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Friday, 3 July 2020

St John XXIII and St John Paul II Prayer Book - Joanna Bogle - CTS Devotions

St John XXIII and St John Paul II Prayer Book
CTS Devotions
Joanna Bogle
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 
9781860829161
eISBN 9781784694494
ASIN B073H1XBDJ
CTS Booklet D774


Over the last few years I have read over 150 volumes from the CTS. I have read books from many series. And many authors. A few authors so captured my attention I tried to track down all the books by them. This was the third book I have read by Joanna Bogle. And I very much enjoyed this volume. It was not what I expected, hoverer it is an excellent volume. The print edition of this book was published in 2014 and the eBook edition released in 2017. 

The description of this volume is:

“Praying with these two new saints who were canonised on 27th April 2014. We have new friends in heaven. John XXIII and John Paul II were men of deep prayer, with a message about prayer and the spiritual life which can be learned and shared. This new prayer book helps and encourages the faithful to seek the intercession of these two new saints and to thus grow in their own prayer, holiness and virtue. – Insight into their spirituality and how they prayed – Two Novenas – one to John XXIII and one to John Paul II – Prayers they themselves used and prayers written by them on themes close to their heart – Their meditations on the mysteries of the Rosary and the Stations of the Cross.”

And the contents are:

Introduction
Spiritual Biographies
The Saints they loved
How they prayed
The Holy Rosary - Meditations
The Stations of the Cross - Meditations
The Divine Mercy
Prayers on themes close to their hearts
A Novena to St John XXIII
A Novena to St John Paul II

I was expecting just a prayer book, but this is much more than that. The first part of the book is concise spiritual biographies of the two saints. Followed by a section on saints that they had devotion to. Then a chapter on their prayer lives. And then 6 chapters focused on specific prayers and devotions. 

The saints examined in that chapter are:
Saint Joseph
Saint Charles Borromeo
Saint Martin de Porres
Saint Edith Stein, patroness of Europe
Saint Josephine Bakhita
Saint ianna Beretta Molla
Saint Maximilian Kolbe
Saint Teresa of Calcutta

And a few of these sections have prayers as well. Then when we get to the chapter Prayers On Themes Close To Their Hearts, we have 14 prayers from these 2 saints on a wide variety of topics. The book concludes with a novena to each of the saints. The novena to Saint John XXIII is based on the nine virtues and good qualities: hope, humility, obedience, charity, peace, kindness, good humour, faith, and openness to God’s will. The novena to Saint John Paul II is based on nine virtues and good qualities of Saint John Paul II: courage, love, faithfulness, justice, loyalty, respect for others, truthfulness, patience, and steadfastness in prayer.

This is an excellent little volume. I have set calendar reminders over the next few weeks to pray the two novenas. And have added a few of the other prayers to my One Note prayer collection. But it is a volume I could easily return to again and again. Another great offering in the CTS Devotions and Prayers series. A fantastic book to add to your personal library or prayers.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.


Books by Joanna Bogle:
A Heart for Europe: the lives of Emperor Charles and Empress Zita of Austria-Hungary
Book of Feasts and Seasons
A Yearbook of Seasons and Celebrations
Lent and Easter: Catholic Customs and Traditions
John Paul II, Man of Prayer. the Spiritual Life of a Saint
English Catholic Heroines
Advent & Christmas: Catholic Customs and Traditions
Newman's London: A pilgrim handbook
Courage and Conviction. Pius XII, the Bridgettine Nuns, and the Rescue of Jews
St John XXIII and St John Paul II Prayer Book
Saints & Patrons: Christian Names for Baptism and Confirmation.
A Yearbook of Seasons and Celebrations





Thursday, 2 July 2020

A Storybook of Saints - Elizabeth Hanna Pham and Cecilia Vu

A Storybook of Saints
Elizabeth Hanna Pham
Cecilia Vu (Illustrator)
Sophia Institute Press
ISBN 9781644130681
ASIN B087MXXXN1



Over the last few months several books about saints have come to my attention. This is the second of them that I have read.  This volume contains 50 stories about saints. Part of the description of the volume states:

“Written for children five to eight years old -- but a delight for all readers -- My Favorite Saint Stories tells about the world's greatest heroes: the saints.

