Friday 2 September 2016

Rediscover Jesus - Matthew Kelly

Rediscover Jesus:
An Invitation 
Matthew Kelly
Wellspring Publishing
Beacon Publishing for
Dynamic Catholic
ISBN 9781942611202

Over the past year I have read 11 books by Matthew Kelly. Each has challenged me, and each has had an immediate impact on my live. The main theme running through his writings is about:

"Becoming the Best Version of Yourself!"

And that theme continues in this volume. Kelly states in the introduction that the book can be read two ways. "There are two ways to experience this book. The first is like with any other book: Read it from cover to cover. The other way is to use this book as a guide to a forty-day spiritual journey, reading a chapter a day. This second way is a perfect way to begin (or nourish) a habit of daily prayer." And I have read it through twice using both methods. And to be honest this is one of the best books for spiritual growth. Each chapter is laid out the same way:

Main Teaching Point
Point to Ponder
Verse to Live
Question to Consider

Each of these last 4 elements in each chapter really drive home the points of the chapter. To be honest I plan on taking the 40 'Verse to Live' sections and memorizing them. The 'Point to Ponder' is a quick summary of the chapter. The 'Question to Consider' can be used for journaling or just reflection. And both times I read through the book I prayer each of the prayers and suggest you do so also. Do not just read them actually pray them. I really believe that if you are willing to read this book with an open heart your life will be transformed. 

One of the things I like most about this book is that Kelly guides us often by questions. For example, in he asks:

"Who do people say that Jesus is? Who do you say that Jesus is? Who does Jesus say that you are? These are three questions worthy of our attention."

And most of the book focuses on helping guide us to answers to these questions. A quote from this book that really stuck with me was: 

"The Gospel may be difficult to live, but it is unrelentingly simple in its teaching. The Gospel is radically simple, and there is genius in its simplicity."

Kelly also emphasis that we need to love and care for ourselves if we are really to be of service to others. He declared: 

"A healthy sense of self-love is essential to the life of a Christian. God desires it for you. This self-love can coexist with true humility."

Matthew Kelly writes in a clear concise style. He makes the practice of faith very applicable. When I read these next two quotes I though about not only my own life but especially my children. How can I live this better and how can I teach them to:

"Our sight is an incredible gift from God. The Gospel invites us to practice custody of the eyes, which simply means having the self-control to decide what we allow ourselves to look at. In our hypersexual culture we are constantly being visually harassed by sexual images. This makes maintaining custody of the eyes a constant struggle. Some things we look at help us become the-best-version-of-ourselves, and others don't. Having custody of the eyes means exercising the self-control to not look at the things that don't help us become the-best-version-of-ourselves."


"Images are powerful. You cannot unsee things. Edit what you look at. Custody of the eyes is a sure path to spiritual growth."

It really got me thinking about what I read, what I listen to and what I watch. I know we are to be in this world but not of it. But I really needed this reminder. After reading this section and praying I removed a number of books and a bunch music from my phone and tablet. And to be honest that relates directly to the next quote:

"The teachings of Jesus Christ are radical. For two thousand years men and women of all ages, from all walks of life- rich and poor, young and old, educated and uneducated- have been allowing these teachings to transform them. Now the question is, will you?"

And that is what I am striving to do and what this book can challenge us all to do. This book has a prayer of transformation, I have started praying it regularly as a reminder:

"Loving Father, Here I am. I trust that you have an incredible plan for me. Transform me. Transform my life. Everything is on the table. Take what you want to take and give what you want to give. Transform me into the person you created me to be, so I can live the life youyou envision for me. I hold nothing back; I am 100 percent available. How can I help? Amen."

Would you be willing to take the risk that God would actually answer that prayer? Are you willing to risk a shake up to your spiritual life, to all area's of your life? If so I can highly recommend it. If you want to just keep ambling through life then do not give it a read. 

Thank you Matthew Kelly for writing this book and for the ministry of Dynamic Catholic. This book was an incredible read and I highly recommend it.

Books by Matthew Kelly:
I Know Jesus
The Long View
Decision Point: The Workbook
Decision Point: The Leader Guide
The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic
The One Thing
Off Balance: Getting Beyond the Work-Life Balance Myth to Personal and Professional Satisfaction
Why Am I Here?
Perfectly Yourself: 9 Lessons for Enduring Happiness
Perfectly Yourself Discovering God's Dream For You
Building Better Families: A Practical Guide to Raising Amazing Children
The Dream Manager
The Seven Levels of Intimacy: The Art of Loving and the Joy of Being Loved
The Rhythm of Life: Living Every Day with Passion and Purpose
Building Better Families - 5 Practical Ways to Build Family Spirituality
The Book of Courage
The Shepherd: A Modern Parable about Our Search for Happiness
Mustard Is Persecution, Matthew Kelly Foundation
A Call to Joy - Living in the Presence of God
The Rhythm of Life: An Antidote For Our Busy Age
Words from God
Resisting Happiness
The Narrow Path
Our Father
The Biggest Lie in the History of Christianity
Why I Love Being Catholic
Good Night, Jesus
In a world where you can be anything ...

Beautiful ... Series:

Rediscover Books by Matthew Kelly:
Rediscover Catholicism: A Spiritual Guide to Living with Passion & Purpose
Rediscover Advent
Rediscover Lent
Rediscover Jesus: An Invitation
Rediscover the Rosary: The Modern Power of an Ancient Prayer
Rediscover the Saints

Audio by Matthew Kelly from Lighthouse Media:
Becoming The Best Version Of Yourself
The Best Way To Live
Don't Just Try, Train
Faith At Work & The Holy Moment
The Four Signs Of A Dynamic Catholic - Excerpt
The Jesus Question
My Spiritual Journey
Our Lives Change When Our Habits Change
Raising Amazing Children
The Seven Levels Of Intimacy
The Seven Pillars Of Catholic Spirituality

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

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