navigating the Interior Life

From the Description:

“…this book will serve the souls of those who are seeking to deepen their relationship with God and find their spiritual direction. Whether you are at the beginning of the process, a veteran of spiritual direction, or struggling outside of spiritual direction, this book will help you uncover a map of success for your journey.”

My Comments:

I first discovered spiritual direction way back when I was discerning a vocation to religious life. Once a month I met with my then Mother Superior, and a few times a year I would meet with the Mother Provincial. It didn’t take long before I realized how important spiritual direction is for living out our Christian vocation. My faith and growth in the spiritual life soared under the direction of my superiors. After leaving the order, I went for a period of time without spiritual direction until I discovered Opus Dei. When I became a “Cooperator” I was able to meet with a member once a month and again, I saw my spiritual life grow. I now life too far away to have an active part with Opus Dei but I have someone else that I go to for spiritual direction.

I share my experience because I want to urge you to read Navigating the Interior Life and consider finding a spiritual director for yourself. If you give it a chance, I am sure you will find spiritual direction invaluable, too.

Navigating the Spiritual Life:

Navigating the Spiritual Life starts out as a basic “how-to.” It answers the typical questions about spiritual direction: “What is spiritual direction?” “Am I ready for spiritual direction?” “How do I find a spiritual director?” It even answers the question, “I can’t find one. Now what?”  The book also discusses the challenges of spiritual direction and the responsibilities of the spiritual director and the responsibilities.

I already have a good understanding of spiritual direction so, to be honest, I read through this part pretty quickly. Having said that, I think the author, Daniel Burke, does a great job explaining spiritual direction to those unfamiliar with it.

After those questions are answered, then begins my favorite part of the book. There is a chapter on spiritual self-evaluation that is very enlightening. Even if you decide not to find a spiritual director, this chapter would be worth the cost of the book! There are exercises to help you discover your “root sin” and how to battle against it.

The book even has a short chapter about developing a rule of life. It is a very practical chapter that quickly shows you how to use a plan a life to help yourself overcome a fault or grow in a particular virtue.

In short, this book is a “must read” for anyone looking to take their spiritual life to the next level. I give it 4 (four) stars.

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Tweetables:

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Book review: Navigating the Interior Life

Your questions about spiritual direction – answered!

I received this book free from the publisher through the Catholic Company <http://catholiccompany.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Sunday Snippets: A Catholic Carnival (May 19, 2013)

Sunday Snippets

Another week for Sunday Snippets over at RAnn’s place. Here’s what I’ve written about this week:

Weekly Goals

Stop Your Whining! (Words of wisdom from Pope Francis)

Book Review: The House that Love Built by Beth Wiseman

Theological Thursday: Why do Catholics Worship Mary?

Book Review: The House that Love Built by Beth Wiseman

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I’ve read several of Beth Wiseman’s Amish fiction novels, so I was happy to have the chance to read The House that Love Built which is NOT an Amish novel.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It tells the tale of a widow named Brooke and a divorcee named Owen. They meet at the hardware store that Brooke owns when Owen goes in to get supplies for his new house that he is fixing up. There are also two sub-stories, one about a young troubled teenager named Hunter and another one about Brooke’s mother and her “love interest.” To top it all off, there is a little mystery entwined.

One would think that will all these story lines the book would be hard to follow but Beth Wiseman is an expert story-teller who easily manipulates each story-line, eventually weaving them all together into one cohesive unit at the end. By the end of the second chapter I was hooked and didn’t want to put the book down!

If you enjoy books about love, forgiveness and healing, you will love The House that Love Built. I give this book four (4) stars.

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I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review and Giveaway: This Little Light of Mine by Kathleen M. Basi

I am a big fan of Kathleen’s blog and absolutely loved her Advent book, Joy to the World, so I was thrilled when Kathleen asked if I would review her latest book, This Little Light of Mine, Living the Beatitudes and do a giveaway.

From the description:

“‘Ordinary Time is make-or-break time for one’s faith. This is when we choose to be committed feet-on-the-ground Christians, or slide into mediocrity.’ When the manger or the cross are front and center, it’s easy to pay attention to our faith. Kathleen M. Basi explains how to keep the light of faith burning brightly in your family during the other two-thirds of the liturgical year, Ordinary Time.”

My thoughts:

This Little Light of Mine is a small, compact book chock-full of insights and activities to help the whole family live out the Catholic faith in ordinary time.

Each chapter is based on one of the Beatitudes but within each chapter there are reflections on the Sacraments and Ten Commandments as well. I love how Kathleen included reflections geared toward the children and reflections for the adults which allows one to go even deeper into the specific topic being writing about.

Each chapter also has “Just Live It” sections that give practical ideas and activities the whole family can do to put the reflections into action and make visible the truths we are talking about together. For example, there is a pattern in the back of the book for a making a mobile of the 12 fruits of the Spirit and 7 gifts of the Spirit; there suggestions for devotions such as Eucharistic Adoration and having an anniversary dinner as a family. As a practical person, I loved those “Just Live It” sections. When I read a spiritual book, I am always asking myself how I can put what I read into practice or asking how what I am reading applies to daily life. With This Little Light of Mine, the answers were supplied before I even asked the questions. 🙂

Don’t let the practical nature of this book fool you, though. It is a “small but mighty” book that touches on such topics as the meaning of suffering, sin and persecution. It also touches on mercy, forgiveness and “living faith in the modern world.”

This Little Light of Mine is a must-read for anyone looking to live their faith during “boring days of ordinary time.” I give this book five (5) stars.

About the Giveaway:

Kathleen and Liguori Publications have given me one copy of This Little Light of Mine to giveaway! It will run from today until next Tuesday, May 7th, when I will pick a winner via Rafflecopter. (I have class in the morning so will pick the winner in the afternoon.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter soon and good luck!

(Linked to This, That and the Other Thing)

NOTICE:

I’ve been contacted by a few people who are having difficulty with rafflecopter entries. The comments are not showing up on my blog but the entries ARE going through. If your comment is not coming through let me know and I will check rafflecopter and manually add any entries that need be.

Sunday Snippets: A Catholic Carnival (April 28, 2013)

Sunday Snippets

Here are my latest posts that I am linking over at This, That, and the other Thing:

Weekly Goals

Book Review: Plain Admirer by Patricia Davids

Theological Thursday: The Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist

7 Quick Takes: Scripture and the Eucharist Edition