Focusing not so much on historical details about the saints but on a few memorable events in the lives of each, it is not so much a collection of biographies as a storybook.”


And that is what we get. There are a few stories that I took issue with because of inaccuracies. It is ok to write about the saints but to have errors in the story may cause confusion. For example, the story on Saint Patrick talks about his praying his Breast Plate prayer while still a slave because he had no shield, sword or protection.

“Ireland was a strange land. Its people believed strange things and worshipped strange gods. Many of the Irish people were not friendly to Christians, and Patrick often feared for his life. Without armor, shield, or sword, Patrick had no way to defend himself.


So, Patrick decided to pray. He prayed during the day and during the night. He prayed that Jesus would always be with him. He prayed that Jesus would be his shield and his armor:
Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me, he prayed.”


Having read extensively on the life of Patrick, and even various translations of his works This prayer was from a very different place in his life. There were a few other instances like that. And the Patrick one really stuck out to me.

The saints covered in this volume are:

December 6: Nicholas
December 9: Juan Diego
December 13: Lucy
December 27: John the Evangelist
December 28: The Holy Innocents
January 1: Mary
January 6: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar
January 28: Thomas Aquinas
February 3: Blaise
February 20: Jacinta
March 7: Perpetua
March 17: Patrick
March 19: Joseph
April 16: Bernadette
April 23: George
April 28: Gianna
May 30: Joan
June 13: Anthony
June 22: Thomas More
June 24: John the Baptist
June 29: Simon Peter
July 6: Maria Goretti
July 12: Veronica
July 12: Louis and Zélie
July 14: Kateri
July 22: Mary Magdalene
July 25: Christopher
July 26: Anne and Joachim
July 31: Ignatius
August 10: Lawrence
August 11: Philomena
August 11: Clare
August 14: Maximilian Kolbe
August 23: Rose
August 27 and 28: Monica and Augustine
September 5: Teresa of Calcutta
September 17: Hildegard
September 21: Matthew
September 23: Padre Pio
September 29: Michael
September 29: Gabriel
October 1: Thérèse
October 4: Francis
October 15: Teresa of Avila
October 22: Lolek
November 5: Elizabeth
November 16: Margaret
November 17: Elizabeth of Hungary
November 22: Cecilia
November 24: Vietnamese Martyrs

Aside from the few inaccuracies I very much enjoyed the stories in this book. Each of the 50 stories has the story, a sketch and then a brief biography. While reading this volume I thought of the few volumes of books about Irish Saints that I have read by Alice Curtayne. Particularly Twenty Tales of Irish Saints. Overall, it was an enjoyable read. Some of the pen and ink sketches are exceptional and would make excellent prayer cards.

A book I am happy I came across and one I would recommend with the few warnings above.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan!


Books by Elizabeth Hanna Pham:
Sons of God
A Storybook of Saints






Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Prayer in Sadness and Sorrow - Robert Taylerson - CTS Deeper Christianity Series

Prayer in Sadness and Sorrow
The Healing Power Of Lament
Deeper Christianity Series
Robert Taylerson
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781860827785
eISBN 9781784693114
ASIN B072XQ1PY9
CTS Booklet SP35


Over the last few years, I have read many books from the Catholic Truth Society. Most were good reads; some were great reads; and a few are exceptional. This is another excellent offering. It is the eighth in the Deeper Christianity Series that I have read, and the second by Robert Taylerson. But I have already added his other two to my wish list. I have read over 150 offerings from the CTS over the last few years. And this series is one of my favorites. This book was a surprise when I stumbled across it as I thought I had a list of all the books in this series, alas I was mistaken. This book was originally published 2012 and the eBook was released in 2017. The description of this volume is:

“Prayer of lament is prayer in moments of deep suffering or hopelessness, when God can seem absent or distant. This ebooklet introduces this difficult but vital aspect of the spiritual battle. First the author considers the dangerous alternatives to crying out to God, then he shows how scripture, the teaching of the Church and the example of the saints can guide us in our journey from anguish towards peace.”

