31 Days With Mary: Day 20

Mother Mary(Photo Credit)

Mary: Our Hope

“The King of Heaven, being infinite Goodness, desires in the highest degree to enrich us with His graces. But because confidence is a necessary condition for being heard, and because He wants to increase our confidence, He has given us His own Mother as our Mother and intercessor, and has granted her all power to help us. So it is that He wishes us to place our hope for salvation and every blessing in her.” –St. Alphonse Liguori

Offering: A smile for those we love, even when we don’t feel like it.

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(P.S. The third day of the Novena to the Holy Spirit for Pentecost is today. Don’t have a prayer? Follow the novena here.)

Book Review: Emily’s Hope by Ellen Gable

A while back  I had the opportunity to read and review one of Ellen’s book, “Stealing Jenny.” I enjoyed the book very much so I was thrilled when Ellen gave me a Kindle copy of “Emily’s Hope,” to also read and review. Thanks Ellen!

From the book description:

“Emily’s Hope is the gripping story of one young woman’s physical, emotional, spiritual journey from high school to adulthood. Interspersed throughout the story are flashbacks to Emily’s great-grandmother’s troubled life, with a climax culminating in the surprising revelation that Emily and her great-grandmother are connected more deeply than by ancestral ties alone.”

My thoughts:

The story begins with Emily being rushed to the hospital because of complications due to her pregnancy. From there the story flashes back to Emily’s high school years, her college years, her meeting, courting and marital life to Jason. We journey with Emily as she learns to reluctantly accept and then eventually embrace the Catholic Church’s teaching on sexuality and natural family planning.

Interspersed with Emily’s story are flashbacks to Emily’s great-grandmother, Katherine, who leads a difficult, faithless life. Throughout the book, the story goes back and forth from Emily’s story to Katherine’s, until the converge in unique way at the end.

I enjoyed the book, but I have to admit, it wasn’t as engaging as “Stealing Jenny.” I also thought that the time-line of both Emily and Katherine’s stories were too broad of a scope for me to be able to get into the story.

Having said that, Ellen does an excellent job outlining the Church’s teaching on sexuality and natural family planning. She does so in a tasteful, natural manner, during the course of different conversations. The premise of the book is great and the topic is so appropriate for our time.

As for the characters, They were believable for the most part. It was easy to like Emily and I liked watching her spiritual growth as she deepened her understanding and love for the Church. Jason was a little too good to be true, but that’s oddly what I liked about him! As for Katherine, however, there was not enough background about her to elicit any sympathy for her. She is a harsh, stoic woman and it was impossible to like her at all, even at the end.

Over all, this was an enjoyable, easy read and I would definitely recommend this book –  to “NFP-ers” and “non-NFP-ers” alike.

I give this book 3 stars.

My Wish For You

This Advent prayer speaks to my heart today:

Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, ever faithful to your promises and ever close to your Church: the earth rejoices in hope of the Savior’s coming and looks forward with longing to his return at the end of time. Prepare our hearts and remove the sadness that hinders us from feeling the joy and hope which his presence will bestow, for he is Lord for ever and ever. Amen.

(Prayer found at catholic.org.)

As we approach the final week of Advent, it is my deepest wish that you know Christ’s healing love for you. And that your heart is filled with great peace, hope and joy in the knowledge of His awesome and abiding presence.

Words to Live By: Life Lessons

Hope for Tomorrow

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