What a delight to talk with Ashley Hales about her book “Finding Holy in the Subrubs: Living Faithfully in the Land of Too Much.” This book is about bringing things out into the light. We discuss the “idols” of the suburbs and the challenges of being truly present to our neighbors.
What does it look like to live a full Christian life in the suburbs? Suburbs reflect our good, God-given desire for a place to call home. And suburbs also reflect our own brokenness. This book is an invitation to look deeply into your soul as a suburbanite and discover what it means to live holy there.
God sets a father in honor over his children;
a mother’s authority he confirms over her sons.
Whoever honors his father atones for sins,
and preserves himself from them.
When he prays, he is heard;
he stores up riches who reveres his mother.
Whoever honors his father is gladdened by children,
and, when he prays, is heard.
Whoever reveres his father will live a long life;
he who obeys his father brings comfort to his mother.My son, take care of your father when he is old;
grieve him not as long as he lives.
Even if his mind fail, be considerate of him;
revile him not all the days of his life;
kindness to a father will not be forgotten,
firmly planted against the debt of your sins
—a house raised in justice to you.
Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton. He was ordained on May 30, 1953, by the late Bishop William J. Hafey, D.D. at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Scranton, PA. Msgr. Esseff served a retreat director and confessor to St. Mother Teresa. He continues to offer direction and retreats for the sisters of the missionaries of charity around the world. Msgr. Esseff encountered St. Padre Pio, who would become a spiritual father to him. He has lived in areas around the world, serving in the Pontifical missions, a Catholic organization established by St. Pope John Paul II to bring the Good News to the world especially to the poor. Msgr. Esseff assisted the founders of the Institute for Priestly Formation and continues to serve as a spiritual director for the Institute. He continues to serve as a retreat leader and director to bishops, priests and sisters and seminarians and other religious leaders around the world.
What a great conversation with Dr. Timothy Muldoon, who with his wife, Sue, has written a wonderfully rich spiritual resource for today’s family entitled “The Discerning Parent: An Iganatius Guide to Raising Your Teen.” Fr. Timothy Gallagher said it so well, this is “An engaging book for parents who desire that God be the center of raising their teenage children. Applying Ignatian discernment to this specific task–a valuable contribution–the authors offer clarity and hope to all parents.”
This thoughtful approach shows you how to talk with your children openly about freedom vs. limits, friendships, family time, sexuality, the use and abuse of technology, faith and Catholic practice, recognizing the needs of others, and getting through hard times together. You’ll discover when to be tough and when to be forgiving, when to control and when to give freedom, when to give feedback and when to wait. You will learn the importance of praying for your teens, and the important of praying together as a family.
Daily and weekly prayers, devotions, and meditations will guide you as the Muldoons show how this is a time of discernment for you as well as your teens–and create a way for you to move through these challenging years together. The Discerning Parent offers you an opportunity to pause and consider your life and your teen’s in the light of faith.
What a blessing to have my first “Inside the Pages” show be with Kimberly Hahn! She is an inspiration on so many levels. The entire “Life-Nurturing Love” series is wonderful (book and DVD). When you read Kimberly Hahn, you can’t help but feel you are receiving the best advice from a wise and cherished friend. With good humor and joy, Kimberly offers Christ-centered teaching from the heart of the Church in her unique maternal-nurturing way. Beloved and Blessed is one of the most important witnesses in recent times on how to truly live out God’s design for marriage.
The third in a series of Bible studies based on Proverbs 31, Beloved and Blessed offers tools to help you strengthen your marriage and raise your children, creating a civilization of love in your home. Applying Sacred Scripture, Church teaching, and pastoral wisdom, Kimberly Hahn helps you explore:
Facing the financial future without fear
Strategies for disciplining and instructing children
Trusting God when parenting hurts
Discussion questions help you apply the material to your own life and make the book a valuable resource for small group discussion.
We could not be more enthusiastic about bringing forward any book this year than we are with Rod Dreher’s ” The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation”! Relying on the wisdom of St. Benedict of Nursia, Rod suggests that the answer to the moral chaos that has affected our culture is to embrace the principles of order, hospitality, stability, and prayer. These core attributes can become solid foundations of all Christians—Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox—and can transform our lives, families and the culture that surrounds us. “Neither false optimism nor fatalistic despair will do” as so well stated in the book description “Only faith, hope, and love, embodied in a renewed church, can sustain believers in the dark age that have overtaken us. These are the days for building strong arks for the long journey across a sea of night.” Highly recommended!
“A terrific book: provocative in its content, shrewd in its insights, vivid and engaging in its style. The strength of The Benedict Option is not just its analysis of our culture’s developing problems but its outline of practical ways Christians can survive and thrive in a dramatically different America. This is an invaluable tool for understanding our times and acting as faithful believers.” —Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Philadelphia
“How the West Really Lost God: A New Theory of Secularization” is a phenomenal book on this subject. Mary Eberstadt delivers a compelling theory about the decline of the Christian religion in the Western world. By the analysis of data on the family, from pre-Revolutionary France to contemporary culture in the West, she demonstrates how the natural family is the prime nurturing force for Christianity in society. When that family structure dissolves, so does the Christian religion in a culture and the rise of secularization is fostered. While presenting the problem, she also offers hope for the future. Another fascinating and provocative read by Mary Eberstadt!
