Thursday 20 June 2024

St. Benedict Hero of the Hills - Mary Fabyan Windeatt - A Vision Book

St. Benedict Hero of the Hills
Mary Fabyan Windeatt
Philip Storey (Illustrator)
ISBN ‎9780898707670
ISBN 0898707676

St. Benedict Hero of the Hills - Mary Fabyan Windeatt - A Vision Book

Reading this marks the sixteenth work I have read in the Vision Books for Young Readers Series, 13 in the currently in print books from Ignatius Press and three of the older out of print volumes. This one is book 35 in the original series. A few years back I did some research on the Vision Books for Young Readers and from the books I have read can state that they are great reads for teens, young adults and adults. This was another excellent read and I understand that Ignatius has several other titles in the work to expand the series. It is also the third that I have read by Mary Fabyan Windeatt. But let us return to this specific volume. The description of the book is:

The description of this book states:

“Mary Fabyan Windeatt presents the powerful story of the famous life and miracles of St. Benedict for the Vision Book series of saints for youth. Known as the Father of Western Monasticism, St. Benedict played a major role in the Christinization and civilization of post-Roman Europe in the sixth century.

Having lived in an era of great immorality and vice, Benedict founded an order for monks whose strong life of prayer and work helped convert the godless society around them. It tells how his Benedictine order of monks spread throughout Europe and the New World. The heroic life of his sister St. Scholastica, his saving a boy from drowning, raising one from the dead, and the story of poisoned wine are all told in this exciting, dramatic tale of a great saint.”

The author has another volume called Saint Benedict - The Story of the Father of the Western Monks that is part of a different series but on the same topic. The chapters in this volume are:

 1. The Boy Who Ran Away
 2. A New Work
 3. The Father
 4. Wonders by the Water
 5. The Enemy Strikes
 6. Man of the Mountain
 7. The Way of Peace
 8. Distant Harvest
 9. Father of the Poor
10. The Sword of Sorrow
11. The Passing Years
12. The End of the Road
13. The Work Continues
Authors Note

I highlighted numerous passages while reading this volume, some of them are:

“CYRILLA WAS WORRIED. Young Master Benedict, whose parents had sent him to study in the schools of Rome, was losing interest in his work. Only last night he had said that he didn't want to be a leader in law or politics. He wanted only to be a hermit in a cave.”

“Benedict smiled. ''I'm seventeen", he said gently. "Boys that age are old enough to go to war, even to marry. But I ... I just want to serve God. Surely you can understand that?"”

“It was a few days later that Benedict and Cyrilla left Rome and headed eastward into the hill country. They had no real destination, save that the boy still had his mind set on living in a cave. When they had gone far enough, he said, they would surely come across some such place.”

“It's going to be a wonderful life! he thought. I won't have to worry about being a success in the world, only about getting to heaven and praying that all my friends and relatives get there, too.”

“I DID NOT TAKE LONG for Romanus to discover that Benedict was really in earnest about being a hermit. Finally he agreed to take the boy to a cave and to give him a garment like his own, a rough tunic made of sheepskins.”

“As time passed Benedict grew strong and hardy. His cave was open to the weather, but he learned how to protect himself from rain and cold. Romanus was faithful, too, coming regularly from his monastery with food. All in all, the boy had no regrets for having left the busy streets of Rome. Had he not learned many things in his cave that he would never have learned in school?

"Lord, keep on teaching me", he often prayed. "Let me know more about you so that I may love you more. And show me how to pray well!"”

“The peasants went away, filled with much admiration for their new friend. Repeatedly they told their wives and children about the hermit of Subiaco.”

“To Benedict, time was merely something whereby he could continue giving himself to God in prayer and sacrifice.”

“Benedict was silent. Although it was hard to admit it even to himself, he had often been bothered by that very thought. This quiet life of a hermit with so few human worries-was it fair that he should know such peace while millions of his fellowmen struggled to earn a living in the world? While young men died in battle? While children went ignorant of the truths of religion?”

“Benedict knew what was going on behind his back, and his heart ached. The few rules he had made were not too hard. He himself willingly kept them, but these monks were lazy. When the bell sounded for prayers, many did not bother to come to the chapel. They did not feel like praying, they said. They would pray tomorrow.”

“As time passed, word of what was taking place at Subiaco spread far and wide. Other peasants came to join the venture, to become members of Benedict's family. Once entered upon the peaceful life of prayer and work, few felt the urge to leave it. The original number of twelve monks gradually increased, so that it was necessary to erect many more buildings. These were plain wooden shelters, sufficient only to provide protection from the rain and snow. Each housed twelve men, with a leader or abbot in command.”

