Resource Reviews

Resource Review: A Church on the Move

on Wednesday, 18 January 2017. Kristin Bird Posted in For Parish Leaders, Resource Reviews

A Church on the Move:  52 Ways to Get Mission and Mercy in Motion
by Joe Paprocki

A Church on the Move by Joe Paprocki

A Church on the Move offers 52 practical strategies for moving parishes forward, principally by focusing on the one thing the Church can offer that the world-at-large cannot: Jesus Christ.

 

Choosing a 2016 Advent Calendar

on Sunday, 27 November 2016. Fr. Larry Rice Posted in Family Faith, Advent, Seasons, Resource Reviews

Choosing a 2016 Advent Calendar

This week, the Church begins the season of Advent, the first season of a new liturgical year and the time we set aside to prepare for the coming of Christ: both his coming into the world at Christmas and his return in glory at the end of time.

One challenge facing us—and parents especially— is keeping Advent as its own season, while all around us, the world seems steeped in Christmas, which for us doesn’t begin until Christmas Eve. With all the shopping, entertaining, and advertising we have to contend with, how do we keep Advent as a time of prayerful preparation for the Lord?

Holy Week with Dante

on Monday, 21 March 2016. Brittany Miller Posted in Lent, Seasons, Resource Reviews

Holy Week with Dante

I have been wanting to read Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy for some time, but have always been too busy to begin. However, after learning of Pope Francis’ high valuation of the poem, I knew that I could no longer delay.

Through his writings, Dante, is a man who invites us to regain the path of our human journey and the hope to once again see the bright horizon where shines the full dignity of the human person.

Happily, I have found the poem to be much more understandable and enlightening than I had envisioned. Despite its Medieval nature, the poem ignites the deadened imagination and reminds the reader of the undeniable human desire for God.

Dante’s Divine Comedy begins with Inferno, which describes the principle character’s journey through hell. I began Inferno near the beginning of Lent and have found it to be an excellent aide to Lenten preparations for confession. Journeying through the various rings of hell, and the corresponding human sins, invites the reader to make an interior journey into the depth of one’s own soul.

Dante’s punishments are carefully crafted to reflect the underlying nature of unholy human behaviors. The vivid images compel the reader to determine if one’s current state of being corresponds to the state of the punished sinners.

For example, Dante’s pilgrim encounters a group of souls who lived their life with no real purpose. They were too cowardly, or too lazy, to devote themselves completely to God or even to adamantly resist Him. As the pilgrim watches, he sees a blank banner go by:

Resource Review: Head & Heart, Becoming Spiritual Leaders for your Family by Katie Warner.

on Tuesday, 08 September 2015. Brian Hellmann Posted in For Parents, Family Faith, Resource Reviews

Head & Heart: Becoming Spiritual Leaders for your Family
by Katie Warner

head heart warner

Husbands and wives. Fathers and Mothers. Breadwinners and Homemakers. As men and women, we have many ways of approaching our roles in family life. But what if we could find even deeper meaning in our God-given vocations by viewing ourselves as the spiritual head or the spiritual heart of our family?

 

Resource Review: Exploring Catholic Theology Essays on God, Liturgy and Evangelization

on Monday, 24 August 2015. Jean Buffington Posted in New Evangelization, Resource Reviews

Exploring Catholic Theology Essays on God, Liturgy and Evangelization
by Bishop-Elect Robert Barron

exploring catholic theology barron

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."

Resource Review: Dr. Brant Pitre's Lighthouse CDs on Marriage

on Wednesday, 08 July 2015. Steve Anderson Posted in Family Faith, Sacraments, Resource Reviews

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)?

 Jesus the Bridegroom: The Greatest Love Story Ever Told Dr. Brant Pitre

Praying When You're Too Busy To Pray

on Friday, 26 June 2015. Brittany Miller Posted in How Do You Pray?, Family Faith, Prayer, Resource Reviews

Saint John Paul the Great: His Five Loves by Jason EvertOur 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.

 

Resource Review: The "R" Father

on Monday, 08 June 2015. Maureen Anderson Posted in Resource Reviews

The "R" Father: 14 Ways to Respond to the Lord's Prayer by Mark Hart

The "R" Father: 14 Ways to Respond to the Lord's Prayer

 

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.

Dandelions for Mary

on Monday, 01 June 2015. Brittany Miller Posted in Family Faith, Resource Reviews

Review of Take it To the Queen: A Tale of Hope

Dandelions for Mary

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.

Great Lenten Giveaway

on Monday, 02 February 2015. Posted in Lent, Seasons, Resource Reviews

Great Lenten Giveaway

We're giving away some of the best Catholic Lent resources to 7 lucky winners!

A new winner is picked each day, so enter early for your best chance to win!

You can get 1 entry for each of the tasks you complete below...

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

We know that there are a plethora of resources out there to help those who want to grow in their faith – but that so many Catholics get overwhelmed at the thought of having to sift through the thousands of books listed on Amazon or the Catholic blogs and news sources that are out there. Part of our mission is to comb through the thousands upon thousands of available books, videos, CDs, websites, podcasts, DVDs, and apps and share with you only the best. Like these...

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