A New Book: Joyful Encounters with Mary

A new book!

Maria Gallagher has written, Joyful Encounters with Mary: A Woman’s Guide to Living the Mysteries of the Rosary, a wonderful way to learn more about the joyful mysteries, virtues and the saints while living out your faith every day!

5 Joyful Mysteries

The 5 joyful mysteries are the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Nativity, the Presentation and the Finding of Jesus in the Temple. Each mystery is discussed in light of Mary, a virtue, a saint and how Maria has seen this mystery in her life.  The chapters also have questions to reflect on how your faith is present in your life. To learn how to pray the rosary, go here.

Why a book about Mary?

Maria has been blessed with many role models who helped her in her own faith adventure, modeling the love and care of Mary for her. MAria also reminds us that Mary leads us to Jesus and is always there for us – listening, helping and untieing the knots in our lives. We both like the Undoer of Knots Novena.

Where can I find this book?

The book is published by the Marian Servants and is on their website. You can read more of Maria’s work on her website.

Maria suggests, for our challenge this week, to actively cultivate a deeper relationship with Mary, our Blessed Mother.

Imagine You Walked with Jesus, A Guide to Ignatian Contemplative Prayer.

Teaching Prayer

Teaching a person to pray using Ignatian Contemplative Prayer is not an easy task. It takes time and repetition to learn. The other point to consider when teaching someone is that you want the person to enter into the prayer based on their needs, not the person teaching. In his new book, Imagine you Walked with Jesus: A Guide to Ignatian Contemplative Prayer Jerry Windley-Daoust does an amazing job of guiding you to a deep experience of prayer.

In this episode, Jerry and I talk about what makes his book unique, how it leads you through Jesus’ life with 40 different scripture passages and gives you a format you can use with prompts and suggestions to enter into prayer.

Don’t skip

Jerry starts the book off with 2 important chapters, the first an introduction to imaginative prayer and a brief tour of first-century Palestine. Both will be of help to you as you begin.

I also suggest moving through the scripture passages as Jerry has organized them. That way, you will see Jesus’ life and ministry unfold as you pray with the scripture.

Learn more

Find out more about the book, find journaling resources, more scripture suggestions and other help in getting started on the Guide to Imaginative Prayer website.

Our challenge this week comes from Jerry: “Go walk with Jesus in imaginative prayer! Choose a Scripture passage that reflects your situation, and go meet Jesus there, and see what happens.”

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365 Dates to Renew your Christian Marriage

Let’s talk

That phrase could be the answer to “how to strike fear in the heart of my husband?” But it isn’t. Honest. Dating your spouse and keeping your marriage at the forefront of your life can be difficult. What you might need is to take a look at this book from Dana Nygaard for 365 sets of questions to ask on a date.

Why this book?

At times, it is hard to think of what to talk about besides the necessary or tedious or mundane. Dana had put together questions that vary from fun to serious to silly that you can ask each other on your date. And “date” is loosely defined here. It can be a walk, a drive, dinner, or quiet time at home when the rest of the house is sleeping.

Each date has 3 questions: Ready, a warm-up; Set – while you are on your date, deep but can still be talked about in public and then Go – this is the time for privacy as you go into the topic more deeply. Prayer is also included, to be used individually and together.

Who is this for?

Any couple who wants to know and learn more about each other.  You can purchase the book on Dana’s website, follow her on Facebook and Instagram too!

Dana has a great challenge for us this week. She says, “protect your marriage by intentionally pursuing your spouse on date nights.”

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New Book – Saintly Moms, 25 Stories of Holiness

New Book

My best life includes a steady supply of books and time to read them. How about you? This week I spoke with Kelly Ann Guest, the author of Saintly Moms, 25 Stories of Holiness published by Our Sunday Visitor.

 

Who are these Saintly Moms?

25 women, from the Blessed Mother to Saint Gianna Molla, women who embody real-life challenges with love and joy, becoming the holy women we are all called to become.

Kelly chose 25 saints, including a few on the road to sainthood, and tells us their story in a few short pages. each saint is meant to inspire us in the way they moved beyond the trials of their life to be holy. Kelly writes in a style that both teaches and inspires, reminding us that we too can be holy.

Each chapter opens with facts about the saint and closes with a prayer. Moms at all stages of motherhood will enjoy this book. I loved learning about new saints.

Prayer is the commonality in all these women saints, so take time each day to pray. Start with 5 minutes and go from there. If you already have a prayer practice, add to it. You won’t regret prayer!

Where else can you find Kelly Guest?

Her website: Nun2Nine.com

 

Finding Sanctuary, How the Wild Work of Peace Restored the Heart of a Sandy Hook Mother

Restoration and Healing

People often wonder, when terrible things happen, how those involved recover. How do they find their way back to wholeness? This book, Finding Sanctuary, How the Wild Work of Peace Restored the Heart of a Sandy Hook Mother by Jennifer Hubbard, published by Ave Maria Press, is the story of just that, wholeness after a tragedy.

