IP#309 Sally Read – Night’s Bright Darkness on Inside the Pages

IP#309 Sally Read – Night’s Bright Darkness on Inside the Pages from Discerning Hearts on Vimeo.

Poet Sally Read’s “Night’s Bright Darkness: A Modern Conversion Story” is breathtakingly beautiful!  It is one of the best conversion stories I have ever read.  She expresses so well what it is like to be captured by the net of mystery, and the struggle one has to understand the earthshaking, life-changing realization of your identity found through, with, and in Christ.  Raised an atheist in England, Sally Read recalls compellingly her unexpected journey which led her to seek full communion with the Catholic Church (one of the last places she ever wanted to be). Her writing is exquisite! I love this book; I have no doubt it will remain one I cherish for a lifetime. Highly recommended.

You can find the book here

From the book description:

Read confronts head on the burning question for God that every true Christian harbors:What do you want me to do? In an age of increasing secularism, and in the wake of disillusionment with the Catholic Church following disclosures of abuse, the book takes us to the core of what the Church is all about: Christ and the yearning to be near him.

Read’s book captures the ecstasy of first knowing God’s love and charts how it changes us. It is a testimony to the powerhouse of Christianity: love and the life-changing encounter with Christ.

Sally Read’s story is the best and liveliest account of a conversion for a generation. It is a story of divine grace as moving and unexpected as it is luminous and profound. There is not a wasted brush-stroke, not a blurred line. It is an absorbing story, a tale that will grip readers all the way through to the end.”
–Paul Murray, OP, Angelicum University; Author, T.S. Eliot and Mysticism

“Every story of conversion has the potential of conceiving another. Each gives witness to the work of grace. In this brilliantly written, candid, sometimes shocking unveiling by Sally Read, we see vividly the fingerprints of the Holy Spirit on a heart once impenetrably hard and shut off, but then opened and reborn by the merciful joy of our Triune God.”
–Marcus Grodi, EWTN Host, The Journey Home

IP#248 Kerry Weber – Mercy in the City on Inside the Pages

Kerry-Weber-228x300Mercy in the City:  How to Feed the Hungry, Give Drink to the Thirsty, Visit the Imprisoned, and Keep Your Day Job” is an outstanding book! Kerry Weber has crafted a work that is an engaging page turner that is a  joy to read.  She shares her story of trying to “perform” all the Christian acts of mercy during Lent one year.  What she encounters is the living Christ in each of her experiences.  Kerry  is a wonderful story-teller. After reading “Mercy in the City”,   I dare you not to be inspired to take on the challenge to “Go in peace to love and serve the Lord”.


Mercy-in-the-City-193x300You can find the book here

“Kerry Weber is one of the liveliest, brightest, most provocative and most articulate voices on the Catholic scene today.  With stories that are both profound and lighthearted (and often at the same time) her marvelous new book will help you locate mercy in your daily life.  This is that rare book that will indeed make you laugh and cry, but also pray and serve.  Highly recommended.”
– James Martin, SJ author of My Life with the Saints and Jesus: A Pilgrimage

“This engaging book will take you to the heart of what it means to try to practice mercy in a cruel world. It helps us to remember that so much of what we take for granted — food, water to drink, clothing, and shelter — are a luxury to many, even in a land of plenty. From a soup line and homeless shelter to death row on San Quentin, the author makes us see the humanity of those we’d prefer to ignore. And if you’re looking for a book that cites both Basil the Great and ‘The Muppets Take Manhattan,’ this is for you!”
– Kathleen Norris, author of The Cloister Walk and Acedia and Me

IP#286 Marcus Grodi – “Life from Our Land” on Inside the Pages

Marcus Grodi - "Life from Our Land" What a phenomenal book!  The “journey home” never looked more beautiful.  I didn’t want to put down “Life from Our Land: The Search for a Simpler Life in a Complex World”.  St. Benedict in the Holy Rule implores us to “listen with the ears of our hearts”.  Marcus Grodi, founder of the Coming Home International ministry and EWTN show host, shows us how it can be done.  So much more than just a spiritual memoir, Marcus offers us a road map we too could follow that leads from “the head to the heart.”  His writing is engaging, funny, and steeped in a warm humility…what a delight.  Rich spiritual fruit can be harvested from this book.

