Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Workbook for Lectors, Gospel Readers, and Proclaimers of the Word 2018 Canadian Edition - Ed. Elain Park et al

Workbook for Lectors, Gospel Readers, and Proclaimers of the Word 2018 Canadian Edition
by Elain Park, SSL, STD
Konrad Schaefer, OSB, SSD
Douglas Leal
Liturgy Training Publications
ISBN 9781616713485

I have been using these workbooks for a few now. I use them to read the readings for the upcoming weekend masses, and other special feats and holy days of obligations. I use them to help me prepare my weekly reflections on the readings for Sunday masses. Historically I have used an app, or website for the mass readings. And I still do so for the weekday mass readings. But there are several features I love about these books, for personal study and for use in preparing my reflections.

I read through the readings once from beginning to end. Usually on Monday or Tuesday. On Wednesday I read them through and I also read the section ‘For Meditation and Context’ on the left side of each page. Then right before I go to write my reflection I make notes, highlight, underline, and read the commentary at the bottom of the pages. Then I tend to reflect upon them and write my reflection on Friday or Saturday typically.

That way buy the time I encounter the readings at mass, I have engaged with them between 2 and 4 times. I also appreciate that at times there is a pronunciation guide on the left sidebar. There is a lot of space for notes, and comments. Sometimes I draw line connecting passages. Because this is a use one year and done book, I tend to mark it up far more than other books I read.

As can be seen by the above description I find these books invaluable for personal study and believe that they are a great tool for any Lectors, Gospel Readers, or Proclaimers of the Word. I have often sat as mass and heard a reader struggle with a pronunciation, especially of biblical names of people or places. Using a book like this to prepare would be an asset.

I write this review as I prepare for the Thirty-Fourth Sunday of ordinary time. The end of the church year. The week after we begin the 2019 church cycle with the First Sunday of Advent, and a new volume.

In summary this book is very reasonably priced. It is excellent for anyone who reads at mass, or for some of us that just want to engage in a deeper way with the readings. For personal study or just to be better prepared for mass each weekend. So pick it up and give this next years edition a try.

Workbook for Lectors, Gospel Readers, and Proclaimers of the Word 2019 Canadian Edition
by Elain Park, SSL, STD
Konrad Schaefer, OSB, SSD
Douglas Leal
Liturgy Training Publications
ISBN 9780889978232

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Prayer of the Day A Prayer to St. Clare of Assisi

A Prayer to St. Clare of Assisi

St. Clare, you were a light to many people during your life on earth. You gave yourself fully to service of the poor through your charity and your prayers.

Help me today to give my life and my love to all those in need: the hungry, the sick, the lonely, and those who are hurting in any way. Help me to quiet my heart, to live simply, and to see the precious face of Jesus in the people around me.
May my life be a light to others, that they will know the love of Jesus in their hearts.

Help me to give my gifts more fully to God, who has blessed me so much.

Monday, 19 November 2018

Roland West Outcast - Theresa Linden - West Brothers Book 5

Roland West Outcast
West Brothers Book 5
Theresa Linden
Silver Fire Publishing

ISBN 9780997674767
eISBN 9780463544655

Theresa Linden is one of my favourite contemporary authors. If not my favourite. I have compared her writings to Madeleine L’Engle and Lois Lowry, and firmly stand by that comparison. And it is good clean fiction. Young Adult novels that have the strength and appeal that I believe any adult would enjoy reading them. They have strong Christian themes and usually have Catholic main characters. This is the fifth book in the West Brothers Trilogy and one of Linden’s best!

Roland West is the youngest of three brothers. Since they started attending a public high school he has had more than his share of difficulties, with his older brothers and with others. But when a fellow student’s house is vandalized and his closest friend, Peter, asks for help figuring it out, then Roland is on the case. This book runs parallel to many events in the book Standing Strong. But we see different aspects of those events. Roland is stuck in a hard place. He is reserved, but is pushed to join a new group trying to counter intolerance.  But soon he feels like any view but his is acceptable. Linden handles these elements in a masterful way. And they are questions and attitudes that could be taken from the headlines of almost any paper today. An excellent read for teens, and for us older folks that just love a great read!