“Those who bad visited Subiaco were quick to reply that Benedict's monastery was no ordinary one. He required his followers to till the soil, to work with their hands at humble tasks. He required them to foster charity in their hearts and obedience. By that time there were twelve wooden monasteries, each presided over by an abbot, built within a radius of two miles from Subiaco. From his own little monastery, dedicated to Saint Clement, Benedict watched over the welfare of the entire colony.”

“It was true. Benedict continually preached the gospel of peace. He insisted it could be found by every earnest soul through prayer and work. As a result, everyone at Subiaco came to see that the Father Abbot was a very wise man.”

“During the thirty years he had lived at Subiaco, first as a hermit and later as abbot, he had preached the beauty of peace. He had taught men to throw away their swords and to cultivate the peaceful arts. He had given his monastic family a special motto: "Turn away from evil and do good. Seek after peace and pursue it." Why should he forget his own words now?”

“Even Rome, the great city that once had ruled the world, was in a state of decay. Everywhere greedy men watched their neighbors slyly, hoping for a chance to seize power for themselves. Only a handful of Christians bothered to think of the Ten Commandments. In truth, it was a sad hour for civilization.”

“Sabinus sighed. "What fools men are! Why can't they see that peace is the secret of happiness? Good friend, you have put things well in your Rule. 'Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.' What wise words those are!"”

I hope those quotes give you a feel for this series. I have yet to read a book in this series that did not inspire, encourage and challenge me. This is an inspiring life of one of the most known saints. It shows his triumphs, his sorrows. His victories and his struggles. It is an easy text to engage with. It can be read to younger children and older children, teens and adults can easily read the volume. 

My two youngest both teenagers enjoy them, I am in my fifties and I love them, those Ignatius brought back in print, the new expansions from them of the series, and the originals I can lay my hands on that Ignatius has not licensed. This is an wonder book in a excellent series. They would be great additions to any home, school, or church library. An excellent volume I can easily recommend!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2024 Catholic Reading Plan!   

Books in the Vision Books Saints Biographies:
Bernadette, Our Lady's Little Servant 
The Cure of Ars 
Edmund Campion 
Florence Nightingale's Nuns 
Fr. Marquette and the Great Rivers 
Francis and Clare, Saints of Assisi 
Kateri Tekakwitha 
Mother Cabrini, Missionary to the World 
Mother Seton and the Sisters of Charity 
Saint Anthony and the Christ Child 
Saint Catherine Laboure and the Miraculous Medal 
Saint Dominic and the Rosary 
Saint Elizabeth's Three Crowns 
Saint Francis of the Seven Seas 
Saint Helena and the True Cross 
Saint Ignatius and the Company of Jesus 
Saint Isaac and the Indians 
Saint John Bosco 
Saint Katherine Drexel 
Saint Louis and the Last Crusade 
Saint Philip of the Joyous Heart 
Saint Therese and the Roses 
Saint Thomas Aquinas and the Preaching Beggars 
Saint Thomas More of London 
Vincent De Paul: Saint of Charity 

Out of Print books in the Series:
Brother Andre of Montreal 
Catholic Campuses, Stories of American Catholic Colleges 
Champions in Sports and Spirit 
Children Welcome: Villages for Boys and Girls 
Christmas and the Saints 
Columbus and the New World 
Dear Philippine: Mission of Mother Duchesne 
Edel Quinn: Beneath the Southern Cross 
Frances Warde and the First Sisters of Mercy 
Good Pope John b
Governor Al Smith 
In American Vineyards, Religious Orders in the United States 
Irish Saints 
John Carroll Bishop and Patriot
John Neumann, The Children's Bishop 
Kit Carson of the Old West 
Lydia Longley, the First American Nun 
Marguerite Bourgeoys, Pioneer Teacher 
Martin de Porres, Saint of the New World 
Modern Crusaders 
More Champions in Sports and Spirit 
Mother Barat's Vineyard 
My Eskimos: A Priest in the Artic 
Peter and Paul: The Rock and the Sword 
Peter Claver, Saint Among Slaves
Pope Pius XII, the World's Shepherd 
Rose Hawthorne: The Pilgramage of Nathaniel's Daughter 
Saints of the Byzantine World 
Sarah Peter: The Dream and the Harvest 
St. Augustine and His Search for Faith 
St. Francis de Sales 
St. Gregory the Great, Consul of God 
St. Jerome and the Bible 
St. Margaret Mary, Apostle of the Sacred Heart 
The Bible Story, The Promised Lord and His Coming 
The Cross in the West 
The Ursulines, Nuns of Adventure 
When Saints Were Young 
...