Life-from-Our-Land Marcus Grodi - "Life from Our Land" You can find the book here

“If we ponder carefully the insights in this book, we can learn how to grow in detachment, simplicity, holiness, and humility.”
— Paul Thigpen, Author, Manual for Spiritual Warfare

“Read this book and you will receive the riches Mammon cannot provide and reap the harvest of hope and wisdom.”
— Joseph Pearce
, Author, Catholic Literary Giants

“This book is a hymn of gratitude for the wonder that is creation, which manifests the deep purpose of things.”
— Dr. Timothy O’Donnell, President, Christendom College

IP#258 Jennifer Fulwiler – Something Other Than God on Inside the Pages

Jennifer-Fulwiler“Something Other Than God: How I Passionately Sought Happiness and Accidentally Found It” by Jennifer Fulwiler… what a phenomenal book. An engaging read, great topic, and an inspiring, joyful witness!  Leave it to the editor/author of one our favorite blogs “Conversion Diary“, to pen not only a great conversion story, but one of the most moving cases for Catholic faith out there. Her honesty and humor are refreshing.  You feel the struggle Jennifer experiences as she searches for answers.  Her quest leads her to a peace for which most of us yearn. Hats off to Ignatius Press for the production values on this  book of quality worthy of the story contained within it’s pages. This is a book you will pass on to others, so I would just suggest the purchase of multiple copies… it’s just that good!

Something-Other-Than-God

 

You can find the book here

“This heartfelt book is a lovely account of a spiritual journey and a charming memoir. The author’s epiphanies are wonderfully conveyed and will resonate with readers.” —Dean Koontz, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author

 

“Thought-provoking, honest, and often hilarious. It will strike a chord with anyone who ever posed –or tried unsuccessfully to avoid– the big questions of life.” —Gretchen Rubin, New York Times bestselling author,The Happiness Project

 

 

 

 

IP#253 Fr. Robert Cormier – Better Than We Believed on Inside the Pages

It was rich blessing to have the opportunity to talk Fr. Robert Cormier about his book “Better Than We Believed:  How to Apply the Fr.-Bob-CormierVision That Is Faith to the Struggle That Is Life”.  With an incredible witness in ministry Fr. Bob, as he prefers to be called, has served a parish priest for many years, as well as  prison chaplain and a rehab counselor. For the last eighteen years he has been president of Project Live—a leading institution for the care of the mentally ill.  He also spent summers in mission work in  Guatemala and other areas of Central America.  This varied background serves him well as he addresses many of the the areas which challenge many people when it comes to “faith”.  What is faith?  And how do I live it out?  Especially when afraid or challenged, how can I draw on faith for strength to live the life that we were meant for? This books is an excellent resource and wonderful source of inspiration.

(Special note:; On May 13, Fr. Bob died in a climbing accident on Mount Hood in Oregon, after reaching the summit. He was 57 years old. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May the soul of Fr. Bob, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.)

Better-than-we-believed

 

You can find the book here

Here is a link to Faith Kit, the website Fr. Bob mentions during our conversation www.faithkit.org

From the book description:
Presuming nothing that both traditional believers and critical-thinking searchers will not find in their hearts, Better Than We Believed presents a strikingly clear concept of faith that answers the unhappiness of people you will recognize:
MARK, who struggles with anger
IRENE, who battles stress
HENRY, who is consumed by hatred
GLORIA, who has been betrayed
BRIAN, who suffers depression
MARY, who feels trapped by her duty to a loved one
JOY, who can’t get over a loved one’s death, and
JAMES, who knows that he is dying
As we witness this faith applied to these and other serious struggles, we will see how it can transform our own experience, and offer us peace, purpose, and joy.

IP#53 Sir Gilbert Levine – The Pope’s Maestro on Inside the Pages

Sir-Gilbert-Levine A very special “Inside the Pages” with Sir Gilbert Levine, who shares from his heart, this compelling tale of faith, friendship, and the healing power of music to bring people together. “The Pope’s Maestro” is an extraordinary and inspirational story of the unlikely friendship of  Sir Gilbert Levine and Pope John Paul II, who collaborated on symbolic acts of reconciliation: a series of internationally broadcast concerts designed to bring together people from all religious backgrounds under the auspices of the Vatican. Sir Gilbert  invites us all in to share in the special relationship bonded in music, prayer, and…love. Pope's Maestro

You can find more about this wonderful book here

IP#220 Mother Dolores Hart O.S.B. – The Ear of the Heart on Inside the Pages

This is the best biography I have read in years!  What a glorious testament to the fruitfulness of the Benedictine rule and howMother-Dolores it transforms lives.  Mother Dolores Hart brings to us a generous sharing of her life experience and the joy found in the peace and stability in the living with her monastic community.  How could a woman walk away from “having it all”?  Mother Dolores discovered the “pearl of great price”, and she found it by listening to the “ear of the heart”.  An absolutely fantastic read and spiritually fulfilling work.  A must read!!!!  This conversation will go down as one of my favorites of all time!!!  Thank you God!!!

