What is Marian Consecration? What is the role the Blessed Virgin Mary in our lives? How can this bring us even more fully into the heart of Divine Mercy? What a joy to talk with Fr. Michael Gaitley, who serves as director of the Association of Marian Helpers, about “33 Days to Morning Glory: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat in Preparation for Marian Consecration”. He answers the above the questions above and so much more.
The goal of the retreat contained in the book is to learn how to ponder more deeply in our hearts what it means to enter into Marian consecration. With the help of not only St. Louis de Montfort, but also St. Maximilian Kolbe, Bl. John Paul II, and Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Fr. Gaitley reveals to us the great connection between the heart of Mary and beautiful depth of Divine Mercy…and the key to it all is…TRUST.
Here is the book for Lent (and any other time of the year for that matter), “Simplifying Your Soul: Lenten Practices to Renew Your Spirit” is “simply” wonderful! Paula Huston has such a gentle way of helping us to penetrate into what our hearts so we can draw closer to what we truly long for…a deeper relationship with God…the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. A Benedictine oblate, Paula, draws from the best of the monastic traditions and helps us to apply those practices in our modern day circumstances. I have to believe that Sts. Benedict and Scholastic would be overjoyed how this 21-century daughter of the church has responded to their initial teachings offered so a long ago. NOT TO BE MISSED…HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Our temptation in this era of self-fulfillment is to dismiss humility as a relic of the unsophisticated past. Yet for centuries, Christians have considered it a key component of a healthy spiritual life, and the journey toward humility to be one and the same as the journey toward Christlikeness.
The beauty of the Lenten season is that it encourages the development of a humble heart. Structured as an individual Lenten retreat, Simplifying the Soul presents daily readings from Jesus and the desert fathers and mothers, along with a meditation focused on a specific activity that can be carried out that day. Many of these activities come straight out of Catholic tradition, but others are adaptations of old wisdom woven into contemporary life (cleaning out a junk drawer, walking instead of driving, etc.) All are designed to lead to conversion of heart and a transformed life.
It’s been a fantastic journey to enter into the life Dietrich Bonhoeffer through the writing of Eric Metaxas. “Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy” is a deeply moving telling of the life of the German Lutheran theologian and pastor who would face the leviathan of evil known as the Third Reich in Nazi Germany. In reading this work, I was reminded of the young man several years ago in Tiananmenin Square who stood before the tank during the protests. It doesn’t surprise me that Archbishop Chaput would highly recommended this book as well as the “witness” of this Christian man who was a voice for those who could not speak. He did what St. Paul called us all to do…to stand. Eric Metaxas does a great job bringing this biography to life and giving us the greater contextof his witness.
Christopher West is a pioneer in the area known as “The Theology of the Body”, a teaching found in the Wednesday audiences of Bl. John Paul II over the course of many years. In “The Heart of the Gospel: Reclaiming the body of the New Evangelization”, Christopher shares his insights and deeper understandings found in over 20 years of experience with this work and it’s relevance for our faith lives today. In the course of the book, he also answers those objections to his approach in the past. He dives deeply into the teachings of Pope Benedict XVI, the teachings of the Saints, and above all, Sacred Scripture to find a richer expression of this important work and its message for our world today. Below is the complete interview I had with Christopher which lasted close to an hour. His humble, candid, honest approach to our discussion reveals his care and concern for the subject and great love for the work given to us by our late great Holy Father, Bl. John Paul II.
“The light of the Gospel, which is a clear but at times painful light, can illumine human sexuality to its very depth in order to transform it and bring it to its full beauty. Here lies the great strength of Blessed John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. In this peaceful and positive response to critics, Christopher West proves once again that he is a faithful and inspiring interpreter and communicator of this great pope’s teaching, a teaching so urgently needed for an effective proclamation of the Gospel.” —Christoph Cardinal Schönborn, cardinal archbishop of Vienna; general editor, Catechism of the Catholic Church;andgrand chancellor, International Theological Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family
“Christopher West has gone to the desert … and come back stronger than ever. Those who may previously have thought his work was one-sided in its celebration of the body and sexuality will find here, brought out more clearly than ever, the deep balance and integration that has always been the foundation of his work.” – Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson, Archbishop of Saint Louis, Chairman, USCCB Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations
During this time when we are asked to remember the value of our religious liberty, our conversation with Dr. Thomas Kidd is an important one. Dr. Kidd gives us the life and passionate thought of “Patrick Henry: First Among Patriots”. Patrick Henry gave us the great rallying cry “Give me Liberty or Give me Death”, and yet many of us may not realize that he had huge reservations about the scope of the Constitution, because he feared it could one day seize that liberty and destroy it if allowed to go unchecked….very interesting. I found this to be a fascinating book. Would Patrick Henry’s concern turn out to be a prophetic one? Dr. Thomas Kidd handles his subject well, and presents the time, place and overall personality of Henry with clarity and insight in a very compelling read.