Books by Mary Fabyan Windeatt:
Blessed Marie of New France - The Story of the First Missionary Sisters in Canada
King David and His Songs - A Story of the Psalms
Patron Saint of First Communicants: The Story of Blessed Imelda Lambertini
Pauline Jaricot: Foundress of the Living Rosary and the Society for the Propagation of the Faith
Pennies for Paulina: Marie Pauline Jaricot-Foundress of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith
Saint Benedict - The Story of the Father of the Western Monks
Saint Catherine of Siena - The Story of the Girl Who Saw Saints in the Sky
Saint Dominic - Preacher of the Rosary and Founder of the Dominican Order
Saint Francis Solano - Wonder-Worker of the New World
Saint Hyacinth of Poland - The Story of the Apostle of the North
Saint John Masias - Marvelous Dominican Gatekeeper of Lima, Peru
Saint Louis De Montfort - The Story of Our Lady's Slave
Saint Margaret Mary and the Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Saint Martin De Porres - The Story of the Little Doctor of Lima, Peru
Saint Masias Marvelous Dominican Gatekeeper of Lima 
Saint of First Communicants - The Story of Blessed Imelda Lamertini
Saint Paul the Apostle - The Story of the Apostle to the Gentiles
Saint Rose of Lima: The Story of the First Canonized Saint of the Americas
The Children of Fatima and Our Lady's Message to the World
The Cure of Ars - The Story of Saint John Vianney
The Little Flower - The Story of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus
The Miraculous Medal - The Story of Our Lady's Appearances to St. Caherine Laboure
The World Is His Parish: The Story of Pope Pius XII
Warrior in White: The Story of Blessed John Masias
Saint Benedict: Hero of the Hills


Vision Books Ignatius Press 2024

Wednesday 19 June 2024

Theology of the Body Crash Course and Manual - Fr. Mike Schmitz - Ascension Press

Theology of the Body Crash Course & Manual

Theology of the Body Crash Course and Manual - Fr. Mike Schmitz - Ascension Press


This is both a course and a manual for the course and it Is provided for free from Ascension Press. The course is 4 videos each just shy of an hour. I signed up after an offer from Ascension via email. It was amazing to spend a Friday evening and Saturday working through the videos and the workbook. The videos were recorded during a Duluth Newman Catholic Campus Ministry – Bulldog Catholic Retreat. In the introduction at the beginning of the first video Father Mike states that he gives this retreat frequently to students and that they decided to release it to a wider audience. I am very thankful they did. It is an excellent course. This Manual is based on the handouts students get if they attend the retreat in person. The sections in the booklet are:

A Theology of the Body “Crash Course”
God & Sex
Theology of the Body Basics
Theology of the Body Terms & References
     Terms:
     References:
Talk 1: “From the Beginning”
     The Most Fundamental Human Questions 
     What is Man?
     The Body as a “Theology”
     God’s Mystery and the Spousal Analogy
     Christ Points Us Back to the Beginning 
     Original Solitude
     Original Unity
     Original Nakedness
     Original Sin
     The Entrance of Shame
Talk 2: “Adultery in the Heart” 
     Adultery in the Heart
     Freedom from the Law and the “New Ethos” 
     The Redemption of the Body
     Grace and Effort
     Purity of Heart
     Masters of Suspicion
Talk 3: “Marks of God’s Love…
The Language of the Body”
     Overused & Undervalued
     The Four Loves:
     Ethos as an Inner Power of Eros 
     Marks of God’s Love
     The Four Marks of God’s Love
     What is Sexual Honesty? 
     Signs of a Mature Love
     Personhood
     The Joy and the Challenge
Talk 4: “What Does This Mean For My Life?
What Does This Mean For Your Life?”
     Sexual Honesty 
     The Marriage of Tobias and Sarah
      “My Sister, My Bride” 
     The Essence of Chastity 
     Your Marriage
     A Sacrament
     Responsible Parenthood – Natural Family Planning
     The Effects of Contraception 
     Same-Sex Attraction
     How to Change the Ethos?
Sources 

I loved working through this course, even though I am likely more than twice the age of the normal student who would attend the retreat. As a man, as a husband, as a father there was so much great information in these talks and to work through in this Manual. I hope my kids will take the time and listen to these talks even though the youngest three are still in high school. 