In a day and age when any view but the Christian view is acceptable. And a time when science and fact matter less and less, to mob or common opinion rule Linden’s book bring light and shine that light on some of the darker places. Darker places in our own hearts, and in the world around us. Her books are never preachy, but always contain a clear message. She writes and shows that there is clearly a write and a wrong, but there is also the need for compassion and understanding in all personal relationships.

I loved this book, and this series. And look forward to my children being a little older to reread it with them. Another excellent read from the master wordsmith Theresa Linden!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading PlanThis review is the third stop on the Roland West Outcast Blog Tour follow the tour over the rest of the month.

And now a word from the author Theresa Linden:
Embarrassing Moments

This story has several themes running through it and one concerns living through embarrassing moments. If you’ve read other books in the West Brothers series, you know that Caitlyn Summer has her share of them. She is often dropping things and running into people, but she doesn’t seem too bothered by it. Roland West, on the other hand, finds himself in embarrassing moments not because he is klutzy, but shy. 

After the prologue, Roland West, Outcast begins in speech class. It’s the second week of school, only a week after Roland lived through the humiliating spray-tan incident you read about in Standing Strong. The teacher is getting ready to call on the first speaker. If you ever had to give a speech and you are shy, you will likely identify with Roland’s reaction. 

This scene was easy to write because my life has been filled with embarrassing moments, some just like this one and others resulting more from my klutziness. In grade school, I was so engrossed in conversation with a friend that I walked right into a tetherball pole. After getting over the initial pain from smacking into a hard metal pole, I probably laughed about it. 

I never considered myself to be shy in grade school, but I was painfully shy in high school. And just like at River Run High in the story, we had to give speeches on a few occasions. One “speech” sticks out in my mind. We were supposed to work with a partner and create the script for a TV commercial, which the teacher would film. It was late October, so my friend and I decided to make a commercial for a haunted house. Her role was to pretend to leave the haunted house terrified. I was to be the “reporter” and describe the haunted house. 

Well, my friend did her role rather well. She shrieked and screamed over and over, crawling across the floor of the classroom. I did not do my role so well. A fit of uncontrollable laughter took over, making me unable to say a single word. So no one ever realized what our commercial was about. It was just me laughing and my friend crawling and screaming. I can’t remember what grade we got for that.
The awkward, embarrassing moments may have lessened in my adult years, but I still have a few. Just the other night, I met a new friend at her house so we could go shopping together. After shopping, I got in my car and pulled straight out of her dark driveway and onto the road. Only . . . her driveway is curved. Once on the street, I realized that I just drove through her yard. And she was standing there watching me do it. Embarrassing! 

Do you ever wonder why God allows these embarrassing moments? I think He allows them so we can grow in humility. He doesn’t want us puffed up with false pride but to recognize our littleness. It’s okay to make mistakes. When struck with embarrassing moments, we can more fully realize that there are parts of life that we just aren’t able to control. We need Him! And He wants us to grow in trust! 

Note: Share your own embarrassing moment in the comments to enter the GIVEAWAY!

This review is the third stop on the Roland West Outcast Blog Tour follow the tour over the rest of the month.

Saturday, November 17 
The Lounge
Check out the Author Interview and look for the 1st GIVEAWAY! 
Sunday, November 18 
Franciscan Mom
Monday, November 19 
Book Reviews & More 
Tuesday, November 20
Monthly Book Review 
Wednesday, November 21
Faith, Inspiration, and a Cup of Tea 
Thursday, November 22
My Scribbler’s Heart Blog 
Friday, November 23
T.M. Gaouette Writer, Blogger, and Author of Catholic Fiction

Books by Theresa Linden:
Anyone But Him
Tortured Soul

Chasing Liberty Series:
01 Chasing Liberty
02 Testing Liberty
03 Fight For Liberty
Bound to find Freedom - Short Story


West brothers Series:
Roland West Loner
Life-Changing Love
Battle for His Soul

Standing Strong
Roland West Outcast

Other Books:
A Symbol of Hope - Short Story
A Battle for the Faith (with John Paul Wohlscheid)


Books contributed to:
Image and Likeness: Literary Reflections on the Theology of the Body
Secrets: Visible & Invisible 7 Amazing Stories - Catholic Teen Books

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Thirty-Third Sunday of Ordinary Time 2018

Thirty-Third Sunday of Ordinary Time 2018

The readings for this weekend's mass are:

First Reading Daniel 12:1-3
Responsorial Psalm 16:5, 8, 9-11 Response 1
Second Reading Hebrews 10:11-14, 18
Gospel Mark 13:24-32

Renovations in earnest have begun in the sanctuary at church. Over the last few years the ceiling has been redone, the raw polish grey concrete has been painted, and now the biggest change, the altar area will be switched from carpet to tile, and the area under the pews will be getting new carpet. The choir area is moving, as is the Our lady of Fatima statue. 

