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Monday, 30 May 2016

Speaking to the Heart - Stephen Gabriel - A Father's Guide to Growth in Virtue


Speaking to the Heart
A Father's Guide to Growth in Virtue
Stephen Gabriel
Moorings Press
ISBN 9780982766224


This is the second book by Stephen Gabriel that I have read in the last year. Both have been incredible. This book can be a quick read but to truly implement if's wisdom it will either be read slowly or read many times over. It is written in a very engaging manner and is easy to read and engage. It is down to earth advice from a father and now a grandfather on how to grow in the virtues to be a better husband and father.

There are 20 concise chapters in this book each focusing on a separate virtue. Each chapter begins with a biblical quote, then a quote drawn from a historical source. Then it is followed by a full page description of that specific virtue. Then finally we are presented between 1 and 3 pages of short reflections on that specific virtue. The 20 virtues are:

Faith
Hope
Charity
Prudence
Justice
Fortitude
Temperance
Humility
Poverty
Chastity
Integrity
Patience
Cheerfulness
Industriousness
Friendship
Loyalty
Perseverance
Courage
Generosity
Order

This book can be read through from beginning to it. In can be randomly flipped open for inspiration or motivation. Or we can pick a specific virtue and work on it until we are ready to move on to the next. This second edition of this book was reworked 12 years after the first edition, during that time Stephen when from being a father to a grandfather. His advice is just as relevant to his new role and his provides a godly example of a man who is striving every day to be better than the day before. His advice to us in the preface to this new edition is: "Speaking to the Heart is meant to be reflected upon. Where's your struggle these days? Humility? Patience? Temperance? Chastity? Read the chapter on that virtue again and reflect and pray about what you've read. We all have to make an effort to acquire these virtues, And sometimes they don't come easily. But, what a worthy battle! The effort alone will make us better husbands, better fathers and indeed betters friends of Christ." And honestly that is one of the greatest things we can spend our time and effort on for through the growth in virtues we will become who God is really calling us to be.

My only regret is that this book is not available in eBook format for I know a lot of fathers who would read it electronically. But that aside it is an amazing read and will be an excellent tool in the spiritual tool box of any father, any husband and man!

Books by Stephen Gabriel:
A Father's Covenant: 173 Promises for Consideration and Reflection
Speaking to the Heart: A Father's Guide to Growth in Virtue
To Be a Father: 200 Promises That Will Transform You, Your Marriage, and Your Family
Catholic Controversies: Understanding Church Teachings and Events in History


(Note: this books is part of a series: A Year of Reading Intention - Catholic Reading!)

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