The chapters in the book are:

Responding in prayer to anguish
When to lament
What is prayer of lament?
Harmful alternatives to lament
Grief and lament
Lamenting sin
Lamenting complex evil
Learning to lament
Lament in the Old Testament
Lament in the New Testament
What about tears?

I highlighted many passages on my first read through this volume a random selection of them are as follows:

“Lament sometimes seems an almost-forgotten element of prayer in the Catholic tradition. It is however, I believe, one which is essential in Christian life. Here we explore its fuller nature and its rich and fruitful use in our lives today.”

“So in day-to-day life I lament death and sickness of friends. I also lament break-ups of families. I lament the giving-up of the practice of the faith of many. I lament the problems of debt, of unemployment, of injustice, of sickness and stress. The call to find God in all things impels such prayer. To disregard lament would either allow so much to pileup in my heart that hope would be crushed, or I would close the door to compassion. Lament is honest. Lament admits vulnerability.”

“Lament is about such personal or community unhappiness. It is about specific things which bring pain into our lives.”

“Prayer of lament happens when I determinedly bring God into the picture.”

“Prayer of lament starts with expression of human loss or pain, but it grows to encompass a conviction of grace already given or which will be given. The rendering of thanks to God is a sign of progress on the journey. Peace comes as the lament journey runs its course.”

“I suggest four common alternative directions to lament which may be adopted when suffering if faith is abandoned or not brought to bear on the pain. These four are: despair, anger, displacement activities, and bitterness.”

“The more complex the evil, the more I have to pray about, the more I am called to realise the way in which one evil predisposes another evil to take place. This awareness prompts in me a desire and petition for deeper insight, deeper honesty, deeper compassion, more detailed personal examination of conscience and discernment of motives in my own life, more courageous action against evil, more trusting confidence in God alone.”

“St Augustine and Blessed John Paul II are good teachers to help us to recognise where evil or sadness are real. The help us to achieve a Christian perspective in discerning what is truly a cause for anguish and what is not. They lead us down good paths of prayer which establish in out hearts lament, hope and trust in God.”

“Prayers with tears are an accepted part of ancient Jewish tradition. They are found in Old Testament and New Testament scripture. From the spiritual writings of the early Greek and Syriac speaking Christian Church onwards, tears to accompany Christian prayer have also been seen as normal, and tears to accompany prayers of repentance have often been seen as a gift from God.”

I picked this book up after the passing of one of my younger brothers. We loved each other but we were never really close. Seeing the outpouring from others whom he positively impacted has impacted me. And reading this volume has helped me to start the healing process. 

The conclusion of this book states:

“Prayer of lament is a journey of the heart from anguish to peace. Though its path is not immediately obvious, it is a path of God’s love and it is a grace and a source of hope. Always ask for the courage and trust to take it.”

This is another excellent little volume from the Catholic Truth Society. It is a great read no matter what stage you are at in life. For some it will be a reminder. For others in will put into words what they have learned and lived. And for others it will help them to learn to process sorrow and suffering. An excellent resource.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Books in the Deeper Christianity Series:
7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit
8 Deadly Sins Learning to Defend the Life of Grace
Christian Fasting Disciplining the Body, Awakening the Spirit
Deepening Prayer Life Defined by Prayer
Desire & Delight
Faith, Hope and Love The Theological Virtues
Fruits of the Holy Spirit Living a Happy Life
Icons
Lectio Divina Spiritual Reading of the Bible
Making Sunday Special

Mary in the Liturgy
Mary Mysteries of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Providence and Prayer
Prayer in Sadness and Sorrow

Prudence, Justice, Courage, and Temperance
Purgatory A Mystery of Love
Spiritual Warfare Fighting the Good Fight

The Church's Year Unfolding the Mysteries of Christ
The Name of God The Revelation of the Merciful Presence of God
Understanding The Story Of The Bible
Union with God


Books by Robert Taylerson:
Prayer in Sadness and Sorrow
Desire and Delight
Guide to Morning, Evening and Night Prayer
...








Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Top Ten Fiction and Non-Fiction Books Second Quarter 2020

Top Ten Fiction and Non-Fiction Books Second Quarter 2020

This quarter I have read 85 books, which was one more than Q4 2019. I was down about 10% over the previous quarter. There were many excellent reads. I am a little behind my book a day pace that I have maintained for the better part of the last 3 years. But life happens. And reading and reviewing is my hobby. Of the 86 books read this quarter 61 got 5/5 stars of those 10 of those have been read before leaving 51 books to pick from for the 10 Ten lists this quarter. And 20 of those were fiction and 31 non-fiction.

Here is my top ten fiction and non-fiction books of the second quarter of 2020.

Top Ten Non-Fiction Books:
1. Bible
2. Immortal Combat: Confronting the Heart of Darkness - Fr. Dwight Longenecker
3. Books by Saint John Henry Newman
4. Impossible Marriages Redeemed - Leila Miller -  They Didn't End the Story in the Middle
5. CTS Concise Histories - The Catholic Truth Society
6. Our Lady of Silence - Fr Emiliano Antenucci - CTS Devotions
7. Our Lady, Untier of Knots: Story of a Marian Devotion -  Miguel Cuartero Samperi
8. Novena to the Holy Spirit - Philip G. Bochanski
9. CTS Biographies - The Catholic Truth Society
Saint Josephine Bakhita: A Survivor of Human Trafficking - Jean Olwen Maynard 
Pier Giorgio Frassati - Glynn MacNiven-Johnston
10. Miraculous! Catholic Mysteries for Kids - Kathryn Swegart - Catholic Stories for Kids Book 2

Bonus:
Novena to the Blessed Virgin Mary - Walter Macken
Meeting Christ in the Eucharist - Stephen Wang - CTS Living the Sacraments
History of the Mass Explained - Charles Wentworth Dilke - CTS Explanations

The Beautiful Story of Mary - Maite Roche

Top Ten Fiction Books:
1. Dex Hollister Series -  Karina Fabian
The Old Man and the Void 
Dex's Way
2. Unsparked Series - Corinna Turner
3. Dragon Assassin 8 Burning Empire - Arthur Slade
4. Fire Starters - Theresa Linden - West Brothers Book 6
5. Infinite Space, Infinite God II - Karina Lumbert Fabian and Robert Fabian Editors 
6. The Losers Club - Andrew Clements
7. A Boy Called Bat Series - Elana K. Arnold and Charles Santoso 
Bat and the End of Everything
8. Breastplate of Righteousness - Theresa Linden - Armour of God Book 2
9. Sisters of the Last Straw - Karen Kelly Boyce and Sue Anderson Gioulis 
The Case of the Haunted Chapel
The Case of the Missing Novice
10. Shadow Stalker - T.M. Gaouette

Bonus:
Death Panels - Michelle Buckman
Abby in Oz - Sarah Mlynowski - Whatever After Special Edition 2

My reading has been consistent at about a book a day over the last few years, but this quarter was only about three quarters of a book a day. There were many great reads this quarter, some new books just out in print, and some older that have been around for a while. I encourage you to check a few of them out, and let me know what you think after you have read them.