Wilfred M. McClay, SunTrust Chair of Excellence in Humanities, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
“His (Patrick Henry’a) historical reputation has suffered somewhat because of his opposition to the Constitution, but as Thomas Kidd shows in this vivid and lucid new biography, that judgment fails to do him justice. Indeed, his fears of the Constitution’s tendency toward consolidation and empire turned out to be well-founded, and the principal themes of his life, including his emphasis upon the cultivation of virtue and the protection of limited government, have never been more relevant. May this fine book lead to a long-overdue reconsideration of a great but neglected figure.”
In “Marriage 911: How God Saved Our Marriage (and can save yours, too!)”, we meet Greg and Julie Alexander, a great and courageous couple. They candidly share the trials of what they felt was a lifeless, loveless marriage on the verge of divorce. Married in the Church, they began the process of seeking a way out of their union. Unexpectedly they encountered a faithful caring priest, who shared with them the Church’s understanding of marriage, and through incoporating those truths, revived and revitalized their sacramental relationship and their family as well. Now married over 20 years, they offer emergency hope and guidance to couples struggling in a similar conditions through their “Alexander House” non-profit marriage and family life enrichment apostolate. Visit their outstanding website http://www.thealexanderhouse.org/
Their breakthrough work in marriage has been featured on EWTN and talk radio, as well as in many publications, including Patrick Madrid s Surprised by Truth 3, Envoy, Catholic Herald, Denver Catholic Register, and Our Sunday Visitor.
Faith at Work: Finding Purpose Beyond the Paycheck is fantastic…a remedy for spirituality seekers in the workplace (and in the home as well)! You have to love a work that begins with conversion as a goal. Kevin Lowry offers concrete helps which assist all of us deepen our relationship with Christ and His Church, and live authentic lives as Catholics in the world. Great for individuals and for group study as well.
“Too many Christians treat ambition and success as if they’re four-letter words…. For a Catholic in business, they can be touchstones of sanctification.”— Scott Hahn, Ph.D., professor of biblical theology, Franciscan University of Steubenville
What is the “Roman Canon”? Fr. Milton Walsh helps us to answer that question and enter deeply into the mystery found in this beautiful Eucharistic prayer. Drawing from the best of biblical and liturgical scholarship, Fr. Walsh offers a beautiful meditation that can help priests, religious, and laity deepen their understanding of the text that for centuries was the only Eucharistic prayer used in the Roman Rite. This is a great book to give those in Catholic Adult Formation programs, like the RCIA, Diaconate training, Religious Education Catechist, as well as to the average “pew person” who longs for a deeper encounter in the depths of our Sacred Liturgy.
With a revised English translation of the venerable Roman Canon, many Catholics will be hearing it with new ears. This book will help them hear it with a new heart. Don’t just study the new words, step into the soul of Eucharistic Prayer I. —Rev. Paul Turner, Former president of the North American Academy of Liturgy
“The Church and New Media: Blogging Converts, Online Activists, and Bishops Who Tweet” is a must have for anyone who ventures on the internet. Brandon Vogt offers us a fascinating exploration of the many aspects of New Media; opening our eyes to the exciting opportunities and many of the dangers which occupy those who travel the “digital sea”.
“The Church and New Media is the best kind of reading: timely, vivid and rich in valuable information. For anyone seeking to understand and use today’s new technologies in advancing the Catholic faith, this book is an unsurpassed resource.”
Archbishop Charles Chaput,Archbishop of Philadelphia
Katie Davis is “just a normal girl who is trying to do what God has asked her to do”. “Kisses from Katie: A story of relentless love and redemption” is written by 22 year old Katie, who went to mission for a “short” time in Uganda and found God had another plan. Now she is the adopted mother of 13 girls and founder of Amazima Ministries, which encourages orphaned and vulnerable children and the poor in the country of Uganda. In the Lugandan language, Amazima (uh-mahz-i-muh) means “truth.” Amazima desires to reveal the truth of God’s unconditional love through Jesus Christ to the Ugandan people. Katie is remarkable and inspiring and a joy to read and talk with. Please, say a prayer for her and her “kids” today.