Father Mike has a way with words. His videos and books are excellent resources for Catholics, for Christians and for seekers. This manual and course would be great for any Catholic any Christian. I am very thankful Father Mike, Bulldog Catholic and Ascension have made this resource available for anyone and for free. 

I can easily recommend this course and manual. They are great resources!

Theology of the Body Crash Course and Manual - Fr. Mike Schmitz - Ascension Press


Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2024 Catholic Reading Plan

Books By Father Mike Schmitz:
Made for Love: Same-Sex Attraction and the Catholic Church
Quick Catholic Lessons with Fr. Mike
Quick Catholic Lessons with Fr. Mike Volume II
The Catechism in a Year Companion, Volume II
The Catechism in a Year Companion, Volume III


Contributed to:
Pray, Decide, and Don't Worry: Five Steps to Discerning God's Will
Don't Be Afraid to Say Yes to God! Pope Francis Speaks to Young People

Audio Talks by Father Mike Schmitz:
Living Life by Design, Not by Default
Love - Sacrifice - Trust He Showed Us the Way
From Love, By Love, For Love
True Worship
The Four Last Things
Jesus Is …
Changed Forever - The Sacrament of Baptism
We Must Go Out - The Sacrament of Confirmation

Tuesday 18 June 2024

The Remarkable Life of Bishop Bonaventure Broderick Exile, Redemption, and a Gas Station - James K. Hanna

The Remarkable Life of Bishop Bonaventure Broderick: 
Exile, Redemption, and a Gas Station
James K. Hanna
Serif Press
ISBN 9781735440439
ASIN B0D238JVRT

The Remarkable Life of Bishop Bonaventure Broderick Exile, Redemption, and a Gas Station - James K. Hanna

This book had been on my radar for a while. But I was awaiting the release of the eBook before picking it up. I have a dual form of dyslexia and greatly prefer eBooks. I kept checking for the eBook and picked it up the day it released. Wow what an incredible story. I read this volume, and then started almost immediately and read it a second time.

Description of this book is:

“A Catholic bishop running a gas station? Well, that was the story they told in Millbrook, New York. And it turned out to be true. But the gas station is hardly the most interesting thing about this fascinating character. His is a story of catacombs in Rome, a failed bomb-building business in Connecticut and a sewer system in Cuba. It is a story of allegations, from the serious to the sensational to the that he shared in a million-dollar commission to sell Church property in Havana; that he was living with “a nun he stole from a convent in St. Louis;” that he was “running a hot dog stand” in upstate New York. It is a story of a millionaire Congregationalist and his Catholic wife, an impeached governor of New York, quarreling siblings and quibbling Church hierarchy. It is a tale of popes and politicians, business partners who throw inkwells at each other, and a lawyer who probes into a private papal conversation on behalf of a cardinal of the Church. Strange, moving, funny, mysterious, exciting - this is a story that has fascinated Catholics for years. This is the first book that sifts through the evidence, digs into the mysteries, sorts the true from the false, and tells the whole story of the gas-station bishop from Millbrook.”

The chapters in this volume are:

Preface and Acknowledgements
Major Characters
Introduction
1 Early Life and Education, 1868 - 1898
2 Fast Start and First Troubles in Connecticut, 1898 - 1900
3 The War with Spain
4 Cuba and the Road to the Episcopacy, 1900 - 1903
5 Rumors and the Grave Misunderstanding, 1903 - 1905
6 Early Years of Exile, 1905 - 1912
7 More Turmoil: Gossip and Legal Drama, 1912 - 1915
8 Quiet Times, 1915 - 1926
9 A Phantom Hot Dog Stand and the Fabled Gas Station, 1926 - 1939
10 End of Exile, 1939
11 Reconciled Years, 1940 - 1943
Notes
Bibliography

This is an incredible story. The story of a rising star within the church and episcopate. A man with great faith, learning, passion, skills in managing church personalities and political personalities. And then because of the pettiness of two men, his whole life and career were put on ice. And for decades he was a bishop without a seat. And A man set adrift from the church. And yet he kept his faith, did mass in private. And worked various jobs. Supported ministries and social programs. He was an apartment building owner. He owned a large property, which yes did have a gas and service station at the front. He wrote columns, gave lectures. But was ignored by the higher ups in the church for ages.

And just as quickly as his favour was lost, so it was returned, this time by the voicing of the injustice by one man and the investigation and remediation of that wrong by another.