Amazing Conversation

I cannot synthesize my conversation with Jenny into a few points. I can tell you that speaking with her reinforced what I took away from in reading her book. She is quick to point out that her tragedies and trials are not greater than anyone else’s.

Grief

There is no one way to grieve. Trust in God, he knows what we need in the process of grieving and will provide. Jenny reminds us that there is beauty and growth in our trials and to be true and real with God. Don’t hide from him.

We didn’t have a challenge specifically, but Jenny talked about praying for eyes to see and ears to hear. I think that is good prayer for this week!

A new book: Hearts Burning within Us

Meet the authors

Anne DeSantis and Bill Synder are the people who worked together along with other contributors and college students to put together this unique book. Why do Is ay unique? Because the questions are not what they think college students need to know about but are actual questions from students!

Bill is the founder of Patchwork Heart Ministry. He is a passionate Catholic with a lively faith. For over a dozen years he has been an active member and leader in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal and holds bachelor’s degrees in both Theology/Religious Studies and TV/Radio Production from the University of Scranton, PA. As a youth minister, servant leader, teacher and dynamic speaker he harnesses the energy of young Catholics, guiding them into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ and challenges them to be bold witnesses to the Catholic Faith.

Anne is Anne DeSantis is a wife, mom and the director of a non-profit called the St. Raymond
Nonnatus Foundation for Freedom, Family, and Faith. She is a Catholic Author
and hosts a weekly podcast with co-host Bill called “Sewing Hope” and a weekly on-line TV show called “Journeys in Faith with Anne DeSantis” on Fiat Ministry Network.

What’s the purpose of the book?

To give answers to questions that are relevant to upper high and college students about how faith and life intersect. The goal of the book is to speak with truth, clarity and charity about the truth of Catholicism.

Who is the book for?

Graduating high school seniors, whether they’re attending college or not; parents and grandparents who want to be able to answer questions in a relatable way; youth and young adult ministers; campus ministers. Keep in mind, the book is not meant to be read cover to cover, but rather, as questions come up, use the book to learn the answers and as a springboard for discussion.

Links to everything we mentioned in the episode!

Preorder the book here

Follow Anne on her website, Facebook; Patchwork Heart Ministry on YouTube;

Sewing Hope on Instagram

We have two options for this episode or if you’re feeling particularly ambitious, do both! Bill invites us to consider doing today one thing you want to do tomorrow. Anne suggests reaching out to the marginalized, do something good for someone who is lonely, depressed, anxious or needs a friend.

Make Every Day Blessed – A new Stay Connected Journal

I recently spoke with Jen Frost, a sewist and fabric designer who wrote a book on living out the liturgical year. I didn’t mention it to Jen, but this is one of my favorite topics! How we can incorporate the Church seasons into our daily life is something I think is so important. It truly helps us to live out our faith every day. I also loved the way Jen said it, it helps her make “my faith my own.” If you want more specific information on the Church seasons, I have an episode for you.

A little about Jen

Creating has always been a part of her life; she learned to hand sew at a very young age, and remembers her mom sewing Halloween each year. Jen’s mother-in-law quilts. She introduced Jen to it and she fell in love with it – and that Christmas, after not being able to find an Advent quilt pattern available on the market, Jen taught herself how to write quilt patterns and published her first pattern: Advent Wreaths.

For Jen, creating Christian patterns is a beautiful way to share faith through gorgeous quilts and fabrics! She fills a niche in the quilt pattern market that wasn’t being filled before. Jen appreciates the inclusion that offering faith-filled patterns brings and being able to connect with so many different denominations.

From sewing to writing

Back in 2015, Jen met Allison Gingras on a podcast interview for Catholic Creatives. The pair stayed in touch and when Allison put together a group of women to write the Stay Connected Journals she asked Jen to write the one on liturgical living.

What’s in the book?

The book, published by Our Sunday Visitor,  has 7 chapters, each focusing on a different Chruch season. Advent, Lent, Easter, Christmas and Ordinary Time are discussed. There are scripture references and questions to ponder to help make a connection between the word and everyday life. And while it can read cover to cover, Jen suggests reading it just before the next season, so you’re not reading about Christmas in July! In fact, she has a book club set up on her website that does just that. Take a look at it and consider joining in!

Not Lukewarm Challenge

This week, Jen invites you to consider your family and faith traditions and find out a little more about it. Where does it come from? Why do you do it?  So maybe you’ll ask a family member or maybe it requires a bit of internet research, but either way, find out a bit more!

Jen’s website, Faith and Fabric. 

Buy her new book!