Note: I do not include books that have been read in previous years and were reread this year in my top ten lists, they are sometimes in the bonus section. But if you want more options check out my favorite books year by year list


Relates Posts: 
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2010
Top 10 Reading Goals for 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2010

Top 10 Fiction Books 4th Quarter 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2010 - Recap

Top 10 Fiction Books 2010
Top 10 Picture Books of 2010
Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2010

Top 10 Graphic Novels for 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2011
 

Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals for 2011 Update
 
Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2011 
Top Ten Fictions Books 4th Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals 2011 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2012

Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books  4th Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2013
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2013

Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2013
Top 10 Books Second Half 2013
Top Ten Fiction Books 2013
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2013 
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2014
Top Ten Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2015
Top Ten Fiction Books 2015
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2015
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2016
Top Ten Non- Fiction Books 2016
Top Ten Fiction Books 2016
Top Ten Catholic Books
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2017
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2017
Top Ten Fiction Books 2017
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2018
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2018
Top Ten Fiction Books 2018
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2019
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2019
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2019
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2019
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2019
Top Ten Fiction Books 2019
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2020
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2020
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2020
... 

All Top Ten Lists on Book Reviews and More

Statistics Books Read By Year:

181 - 2019 January-June
392 - 2019
359 - 2018
380 - 2017 
272 - 2016 
177 - 2015 
130 - 2014 
88 -  2013
176 - 2012 
163 - 2011
302 - 2010
142 - 2009
98 - 2008
83 - 2007
191 - 2006
151 - 2005
60 - 2004
52 - 2003
97 - 2002
50 - 2001
41 - 2000
71 - 1999
73 - 1998
131 - 1997
101 - 1996



Monday, 29 June 2020

Novena to the Holy Spirit - Philip G. Bochanski CO - CTS Devotions

Novena to the Holy Spirit
CTS Devotions
Philip G. Bochanski CO
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 
9781860823817
eISBN 9781784694463
ASIN B073H2KH5F
CTS Booklet D678


This past lent I used several different versions of Stations of the Cross and Way of the Cross. Including a few from The Catholic Truth Society. I enjoyed them so much I decided to continue with Road to Pentecost Prayer Guide for Eastertide by Kristina Cooper. While reading that one I picked up and worked through this novena book. Over the last few years, I have read over 150 volumes from the CTS. I have read books from many series. And many authors. This was the second book I have read by Father Philip G. Bochanski CO. The print edition is our of print but the eBook is wonderful to have for the season of Easter. The book was originally published in 2006 and the eBook released in 2017. 

The description of this volume is:

“After Jesus's ascension into heaven, his apostles remained nine days in Jerusalem, praying for the coming of the Holy Spirit. This has inspired the Christian novena or nine days of fervent prayer, to prepare for major feasts or for special intentions. With St Philip Neri as our guide, we follow nine days of prayer, each linked to a fruit of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. With down-to-earth reflections from St Philip and Cardinal Newman included, this ebook can be used at any time throughout the year.”

The sections in the volume are:

Praying to the Holy Spirit
The Fruits of the Holy Spirit
The Novena to the Holy Spirit
The Vessel of the Holy Spirit
Heart of Fire
Day One - Love
Day Two - Joy
Day Three - Peace
Day Four - Patience
Day Five - Kindness
Day Six - Goodness
Day Seven - Faithfulness
Day Eight - Gentleness
Day Nine - Self-Control
Hymns
Litanies

As can be see by the chapter titles the first three sections of this volume before the Novena begins is about the Holy Spirit. A chapter on the Fruit, one on the novena and one on being a vessel of the Holy Spirit. We are told in the first of those sections that:

“Although we have all heard of the Holy Spirit, he can sometimes be the most difficult of the three Persons of the Trinity to understand. Jesus himself compares the Holy Spirit to the wind: we cannot see the wind, which is invisible, but we recognise it because we can feel it blowing on our skin, and we can see its effects on the objects around us. In the same way, although the Spirit himself is invisible, and often works in hidden ways, we can recognise his presence in the works that he accomplishes in those who believe. St Paul calls these works - “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” - the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).”

The beginning of the next section states:

“Before he ascended into heaven, Jesus instructed the apostles to remain in Jerusalem and to pray for the coming of the Holy Spirit. If we wish to receive the power of the Holy Spirit that will help us to bear his fruits, we too must follow this command and example of fervent prayer.”

