Wednesday 9 January 2019

Life Lessons Fifty Things I Learned in My First Fifty Years - Patrick Madrid

Life Lessons
Fifty Things I Learned in My First Fifty Years
Patrick Madrid
Ignatius Press
ISBN 9781621641148
eISBN 9781681497068

This book showed up on my radar a few months before I enter my 50th year. I took it as a prompting and gave it a read. I am so thankful that I did. This book is an excellent read. Wish I had read something like this when I was in college but happy for the lessons and advice even at this age. To be honest even though it is a collection of essays or articles I could hardly put this book down. When I went to write this review, I was surprised that I had not read any other books by Patrick Madrid, I have read most of the three Surprised by Truth books, and have a number on my kindle. I just have not got around to reading them. That is about to change. I was very surprised I had not read any of his 40 plus distinct works, and that is my loss, for what I learned from this one is life changing. And I am sure his other works will be as well.

In the preface Madrid states:

“Perhaps something shared in these pages will be useful to you and maybe even save you some time and trouble or heartache. That’s my sincere prayer.”

And it lives up to that prayer. It does not matter if you are 50, or 15 this book will be a great read and serve as a tool for your personal and spiritual growth. One of the greatest things about being Catholic is the witness of those who have gone before us, saints, holy men and woman, and people like Patrick Madrid that share from their own mistakes and help us grow in our faith, through their example. And the preface finishes with these words:

“Here’s a bonus lesson before you get started:

God loves you just the way you are, but he loves you too much to let you stay that way.

If that little thought doesn’t hit home right now, if it doesn’t kind of bonk you on the head and shake you up a little, don’t worry. Eventually, it will. Someday, you’ll understand.”

This book can be read from beginning to end, or you can jump around and use it for topical devotions. I have read it through from beginning to end, but am leaving it on my device, and will likely reread it and will reference it from time to time as a reminder. The 50 lessons are:

1. Guilt Show
2. The Beggar
3. The Waitress
4. Biker Guy
5. Letting Go of Someone I Never Knew
6. Right Place, Wrong Timing
7. The Pipe in the Pipe
8. The Box of Books
9. The VW Bug
10. Saving Face on Facebook
11. The Bus Ride
12. Give ’Em Hell
13. Miracle Sinus-Headache Cure
14. St. Joseph to the Rescue
15. The Plane Ride
16. Caroline
17. A Narrow Escape
18. The Death Cookie
19. Suffer the Little Children
20. The Cheesecake
21. The Angry Wife
22. Short-Changed on the Foreign Exchange
23. The Lost Girl
24. The Roller Coaster
25. Teach Your Children Well
26. Gate B-32
27. The Mosque
28. An Embarrassing Case of Mistaken Sacramental Identity
29. Do the Right Thing
30. The Napkin
31. My Christmas Surprise
32. The Policeman
33. The Scar
34. The Jerk
35. The Beehive
36. The Atheist Lady
37. You Have How Many Kids?
38. The Fight
39. The Absentminded Samaritan
40. My Hero
41. The Friends
42. The Sand Pebbles
43. The Neighbor
44. The Mansion
45. The Window Seat
46. The Mormon
47. The License
48. The Heart of the Home
49. The Crucifix
50. The Hourglass About the Author

You find some of these lessons might make you laugh, like the one about the speeding ticket. Or they might bring tears to your eyes, such as the one about the waitress in the parking lot. Or they might cause you to pray and reflect on your own attitude and actions, like the one about the seat on the plane. But no matter what it is an excellent read that will encourage, challenge and inspire you in your growth as a Christian.

As mentioned, this is one of those books, I wish I had read when I was younger, I know it would have saved me some trouble, heartache and maybe even some penance. And so, I recommend this book to all readers, of all ages. From High school student or university student to retiree this book will be of great benefit. As such I give it a very solid 5/5 stars and highly recommend it!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Patrick Madrid:
Any Friend of God's, is a Friend of Mine: A Biblical & Historical Exploration of the Catholic Doctrine of the Communion of Saints
Answer Me This!
Where is That in the Bible?
Why Is That in Tradition?
A Pocket Guide to Catholic Apologetics
A Pocket Guide to Purgatory
The Godless Delusion: A Catholic Challenge to Modern Atheism
Search and Rescue: How to Bring Your Family and Friends Into or Back Into the Catholic Church
Pope Fiction: Answers to 30 Myths & Misconceptions About the Papacy
Why Be Catholic: Ten Reasons Why It's Not Only Cool but Important to Be Catholic
150 Bible Verses Every Catholic Should Know
Does the Bible Really Say That? Discovering Catholic Teaching in Scripture
Life Lessons: Fifty Things I Learned in My First Fifty Years
On a Mission: Lessons from St. Francis de Sales
More Catholic Than the Pope: An Inside Look At Extreme Traditionalism
A Year with the Bible: Scriptural Wisdom for Daily Living
How to Do Apologetics: Making the Case for Our Faith
Now What? A Guide for New (and Not-So-New) Catholics
Catholics and the Rapture: Will You Be Caught Up Or Left Behind?
Scripture and Tradition in the Church

Books Edited by Patrick Madrid:
Surprised By Truth: 11 Converts Give the Biblical and Historical Reasons for Becoming Catholic
Surprised by Truth 2: 15 Men and Women Give the Biblical and Historical Reasons For Becoming Catholic
Surprised by Truth 3: 10 More Converts Explain the Biblical and Historical Reasons for Becoming Catholic
Surprised by Life: 10 Converts Explain How Catholic Teachings on Life led Them to the Church

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