I could hardly put this book down. And as mentioned I even read it a second time. The letter he wrote to Archbishop Francis Spellman, after his first visit nearly moved me to tears. And all because Donato Sbarretti, mentioned to Spellman the injustice on the night of his elevation to the chair himself. This book leaves you wanting more and Hanna has already answered that call, He has edited and released a second volume: The Wit and Wisdom of Bishop Bonaventure Broderick: His Millbrook Round Table Columns, which I eagerly await an eBook edition of. 

This was a deeply moving read. The events take place all over the globe. But it is the story of man from the states, who studied in Rome, was at the top of the field in archaeology. Became an auxiliary bishop, and then was set aside. But his faith remained and when the call came he was willing to step up and serve again. A story of faith, good friends, and fortunes won, lost and then finally re-established. A fascinating read as History and history of the Church. I can easily recommend it.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2024 Catholic Reading Plan

Books by James Hanna:
The Wit and Wisdom of Bishop Bonaventure Broderick

The Remarkable Life of Bishop Bonaventure Broderick Exile, Redemption, and a Gas Station - James K. Hanna

The Remarkable Life of Bishop Bonaventure Broderick Exile, Redemption, and a Gas Station - James K. Hanna

The Wit and Wisdom of Bishop Bonaventure Broderick: His Millbrook Round Table Columns - James K. Hanna


Monday 17 June 2024

I Love Journal - Father Mark Goring CC

Sparkly Star Notebook
ISBN 978871512463
ASIN B0CQH4FFN9

I Love Journal - Father Mark Goring CC

I love reading books by Father Mark Going, CC. I greatly enjoy his many videos. And I believe his Saint Mark’s School of Reading is life changing. This is one of a few volumes that he has released that are a little different. It is a tool he has used in his own life for motivation and making changes in his life and he has released this journal so others can use it.

The description of the book is:

“Don’t write your loves too quickly, Let them come from deep within. But also don’t be too picky, Just write another blessing that you know comes from Him.”

The volume starts with one page of notes, sort of a ‘How To Use The Notebook’ it is three paragraphs. I myself am more of a digital journal kind of guy, I have something similar that is a gratitude journal. I started with first writing 3 things I was thankful for back in 2011, Then in 2015 I switched platforms and decided to do one item each day for myself, my wife, and for each of our children. As soon as I saw this journal, I picked one up. After looking through it and reading the instructions I have offered to get a copy for each of my children. 

As soon as I saw Father Mark’s video outlining this volume I thought it would be an excellent gift for the kids ages 18-13. 


The idea behind this volume is amazing. Father Mark has been doing this for years and explains it in his YouTube Video. This is a great little tool, and one that can be used for the rest of our lived. Father Mark explains that the lighthouse on the back cover represents:

“I had kind of a light bulb moment. Speaking of which this is on the back of on the back of the book I have a lighthouse okay very interesting but anyways I had a light bulb moment where I realized well wait a minute we were made by God and God is love and we're Made In His Image God is love and he loves. We're made In His Image and we're made to love and so when someone mentions something they love it it's normal. I think that we should experience a joy and also when we declare something we love.”

There are little sketches in the bottom right had corner of every 2 page spread. The illustrations are by Dakota Ayotte. They are excellent Pen and Ink or pencil sketches. Some might serve as prompts. But even flipping through and looking at them brought a smile to my face. 

This looks like an excellent tool. Once you can use for the rest of your life. I hope my children take me up on my offer of a copy for each of them. It is a tool I am certain will inspire and encourage in the years to come.

I Love Journal - Father Mark Goring CC - Lighthouse Back Cover

SRMcEvoy Gratitude Journal Sample from OneNote

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2024 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Father Mark Goring:
72 Crew: Manual 1st Edition
...

Journal's by Father Mark:
40 Days Freedom Walk Journal: Volume II St. Mark
40 Days Freedom Walk Journal: Volume III St. Luke Workman Edition
40 Days Freedom Walk Journal: Volume IV St. John Life is Good Edition

Notebooks by Father Mark:
Disciple Notebook: Discipleship. Living in the Spirit. Evangelization 2018
Disciple Notebook: Discipleship. Living in the Spirit. Evangelization 2019

Non-English Editions:
San Jose el Protector: Una Preparacion de Nueve Dias para Consagrarse a San Jose
Duc Thanh Giuse Dang Bao Tro: Chin Ngay Chuan Bi de Dang Minh Cho Duc Thanh Giuse