The-Ear-of-the-HeartYou can find the book here
“What a joy to be in the company of Mother Dolores Hart. She is a compassionate narrator, from her childhood days, darkened by parental alcoholism, to her Hollywood career and her calling as a Catholic nun. Mother Dolores talks candidly about the difficulty of becoming a cloistered, Benedictine nun. The struggle with years of discipline and the rigorous farm work at the Abbey of Regina Laudis. We learn there was something in her deepest heart she sought.” — —-Pia Lindstrom, television journalist, daughter of Ingrid Bergman

“Listen and attend with the ear of your heart.”
Saint Benedict

“Mother Dolores Hart is a remarkable woman with a remarkable story-one of love, devotion and faith.”
Maria Shriver, bestselling author of Just Who Will You Be?

IP#223 Keith Merritt – Emails from Heaven on Inside the Pages

This book is a delightful surprise.  Keith Merritt shares the beautiful life he had with Gayle, his wife of 27 years, who Keith-Merrittwould one day be diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer.   He shares how Gayle came to be revered by so many for the depth of her courage against impossible odds, and her joy at saying to God, “I belong to you”.  Gayle Merritt’s suffering, and victory in Christ  is  documented in emails sent to local parishioners to provide updates on her condition throughout her final months. A poignant work filled with hope, courage, joy and love.

emails-from-heaven-keith-b-

You can find the book here

 

IP#144 Amy Welborn – Wish You Were Here on Inside the Pages

Well, it would be difficult to write a book more poignant and compelling than this…obviously, it came straight from the heart.  Amy Welborn uses her incredible gift with words to paint an unforgettable picture of how grief and regret can be transformed, by grace, into hope.  It’s  a journey on a winding, sometimes bumpy road.  But what Amy has discovered through the help of her husband Mike, her kids, the land of Sicily, and ultimately, God, is that it is really true, there really is a light at the end of the tunnel.   As she says, “tragedy and joy, loss and understanding death and life are constantly mixed together…and the beauty of the Catholic faith is that it is all there….we have the whole picture.”  Its about faith, about hope, about love..and that is what is really eternal.

You can find the book here

“Amy Welborn’s latest book is a must-read spiritual treasure. It reveals not only the heart-wrenching dynamics of grief but also the odd and wonderful way grace illumines even the thickest darkness. Funny, engagingly written, spiritually profound, Wish You Were Here is a gem.”  –Fr. Robert Barron, author of Catholicism.

Be sure to visit Amy’s blog’s Charlotte Was Both  http://amywelborn.wordpress.com

and “Booked” the travel blog – http://booked.amywelborn.com

IP#125 Virginia G. Breen – I Am In Here on Inside the Pages

The subtitle of this show is “insights from today’s most compelling authors”…I don’t think there’s a more compelling author than Elizabeth M. Bonker, who along with the help of her mother, Virginia Breen, has authored  “I Am in Here: The Journey of a Child with Autism Who Cannot Speak but Finds Her Voice”.  A powerful and poignant book, the conversation with Virginia is hope-filled as she shares with us all the challenges and love she has found in being the mother of Elizabeth and the strength they have both found in their relationship with God.

“Elizabeth’s beautiful poetry clearly shows that some individuals with autism who appear to be low-functioning have real abilities. Elizabeth’s first words when she was able to type were ‘Agony. I need to talk.'”–Temple GrandinNew York Times bestselling author

You can find Elizabeth's and Virginia's book here

 

Me

I sometimes fear

That people cannot understand

That I hear.

And I know

That they don’t believe I go

To every extreme

To try to express

My need to talk.

If only they could walk

In my shoes

They would share my news:

I am in here.

And trying to speak every day

In some kind of way.

Though she cannot speak, Elizabeth Bonker writes poetry that shines a light on the hidden inner world of autism and the world around us. I Am in Here is the spiritual journey of a mother and daughter who refuse to give up hope, who celebrate their victories, and who keep moving forward despite the obstacles. Elizabeth’s poetry and her mother’s stirring storytelling combine in this inspirational book to proclaim that there is always a reason to take the next step–with hope.

Be sure to check out their website at :  Iaminherebook.com