“An absolutely brilliant and strikingly fresh portrait of the ‘double-helix’ of faith and family, coupled with a potentially game-changing analysis of the why and how of secularization, all written with the sparkle and empathy that characterize the work of one of America’s premier social analysts.” —George Weigel, Distinguished Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center, Washington, D.C.
“Mary Eberstadt’s account of the synergistic relationship between the fracturing of the family and declining religiosity is both chilling and utterly convincing. No theorist of secularization has come close to Eberstadt in sociological insight or explanatory power.”
— Mary Ann Glendon, author of The Forum and the Tower: How Scholars and Politicians Have Imagined the World from Plato to Eleanor Roosevelt
“A brilliant contribution to the really big question about the future of the West, and a pleasure to read.”—Rodney Stark, author of The Rise of Christianity
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.
“The Little Oratory: A Beginner’s Guide to Praying in the Home” by David Clayton and Leila M. Lawler is absolutely wonderful. More than just a “prayer-how-to”, this book is about the beauty of God and embracing the relationship in all areas of our lives. Clayton and Lawler help us to reverence the sacred found in our homes, in the rhythm of the day, the blessings we have been given, and the gift of the present moment. This is for every home, whether one filled with children or a sanctuary for the single life, this is a must have for those who wish to be surrounded in prayer.
“This is one of the most beautiful books I have ever seen. How I wish I had it when I first became a Catholic, not just for myself, as a husband and father, but for my family, too. If one book has the potential to transform the Catholic family (and society), this is it.” – Scott Hahn
“This book is a rare treasure.” – Thomas Howard
“Wonderful, inspiring, and deeply practical.” – Joseph Pearce, Editor of The Saint Austin Review
“A great blessing to Catholic families.” – Stratford Caldecott, an editor of Magnificat UK
What a delight to talk with Simcha Fisher! She is one of the most intriguing, engaging, and truly authentic Catholic writers out there today. Her blogging for the National Catholic Register is a stand out for their online features, and her Patheos blog “I Have to Sit Down” is one of my all-time favorites (I highly encourage bookmarking it). It’s a joy to be able to heartily recommend “The Sinner’s Guide to Natural Family Planning“! Far from being just a critical examination of the topic, this book reads more like a conversation with a good friend at a coffee house. All issues on are the table and thoughtfully discussed. Wherever you find yourself on the subject, respect and encouragement is the order of the day. Challenges are acknowledged and addressed by Simcha, who delivers time tested wisdom that is only garnered from a lived faith and years of experience. Everyone should be reading this book, not just young married couples, but also priest, deacons, religious, and couples engaged in the conversations that shape our culture today.
Simcha speaks … with honesty along with the wit and wisdom that always make her teachings so memorable and helpful. She summons all of us to trust, mutual patience and kindness, and to a joyful honesty about NFP. —Msgr. Charles Pope, Pastor of Holy Comforter – St. Cyprian Parish, Washington, DC
Before The Sinner s Guide to NFP, the only way you could get this kind of candor on the subject of Natural Family Planning was in private conversations with your best friend. Simcha has taken all the things we think about NFP but feel like we can t say, brought them into the light, and addressed them with insight and razor-sharp wit. You ll laugh, you ll nod your head in recognition, and you ll ultimately walk away inspired by the kind of encouragement that only someone else in the trenches can offer. —Jennifer Fulwiler of Conversion Diary
Archbishop Lucas offers insights on the US Catholic Catechism for Adults Chapter 30:
THREATS TO MARRIAGE The Catechism lists the following behaviors as acts that undermine the purpose and dignity of marriage.
Adultery is gravely sinful because it violates God’s call to a loving covenant of fidelity between a married man and woman. The act of adultery is an injustice to the wounded spouse. It weakens the institution of marriage and the stability of the family.
Divorce is contrary to the natural law for it breaks the promise “to which the spouses freely consented to live with each other till death” (CCC, no. 2384). Jesus clearly taught that God’s original plan for marriage excluded divorce (cf. Mt 5:31-32, 9:3-9; Mk 10:9; Lk 16:18; 1 Cor 7:10-11). Marriage is an indissoluble union. Jesus removed the accommodations for divorce that had been tolerated under the Old Law.
The couple may be allowed a separation in certain cases, such as when adultery is occurring or some type of abuse is present. A separation can be, at times, a prudent action to take. “If civil divorce remains the only possible way of ensuring certain legal rights, the care of the children, or the protection of inheritance, it can be tolerated and does not constitute a moral offense” (CCC, no. 2383). In such cases, a Catholic can still receive the Sacraments.
Cohabitation (an unmarried couple living together) involves the serious sin of fornication. It does not conform to God’s plan for marriage and is always wrong and objectively sinful. Cohabitation does not guarantee successful married life, as has been revealed in the painful experience of many, and is detrimental to future commitment.
Polygamy (having more than one spouse at a time) violates the understanding of the equal dignity that a man and woman bring to marriage and contradicts the unitive purpose of marriage.
Attempts to justify same-sex unions or relationships or to give them matrimonial status also contradict God’s plan—as revealed from the beginning both in nature and in Revelation—for marriage to be a lifelong union of a man and a woman.
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) (2012-04-02). United States Catholic Catechism for Adults (Kindle Locations 5936-5951). United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Kindle Edition.
The Most Reverend George J. Lucas leads the Archdiocese of Omaha.