72 Crew Manual - Father Mark Goring CC

I Love Journal - Father Mark Goring CC

Sparkly Star Notebook - Father Mark Goring CC






40 Days Freedom Walk Journal:  Volume 1 - St. Matthew Fr. Mark Goring CC



Saturday 15 June 2024

Prayer of the Day Litany of Loreto to Our Lady

Prayer of the Day Litany of Loreto to Our Lady

Litany of Loreto - Bishop Charles Renfrew - Explaining the Titles Given to Mary in this Famous Prayer - CTS Devotions

Lord have mercy.  
Lord have mercy.
Christ have mercy.
Christ have mercy.
Lord have mercy.
Lord have mercy.
Christ hear us.
Christ graciously hear us.
God the Father of heaven,
have mercy on us. (repeat)
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary,
pray for us. (repeat)
Holy Mother of God, pray for us. 
Holy Virgin of virgins, pray for us. 
Mother of Christ, pray for us. 
Mother of divine grace, pray for us. 
Mother most pure, pray for us. 
Mother most chaste, pray for us. 
Mother inviolate, pray for us. 
Mother undefiled, pray for us. 
Mother most lovable, pray for us. 
Mother most admirable, pray for us. 
Mother of good counsel, pray for us. 
Mother of our Creator, pray for us. 
Mother of our Saviour, pray for us. 
Virgin most prudent, pray for us. 
Virgin most venerable, pray for us. 
Virgin most renowned, pray for us. 
Virgin most powerful, pray for us. 
Virgin most merciful, pray for us. 
Virgin most faithful, pray for us. 
Mirror of justice, pray for us. 
Seat of wisdom, pray for us. 
Cause of our joy, pray for us. 
Spiritual vessel, pray for us. 
Vessel of honour, pray for us. 
Singular vessel of devotion, pray for us. 
Mystical rose, pray for us. 
Tower of David, pray for us. 
Tower of ivory, pray for us. 
House of gold, pray for us. 
Ark of the covenant, pray for us. 
Gate of heaven, pray for us. 
Morning Star, pray for us. 
Health of the sick, pray for us. 
Refuge of sinners, pray for us. 
Comfort of the afflicted, pray for us. 
Help of Christians, pray for us. 
Queen of Angels,pray for us.  
Queen of Patriarchs, pray for us. 
Queen of Prophets, pray for us. 
Queen of Apostles Queen of Martyrs, pray for us. 
Queen of Confessors, pray for us. 
Queen of Virgins, pray for us. 
Queen of all Saints, pray for us. 
Queen conceived without original sin, pray for us. 
Queen assumed into heaven, pray for us. 
Queen of the most holy Rosary, pray for us. 
Queen of the Family, pray for us. 
Queen of Peace. pray for us. 
 Grant, Lord God, that we, your servants,
 may rejoice in unfailing health of mind and body,
 and, through the glorious intercession of Blessed Mary ever-Virgin,
 may we be set free from present sorrow
 and come to enjoy eternal happiness.
 Through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

This prayer I have taken up from a few different volumes from the Catholic Truth Society.

CTS Devotions
Amette Ley
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 
9781784691127
eISBN 9781784694340
ASIN B073GZCY1Q
CTS Booklet D807

A Little Book of Litanies - Amette Ley - CTS Devotions

Rt Rev. Charles Renfrew
ISBN 9781860827969
eISBN 9781784694371
ASIN B073GZZ76P
CTS Booklet D751

Litany of Loreto - Bishop Charles Renfrew - Explaining the Titles Given to Mary in this Famous Prayer - CTS Devotions

Marian Prayer Book
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781860827976
CTS Booklet D752
Marian Prayer Book - Catholic Truth Society

Friday 14 June 2024

Living Your Vocation Even If You Don’t Know What It Is Yet - Fr Nicholas Crowe, OP - CTS Books

Living Your Vocation:
Even If You Don’t Know What It Is Yet
Fr Nicholas Crowe, OP
ISBN 9781784697662
eISBN 9781784697174
ASIN B0CS6YKQLW
CTS Booklet PA68

Living Your Vocation Even If You Don’t Know What It Is Yet - Fr Nicholas Crowe, OP - CTS Books

I discovered the books and booklets from the Catholic Truth Society in 2018, I was doing research on Alice Curtayne and stumbled upon older out of print booklets from the CTS. Since then I have read nearly 400 different titles and many of them more than once. The booklet number for this volume is PA68 which marks it as being a Pastoral booklet. This is a great little volume. 

The description of this volume is:

“What does God want you to do with your life? How do you know? Fr Nicholas explains how everyone can live a life that is holy and pleasing to God, even if you don’t know what God wants you to do.

