I love Bishop-Elect Barron and always find him to be a wonderful source of inspiration. This book does not disappoint, but it is definitely a "slow read."
I decided to listen to both of these talks by Dr. Brandt Pitre as I was exploring resources to help my son prepare for his upcoming wedding.
Jesus the Bridegroom:
The Greatest Love Story Ever Told
In Jesus the Bridegroom, Dr. Pitre’s down to earth speaking style really helps explain the covenant relationship between God and his people and how that is reflected between a bride and a groom. The alert listener will come to understand why the Church values Holy Matrimony the way it does
To be sure, most Christians are familiar with the apostle Paul’s teaching that Christ is the 'Bridegroom’ and the Church is the 'Bride’. But what does this really mean? And what would ever possess Paul to compare the death of Christ to the love of a husband for his wife? If you would have been at the Crucifixion, with Jesus hanging there dying, is that how you would have described it? How could a first-century Jew like Paul, who knew how brutal Roman crucifixions were, have ever compared the execution of Jesus to a wedding? And why does he refer to this as the “great mystery” (Ephesians 5:32)?
Our church bookclub recently finished the book Saint John Paul the Great: His Five Loves by Jason Evert. Part biography and part explanation of five things Mr. Evert deemed most important to this amazing pope and saint, the book was a page-turning and inspiring read
It must be impossible to read about this great saint without desiring to amend some aspect of one’s own life in imitation of his holiness. Among the amazing aspects of Saint John Paul the Great’s life was his devotion to near constant prayer.
My own prayer life had been inconsistent and of little depth in recent months, so I decided that now would be the perfect time to make some changes.
Jumping In With Both Feet
Inspired by Saint John Paul the Great’s other great devotion to Mary, I thought that the daily Rosary would be a good place to start. Some of the women in the book club recommended saying the Rosary while doing other tasks, such as driving or doing dishes. After some rather questionable driving, loading dirty dishes into the dishwasher with clean ones and falling asleep while praying in the evening, I decided that I need to pray the Rosary when I am neither busy nor tired.
Many would say the most important prayer we can say is the "Our Father" Why? Because Jesus himself taught us this prayer! And yet, it is so easy to fall into the rote repetition of the words of this classic prayer without really engaging our hearts with it.
More than a series of petitions, the Lord's Prayer is a way for us to connect deeply with the heart of our heavenly Father. In The "R" Father, popular Catholic author Mark Hart reflects on each of the words and phrases of the Our Father, he emphasizes the intimate relationship that God desires to have with us.
By breaking down this prayer into bite size pieces, Hart makes the depth and richness of this prayer come a live in a new way. Despite having been a cradle Catholic who has said more "Our Fathers" than I could ever count, I had no idea of the deep meaning underlying each phrase.
Review of Take it To the Queen: A Tale of Hope
Spring in Kansas brings beautiful pink and white blossoms, bright green leaves, new blades of grass, and every young child’s flower of choice: the dandelion. There is usually no shortage of bright yellow blooms and white balls of fluff adorning our slightly neglected yard. Thus, to my daughter’s great delight, she can pick flowers whenever she chooses. Often, she brings the flowers over to me, and joyfully bestows her gift of a dandelion bouquet upon an all too grateful mother. They may be weeds, but when given with total love by a bright-eyed three-year-old, they seem more beautiful than the most gorgeous of roses.
When May arrived, I decided that we would spend a little time honoring and learning about Mary. We planted flowers in a small Mary garden and I purchased a new book. Take It to the Queen: A Tale of Hope by Josephine Nobisso is an allegorical account of Mary’s role in salvation and as our mother. I wondered if the story might be a little advanced for my daughter, but she was captivated. At the end, without any prompting from me, she even asked if the story had a picture of baby Jesus. She must have grasped at least little pieces of the allegory.