And the book concludes with three hymns and 2 litanies to the Holy Spirit. Each of the days of the Novena follow the same formula:

Hymn (chosen from the back of the book)
Antiphon
Prayer
Reading
Responsory
Meditation
Litany (chosen from the back of the book)
Our father, Hail Mary, Glory Be
Concluding Prayer

This is a wonderful Novena, it can be used for personal devotion or done in a group corporately. It is easy to work through. And will be beneficial no matter what time of the year you work through it.

Another excellent book from the Catholic Truth Society. A great part of the CTS Devotions Series.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.


For other books in the CTS Devotions Series click here.

Books by Philip G. Bochanski:
A Blessed Lent
Novena to the Holy Spirit












Friday, 26 June 2020

The Beautiful Story of Mary - Maite Roche - CTS Children's Books

The Beautiful Story of Mary
Maïte Roche (Author and Illustrator)
Helena Scott (Translator)
CTS Children’s Books
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781860827624
CTS Booklet CH37



Over the last few years I have read and reviewed over 150 books from the Catholic Truth Society. But only a few of them have been from the CTS Children’s Books line, but after reading this one with my youngest two that is going to change. This was an amazing little read. My youngest has read it to me twice now, and the second time she read it to her older brother as well. She loves the book and has been carrying it around the house with her. I think she has read it 4 or 5 times already.

The description of this volume is:

“Maïte Roche brings to life Mary, the mother of Our Lord, from her childhood, through the Annunciation, her marriage to St Joseph, the Nativity, Jesus’ childhood and his ministry, to her suffering at the foot of the cross, and her joy in the Resurrection and at Pentecost. A delightful gift for any child.”

This is the first volume we have read written and illustrated by Maïte Roche, but it will not be the last. Many of her books appear to have been written in French and then translated into English. The back of this volume states it is good to read to children aged 4 and up, and that children 7 and up should be able to read it independently. The back of the book states:

“The life of the Virgin Mary beautifully retold for children by Maïte Roche, using all her talent and experience. An ideal book to help children get to know the Mother of God.”

This story was translated by Helena Scott. The CTS edition was released in 2011 and the original French was published in 2010. And it is a wonderful volume. Our whole family has loved it.

The book follows Mary from her childhood through to Pentecost. The illustrations are beautiful. And my children recognized that much of the text is taken from the bible. Every two page spread tells of an event in the life of Mary. The colors are bright and vibrant. And the style engaging. It is a book easy to read again and again. And while examining the artwork to pick out new things or details.

A fantastic book for young people in your life. Well enough done that as a parent you will be able to read it again and again and not grow tired of it. An excellent book, and one that has spurred us on in tracking down more books from the Catholic Truth Society that are for children.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Books by Maite Roche:
A Pop-Up Advent Calendar with Booklet
Baptism Day
Christmas Coloring Book
Christmas!
First Prayers for Little Children
Hail Mary
Jesus in the Manger
My First Bedtime Prayers
My First Pictures of Easter
My First Pictures of Jesus
My First Pictures of Mary
My First Prayers for Christmas
My First Prayers for the Whole Year
My First Prayers with Mary
My Little Family Prayer Book
My Little Missal
My Picture Book Of The Catholic Faith
Our Father
The Beautiful Story of Jesus
The Beautiful Story of Mary
The Beautiful Story of the Bible
The Bible for Little Children
The Bible for Little Ones
The Christmas Shepherds
The Christmas Star
The Gospel for Little Ones
The Most Beautiful Christmas Story


Note many are available and appear to originally have been in French.