Construction started later than hoped and will now flow into advent. I have been holding off on leading anew altar server training because with the renovations a lot will be changing in how mass is served. I did not want to train new servers and then need to retrain them within a few months. But that decision is leaving us low on servers, especially for advent, Christmas, and Christmastide. 

At mass last night and again this morning, the renovations caused me to reflect upon our own internal renovations. Some people buy a house and renovate it room by room, and when done sell and start over. Others buy a house and just continuously make changes. C.S. Lewis once stated:

“Mere change is not growth. Growth is the synthesis of change and continuity, and where there is no continuity there is no growth.” 

Our life should not be about making continuous changes just for the sake of change. But we should be striving for self improvement, working for change and growth in mind, body, and spirit. Author Robert Wolff wrote:

“The one thing you can be absolutely sure of in your life is change. It's the only thing that never changes. The law of nature is that you either grow or you die; there's no in-between. So, what have you chosen so far?”

And that is what we need to strive for. To pursue, to hunger and thirst for is growth. Growth in God and his ways. Growth in love and compassion. Growth in all areas of our lives. The end of today’s first reading states:

“Those who are wise shall shine like the brightest of the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.”

We need to be working on renovating our lives, our wills, our attitudes, and our actions so that we are a good witness to what we believe. Our rock, our foundation is Christ Jesus, the response for this weekend’s mass is:

“Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.”

We are reminded at the end of the second reading about Christ’s perfect offering, and that our sanctification is in him. And the end of the gospel ties it all together. We need to be prepared! 

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the Angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”

We need to be prepared! We need to live as if Jesus could return any day. I was recently asked why I went to mass two days in a row. We believe Christ is present, in the tabernacle, in the eucharist. How Could I not want to spend time with him, and to receive him. I love when our family schedule works to attend daily masses. And I notice it greatly when I miss a weekend mass, even when it is unavoidable like travel or illness. 

So, my prayer for you this week is that you work on some small change in order to be more prepared. Do not change just for the sake of change, but work on change as a means of growth! And please continue prayer for my family and me. 

Related Posts:

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Under the Sun of Satan - Georges Bernanos

Under the Sun of Satan
Georges Bernanos
Cluny Media
ISBN 9781944418557
ASIN B0785N6271


This book has been on my radar for a while. After reading Diary of A Country Priest in a few different courses in school I had always intended to circle back, but had not done so. This specific book had been recommended to me a few times, but it was out of print and hard to track down. That has now been resolved by Cluny Media. Cluny is in the process or restoring to print in new editions many Catholic Classics. They have the goal of promoting Catholic intellectual and cultural tradition. They are bringing back into print works of theology, philosophy, history, science, and literature. And unlike some other publishers who release revised versions, or edited version, or release books under a new title every few years, Cluny appears dedicated to keeping the classics classy. These are new fresh typeset editions. In Quality paperbacks and excellently formatted eBook edition.

Bernanos is considered one of the most important France Catholic, if not just Catholic novelists of the 20th Century. He is known for his penetrating insight into people, and their intentions and drive. This book at first seemed like a disjointed work. It was not until I was almost through the novel that the pieces came together and clicked and a realised cohesion in the novel. I will be honest at times this was not an east story to read. Reading about the priest’s self flagellation, and the young woman’s mental anguish, and self abuse was not easy to stomach. His ability to capture spiritual anguish and anxiety is penetrating. His representation of a trial with the devil is dark and disturbing.

The story at first appeared disjointed. But once the different arcs of the story come together it culminates in a very powerful way. This book is not for the faint of heart. It was a hard read but, in the end, well worth it.

I cannot say I loved this story. I did appreciate it. But I can categorically state that these new editions by Cluny are excellent. Both in their quality, and for the fact that they are bringing back in print classics such as this story. I look forward to reading many more books from Cluny as they are continuously expanding their offerings.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan