Monday 10 May 2021

The Saint Monica Club - Maggie Green - How to Hope, Wait, and Pray for Your Fallen-Away Loved Ones

The Saint Monica Club: 
How to Hope, Wait, and Pray for Your Fallen-Away Loved Ones
Maggie Green
ISBN 9781622827237
eISBN 9781622827244

I was intrigued by this book from the first time I encountered the title. I was surprised by the book, even though I started it with no preconceived notions. I picked up this volume based on the title and subtitle alone. I had not read any reviews, the back cover or even the description. I knew it was a book I wanted to read and needed to read. The dedication of the book states:

“By a member of
the Saint Monica Club
who lives in hope,
to all other members
who likewise hope for
the day their children return”

The chapters in the volume are:

Preface: What This Book Isn’t 
The Saint Monica Club 
Being Willing to Cry Out to God, “Lord, the One We Love Is Lost!” 
There Are No Quick Fixes 
Sitting at the Feet of Jesus Is Doing Something 
Do Something Loving 
Be Kind, Not Nice 
The Daily Surrender 
Ask for Help 
Keep Inviting Them In, through Every Door You Can Find 
Keep Living Life and Sharing What You Know 
Meet Them Where They Are 
Take Up the Cross by Treating Others with Dignity in All Things 
Being an Attractive Witness to Marriage and the Family 
There Will Always Be a Test 
Your Job Is to Inform and Witness, Not to Persuade 
Hold On to the Nails, Not the Hurt 
Guard Your Heart, so as to Remain Holy 
As a Parent, You Are Never Finished Loving 
Lively Faith in Your Home Allows Divine Grace to Do Its Work 
Lord I Believe; Help My Unbelief (and Please, Please, Please Hurry Up!) 
Be Brave, Even in Little Things 
Jesus Gives Lavishly, More Than We Can Even Ask 
The Rosary Is Your Best Tool 
Find Your Consolation in Christ, and Hold Fast to the Gospel 
Watch Yourself 
Sacraments and Sacramentals 
It’s Still Hard and Will Be Until It Isn’t 
The Domestic Church Is Your Refuge 
At Best, We’re Junior Assistants 
Recognize Your Weak Points 
Walking with Them 
Love Will Break Hearts of Stone 
The Soul Stolen Away 
How Can We Be at Peace if One We Love Is Lost? 
Taking Up the Cross 
Being Honest 
Your Prodigal and the Rest of Your Family 
The Dangers of Engaging in Intellectual Combat 
Your Prodigal’s Absence May Allow You to Be More Present 
Beauty Will Save the World 
The Hope That Is Ongoing 
Not the Final Thoughts 
Prayers to Saint Monica

This book was easy to read. It is engaging. It will inspire and motivate. There is a lot of wisdom in this book. It will bring up issues you may encounter. Troubles you might encounter. It will help those of us in this club to better handle the situations that might arise. Written in regards to the parent and child relationship, the advice is sage and can be applied to any relationship. A few of the passages I highlighted my first time through are:

“Repeat as often as needed: I am not in charge. I am here to love and to cooperate with God’s will, to assist in teaching the rest of the world about God’s great, infinite, merciful love by my own obedience and my own witness of that same gift.”

“We have a solemn duty to introduce our children to God by our words, our deeds, and, yes, by our witness to the Faith. We can do all of this, and still, our whole job is merely to prepare their hearts and sow the seed; it is God’s grace that will bring forth the fruits.”

“Loving your prodigals, no matter how challenging they might be or how old, is learning how to imitate God the Father by imitating God the Son. We willingly sacrifice our hands and feet, our head and our side; we offer ourselves, or we do not love.”

“When we are generous, it prompts others to consider whether they ought to be more generous as well. So feed the hungry, house the homeless, comfort the lonely, be the source of God’s abundant mercy for your prodigal. A good teacher in graduate school drilled into my head, “All behavior is communication.” It’s your job to listen to what your prodigal has to say (or to be aware of your prodigal’s silence on certain matters) and to respond by saying and doing something that reveals love.”

So material in this book might not be new to the reader but the reminder will be excellent. I loved this book. And it was one I really needed to read. As my children have aged, I have had more concerns about them walking away from the faith. And I have prayed for years for my wife to convert to Catholicism. This book provided encouragement and support. And inspired me anew to redouble my prayers, love and service.

A fantastic book for Catholic parents, and grandparents.

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

Books about Saint Monica:
St. Monica and the Power of Persistent Prayer - Mike Aquilina and Mark S Sullivan
Saint Monica Power of Mother Paperback - Giovanni Falbo

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