Friday 26 February 2021

How to be Happy - How to be Holy - Father Paul O'Sullivan

How to be Happy - How to be Holy
Father Paul O'Sullivan
ISBN 9780895553867
eISBN 9780895550330

This was the fourth book by Father Paul O’Sullivan that I have read in a month. And it is by far the longest. In fact, it is just slightly longer than the other three combined. I picked the first book up because it was promoted by TAN books in an email blast. They were promoting a bundle of books by Father Paul O'Sullivan. I know I have seen the covers before. And based on when the books were first published maybe even back to the Catholic Book Stores of my youth. A few of the titles piqued my interest. And books form TAN never disappoint. But I was not read to buy the whole bundle. I should have. As I have now read 4 and already have a2 more in my to be read list. For those not familiar as I was not:

“Fr. Paul Henry O'Sullivan, O.P., S.T.L., P.G., E.D.M., was born in Tralee, Ireland in 1871 and died in Lisbon, Portugal in 1958.”

The description of this volume is:

“Lovely short anecdotes from the lives of the Saints, showing us in a warm, encouraging and inspiring way the importance of prayer and the ease with which we can all derive great benefits therefrom, without yet being Saints ourselves. Covers the meaning of the basic Catholic prayers; plus, the Mysteries of the Rosary and the wonders of the Mass. Written for all and all should read it.”

The chapters in the book are:

Introduction: Read, Catholics, Read 
1. The Morning Offering 
2. Morning and Evening Prayers 
3. The Sign of the Cross 
4. The Our Father 
5. The Hail Mary 
6. The Power of the Hail Mary 
7. The Creed 
8. The Confiteor 
9. Hail Holy Queen 
10. The Gloria Patri 
11. The Rosary 
12. The Old Irish Woman’s Rosary 
13. The Popes and the Rosary 
14. Meditations on the Mysteries 
15. The Annunciation 
16. The Visitation 
17. The Birth of Our Lord 
18. The Presentation in the Temple 
19. The Finding of Jesus in the Temple 
20. The Sorrowful Mysteries 
21. The Agony of Jesus in the Garden 
22. The Scourging at the Pillar 
23. The Crowning with Thorns 
24. Christ Carrying His Cross 
25. Jesus Dies on the Cross 
26. A Lover of the Passion 
27. The Resurrection 
28. The Ascension 
29. The Descent of the Holy Ghost 
30. The Assumption 
31. The Coronation of Our Lady in Heaven 
32. The Wonders of Holy Mass 
33. What Is the Mass? 
34. The Joy of the Saints at Mass 
35. Priests, the Happiest of Men 
36. The Benefits of the Mass 
37. Priests, Angels on Earth 
38. How to Hear Mass with Profit 
39. The Value of Small Things 
40. Ejaculations 
41. What the Saints Say of Ejaculations 
42. Our Angel Guardians Introduction

In the introduction we are told that:

“This booklet has in view to teach Christians: 
a) How to pray. 
b) How to derive immense benefits from prayer. 
c) How to enjoy the deep consolation of prayer.”

And also:

“First of all, what is prayer and how should we pray?

The second great thought is that God has bound Himself most solemnly to hear our prayers.

A third truth which we must bear in mind is that every prayer we say with reverence and trust, such as any ordinary Christian can say, gives God immense glory and pleasure.

Fourthly, our prayers obtain for us many important graces and blessings which we shall never get and never enjoy if we do not ask for them.

Fifthly, all men desire happiness, all men seek happiness, all men work for happiness.

God alone gives happiness, as God alone gives life and health. Happiness is God’s greatest gift, for it embraces what is best for us.”

This book is an excellent read. I believe that no matter who we are we can always improve our prayer life. It can develop, grow, and deepen. But Like anything else it will take, work, discipline, and effort. This volume is a fantastic tool for growing in the discipline of prayer, and through prayer to learn to be more happy, and to become more holy.

Matthew Kelly often uses the line “Become the best version of yourself.” In his talks and in his books. I heard his say that he used to tell people to become saints, but that they would say that they did not think they could be saints. But when he switched to the best version they embraced it. This volume could easily be a precursor to much of Kelly’s writings. It would also be an excellent read for fans of Kelly’s works. 

This book is well written. Father Paul draws extensively from the saints and church writings. One of the statements that really hit me was:

“Prayer Is The Greatest Power,
The Greatest Consolation In The World”

This book can easily be read by anyone with a grammar school education. It is easy to digest. And can take a lifetime to apply. It is well written. It will encourage and challenge the reader.

It is another excellent volume from TAN Books and Father Paul O’Sullivan. I highly recommend it.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2021 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Father Paul Henry O'Sullivan, O.P:
How to Avoid Purgatory
My Lord and My God, Or, Visits to the Blessed Sacrament
Our Lady of Fatima
Read Me or Rue It
St. Patrick and the Irish
The Divine Office: How to Say it Devoutly, How to Make it a Pleasure
The Glorious Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The Story of a Great Man: Doctor Antonio de Oliveira Salazar
The Ten Commandments: For Real - For Now
What Ireland Owes to Portugal

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