One of the biggest questions Christians ask is what vocation God has given to them. Marriage, priesthood, consecrated life, something else? What does God want you to do with your life? How do you know? How do you find out? What if you’ve already got it all wrong?

Fr Nicholas Crowe, OP is on hand to rescue us from confusion and despair. He explains how everyone (including you!) can live a life that is holy and pleasing to God, even if you don’t know what God wants you to do, how to do it, or what’s going on at all.”

The chapters this volume are:

A Gift from God and a Gift to God
What Is a Vocation?
The Baptismal Call
The Secondary States
God’s Call for Me Today
Concluding Thoughts

This is one of the new volumes released by the CTS early in 2024. I picked all of them up as soon as they were available. I highlighted several passages while reading this volume, some of them are:

“What, then, is a vocation? Our English word ‘vocation’ comes from the Latin vocat, which means ‘he or she calls’. When we use this word ‘vocation’ in a Christian context, it carries the sense of a summons. To have a vocation is to be called or summoned to some definite goal.”

“This means that, strictly speaking, over the course of a Christian life we will have many vocations according to the different aspects and seasons of our life. Some of our callings are permanent.”

“God’s omnipotence is such that we will never thwart his plan: like the child choosing a gift in the tent, we cannot get it ‘wrong’ if we are trying to make of our life “a living sacrifice” (Rm 12: 1), an offering of love given to our heavenly Father.”

“We have seen that, at the most fundamental level, our calling is to live in God’s friendship forever. Indeed, we can think of our vocation as the working out or fulfilment of God’s plan for our life.”

“For St Paul, our calling or vocation is God’s execution in time of our predestination. We are, before all else, called to be converted and to turn or return to God’s friendship through Baptism or Confession.”

“To be called by God means that we are called to live in friendship with Jesus in this life by living as his disciples, walking in his footsteps in a deepening repentance and conversion that culminates in the perfect love of the vision of God in heaven. This life of growing friendship with God through our Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit is our baptismal vocation.”

“To be a disciple of Christ is to learn the ways of Truth and Goodness through loving contemplation in prayer, meditation and study. Here we allow God to guide us and empower us, such that our lives might become transparent to the glory of God.”

“The only way to understand our calling and the meaning and purpose of our life is to turn our eyes away from ourselves and instead look to God:”

“We have seen that it is our baptismal call to live in friendship with God in this life so as to enjoy eternal happiness with God in the next. We have also seen that our friendship with God is expressed by a life of ongoing conversion as a disciple, in which we learn from Jesus in order to live like Jesus–doing all things for the glory of God.”

“There is a sense, then, that the parish priest, as a limb of the bishop, is called to represent Christ in a more holistic way than a non-ordained consecrated person. Where the religious brother or sister re-presents particular aspects of Jesus’s life and ministry, the parish priest when acting in Christ’s person re-presents the whole Christ, and this wholeness spills out into his entire ministry.”

“We have now explored two dimensions of a divine vocation: first, our baptismal call to friendship with God and a life of discipleship that culminates in the perfect happiness of heaven and, second, the anchoring of this call to discipleship in a particular network of relationships through embracing a particular state of life within the Church.””

I hope those few quotes give you a feel for this volume. Father Nicholas writes in an engaging style. It is an easy volume to read, engage with and understand. He flows back and forth across some of the different vocations. It is a volume I expect my youngest two will read, and one I pray my oldest two will be willing to try. I believe it is the only volume published by Father Paul. It is one I can easily recommend. 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2024 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Catholic Truth Society Booklet Rack Mosaic

Thursday 13 June 2024

Lyorn - Steven Brust - Vlad Taltos Book 17

Lyorn
Vlad Taltos Book 17
Steven Brust
TOR
ISBN 
9780765382863
eISBN 9781466889712
ASIN B0C2MXTD17

Lyorn - Steven Brust - Vlad Taltos Book 17

Brust is one of the few authors I read in high school, who is still publishing new books, and that I eagerly anticipate each new volume. In fact I shared with my son, that Brust is the only author I read in high school other than Shakespeare that I still read frequently. That speaks to his staying power as a storyteller, and the charm and wit of Vlad. I have been reading the Vlad Taltos books by Steven Brust since they first started appearing. I started keeping track of what I read in the fall of 1995, since that time I have read or reread a book by Brust 39 times. With each new work I appreciate the series, the author and especially Vlad more. Whenever a Vlad Taltos book appears it is like a visit with an old friend. I gave up on Xanth by Piers Anthony by the 6th book and Wild Cards by George R.R. Martin by the 10th book. The only series I started reading in the mid 80’s that I finished was The Stainless Steel Rat by Harry Harrison and it ended a while ago. 