  



 

Thursday, 25 June 2020

Road to Pentecost Prayer Guide for Eastertide - Kristina Cooper - CTS Devotions

Road to Pentecost: 
Prayer Guide for Eastertide
CTS Devotions
Kristina Cooper
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 
9781860826450
eISBN 9781784692162
ASIN B07FDH1VBH
CTS Booklet D724


This past lent I used several different versions of Stations of the Cross and Way of the Cross. Including a few from The Catholic Truth Society. I enjoyed them so much I decided to continue with this volume. Over the last few years I have read over 150 volumes from the CTS. I have read books from many series. And many authors. This was the first book I have read by Kristina Cooper. The print edition is our of print but the eBook is wonderful to have for the season of Easter. The book was originally published in 2010 and the eBook released in 2018. But the book was originally published a year earlier for the National Service Committee for Catholic Charismatic Renewal in England.

The description of this volume is:

“Beginning on Easter Sunday and ending on the Vigil of Pentecost this prayer guide will lead you through a journey of 50 days of prayer and reflection, in preparation for the great feast of Pentecost - often an unappreciated feast. The first forty days reflect on scripture and the Catechism, drawing our lives into the history of salvation. The final nine-day Novena of prayer, from Ascension to Pentecost, is dedicated to helping Christians to be open to a personal Pentecost in their own lives.

The sections in the volume are:

Be Open to Pentecost
Forty Day Journey with Jesus
     Week 1 The Creation and Fall
     Week 2 God Calla A People To Be His Own
     Week 3 God Rescues His People and Gives Them The Law
     Week 4 Predictions of the Messiah
     Week 5 A New Covenant
     Week 6 The Kingdom of God is for All People
Novena to Pentecost
Novena Prayers to the Holy Spirit
Daily Prayers to the Holy Spirit

The first part of this book begins with:

“As Christians, we celebrate Christmas and Easter, but Pentecost – the third element of the Good News of Salvation – seems to be rather neglected. This prayer guide is to help Christians to be open to a personal Pentecost in their own lives, and to pray for a new Pentecost on the earth, so that the life changing power of the Gospel can be proclaimed and experienced.”

And the volume aims to help us do just that. In that same introduction we are told to have a time and a place:

“Often we don’t have time to get away so this prayer guide is to help you have a retreat at home and to prepare for Pentecost. A retreat is a time you set aside for God so that he can speak to you. Choose a specific place and time for prayer (it need only be ten minutes) and keep to that time every day if possible.”

I choose early mornings, after I said some of my daily prayers. And had started my coffee, I used the daily reflections to start my day. Each of the days offers a biblical verse, a short meditation, an explanation drawn from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and concludes with a prayer. When you get to the Novena the format changes. Each day of the Novena has a special intention for intercession, a scriptural passage, a reflection and a prayer. It also has option prayers we can choose from that are found at the end of the book. A sample on one of the 40 days is:

Week 6 Day 2

Power and help from heaven You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere - in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Ac 1:8) 

1 Corinthians 12 describes gifts that the Holy Spirit gives to members of the Church for the building up of the body of Christ. Words of wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophesy, discernment, tongues, and interpretation of tongues. It was these very gifts that the disciples received at Pentecost. They were told to wait in the city until they were clothed with power from on high. It is a renewal of this power that we need in our Church again. 

PRAYER: Lord, as the Church approaches Pentecost, help us to be open vessels to your Spirit. Fill us anew with your gifts so that we can become a channel to others. 

CATECHISM: [Grace] includes the gifts that the Spirit grants us to associate us with his work…There are furthermore special graces, also called charisms… Whatever their character – sometimes it is extraordinary, such as the gift of miracles or of tongues – charisms are oriented toward sanctifying grace, and are intended for the common good of the Church. (CCC, 2003) 

SCRIPTURE: Is 61:1”

Before the novena is a short teaching drawing from Pope Leo XII, Vatican Council II, Saint John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI. And at the end of the volume is reference to the Novena To the Holy Spirit by Philip G. Bochanski from CTS as well. Which I finished right before starting the novena in this volume. 

It was a real blessing to have read this book over Eastertide and I will likely return to it again next year. I highly recommend this little devotional. Another excellent read from the Catholic Truth Society.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.


For other books in the CTS Devotions Series click here.