The Beggar’s Banquet

beggarsbanquetjpgThe Beggar’s Banquet by Regis Martin

Have you ever thought of yourself as a beggar? Being a beggar conjures up unpleasant visions associated with lack of material possessions and lack of hope. This is far from the vision Regis Martin sees in his book, The Beggar’s Banquet. The banquet is a series of rich meditations he presented to Cistercian monks over a period of five days. Each one is unique, spiritual and insightful written to help us consider our spiritual lives as beggars before Christ. Subtitled A Personal Retreat on Christ, His Mother, the Spiritual Life, and the Saints, Dr. Martin covers a variety of topics with reverence and depth and a dash of sly humor. Originally crafted as twenty-five minute meditations, they have been re-edited for print. As Dr. Martin writes, “We all need that horizon of absolute fulfillment, the insistent desire and longing that urges us closer and closer to the promised consummation. It is a movement borne aloft by hope.” Continue reading

The Privilege of Being a Woman

privilege-of-being-a-womanThe Privilege of Being a Woman by Alice von Hildebrand

Not found on Oprah’s Book List and probably not on the New York Times bestseller list, The Privilege of Being a Woman effectively dismantles the post-modern ideal of womanhood, femaleness and the so-called feminist creed. This book could really irritate Gloria Steinem because it extols humility.

Using her extensive knowledge of theology and philosophy, Dr. von Hildebrand builds her argument on the role of women and God’s plan for them. She gives a view that transcends the shallow, one-sided and sometimes bombastic writings of our culture regarding women. She doesn’t flinch and covers all of her bases – the bad, the good and the Divine. Continue reading

The Cube and the Cathedral

cubeandcathedralThe Cube and the Cathedral by George Weigel

For those of us devotees of Downton Abbey perhaps we should pause and consider the line that was drawn in the sand when the world pivoted and the Edwardian era came to an end. That was the era of gloved servants, silver salvers, “dressing” for meals, weekend hunts and the pecking order of the downstairs help. “World War I, the Great War, was the product of a crisis of civilizational morality…”  WWI changed the face of the world.  In The Cube and the Cathedral George Weigel takes us on a fascinating trip beginning with WWI and continuing through the 20th century (almost one hundred years now) using these two structures to illustrate the political and cultural decisions that have changed Europe and which should give America pause for thought. Continue reading

The Miraculous Medal – Stories, Prayers, and Devotions

miraculous-medal-donna-marie-cover-w350-194x300The Miraculous Medal – Stories, Prayers, and Devotions by Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle

“I knew nothing. I was nothing. For this reason God picked me out” (St. Catherine Labouré).

To know God’s grace. To embrace God’s grace. To live God’s grace. St. Catherine was a model of God’s grace from her childhood – she knew God and the Blessed Mother and never wavered in her faith. What a glorious gift from God; would that we all should be so blessed.

The Miraculous Medal by Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle is a journey through and to the sainthood of St. Catherine Labouré. And sainthood is not easy. Even with the enormous graces given to Catherine, she had to struggle against her father (a former seminarian!) to fulfill her vocation.
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Along the Way – Lessons for an Authentic Journey of Faith

AlongtheWay2-200x300Along the Way: Lessons for an Authentic Journey of Faith by Randy Hain

Lent is over . . . Easter is upon us . . . can Advent and Christmas be far away? These special liturgical seasons of the Church call us to increased holiness and awareness of God and ourselves. They are times for self-reflection, meditation and reconciliation followed by joyful celebration. But what about the other season of the church year – the “ordinary” time? Do we just revert back to ordinary? Perhaps so.

Randy Hain’s recent book, Along the Way: Lessons for an Authentic Journey of Faith, (Foreword by Tom Peterson, Founder of Catholics Come Home) is a call to be “extraordinary” in our faith life. This is a book worth carrying around for everyday reference. Building on his conversion and his love of the Church and her teachings, he has crafted a handbook to lead us to be “extraordinary” in our relationships with God, family and work – every day. His Catholic zeal and sincerity are infused throughout the book and make it easy to identify with his past and present struggles and his continuing daily conversion. Continue reading