This story is different than many in the series. In part Vlad for the most part stuck in a theatre. He needs the protection of the spells on the theatre to prevent people finding him who want to put holes in him, and make his demise permanent. In our last adventure Vlad figured out a way to come out from under a heavy price on his head and a few years of wandering. And almost instantly he is in a new pickle, and at first he does not even know why. Shure their might be a lot of old grudges but we was not sure what triggered this level of vitriol.    

The description of this volume is:

“All The World's A Happy Stage. Until the knives come out... Lyorn is the next adventure in Steven Brust’s bestselling Vlad Taltos series

Another Opening…Another Cataclysm?

Vlad Taltos is on the run. Again. This time from one of the most powerful forces in his world, the Left Hand, who are intent on ending his very lucrative career. Permanently.

He finds a hidey-hole in a theatre where the players are putting on a show that was banned centuries ago…and is trying to be shut down by the House that once literally killed to keep it from being played.

Vlad will take on a number of roles to save his own skin. And the skins of those he loves.

And along the way, he might find a part that was tailor-made for him.

One that he might not want…but was always his destiny.”

The chapters and sections in this volume are:

Prologue
1. Day 1 Act 1 Scene 1
2. Day 1 Act 1 Scene 4
3. Day 1 Act 2 Scene 2
4. Day 1 Act 3 Scene 4
5. Day 1 Act 4 Scene 3
Intermission: The Crying Clown
6. Day 2 Act 1 Scene 2
7. Day 2 Act 1 Scene 6
8. Day 2 Act 3 Scene 3
9. Day 2 Act 4 Scene 1
10. Day 2 Act 4 Scene 6
11. Day 2 Act 6 Scene 6
Intermission: The Ravenwing Players
12. Day 3 Act 1 Scene 2
13. Day 3 Act 2 Scene 2
14. Day 3 Act 3 Scene 1
15. Day 3 Act 3 Scene 4
16. Day 3 Act 3 Scene 4
17. Day 3 Act 4 Scene 5
Encore

Vlad is in a theatre, they are putting on a historical play. For numerous reasons It might be ended; including 2 Jhereg wanting to back out of backing the play, a Lyorn that does not want the play done because it shines a bad light on the house. And the kidnapping of a friends child. But Vlad is not a typical guy hiding out. And Vlad absolutely does not have the run of the mill friends. He is personal friends with Sethra Lavode, a number of powerful Dragon Lords, The Demon one of the 5 who form the ruling council of the criminal organization you formerly worked for, (As much as anyone high up in the organization can be friends) and of course the empress. Oh not to mention his Goddess Verra.

Each chapters begins part of the play. Vlad is also reading an actual history of the events covered in the play. And part of his finding a way to get out of this mess is figuring out the play, the history, and what makes a Lyorn a Lyorn. It’s not like Vlad has not pulled off miracles before …

Towards the end of the volume Vlad reflects:

“I had friends who helped me. I always had friends. I wasn’t the toughest, or the strongest, or the fastest, or the best sorcerer, or even the best witch (damn you Morrolan and Warlock). But I had friends. I had friends who overshadowed me, but that I could always count on.”

Vlad has friends, friends who will always stand in his corner. And reading a new Vlad novel is much like a visit with an old friend. This story was a lot less action than some of the Vlad stories, but it does give us some great information. Vlad starts to piece together some things both about what is happening and something much bigger that is happening. Some key pieces are revealed to the reader that are going to be important in future volumes. Which it leaves you desperate for.

This is another great read from one of my all-time favourite authors. An excellent novel in an incredible series! Well done Mr. Brust, well done.    
 
Books by Steven Brust:
Vlad Taltos Publishing Order:

Jhereg (1983)
Yendi (1984)
Teckla (1987)
Taltos (1988)
Phoenix (1990)
Athyra (1993)
Orca (1996)
Dragon (1998)
Issola (2001)
Dzur (2006)
Jhegaala (2008)
Iorich (2010)
Tiassa (2011)
Hawk (2014)
Vallista (2017)
Tsalmoth (2023)
Lyorn (2024)
...

Vlad Taltos: Chronological Order:
Taltos (1988)
Dragon, main chapters (1998)
Yendi (1984)
Tsalmoth (2023)
Dragon, interludes (1998)
Tiassa, section 1 (2011)
Jhereg (1983)
Teckla (1987)
Phoenix (1990)
Jhegaala (2008)
Athyra (1993)
Orca (1996)
Issola (2001)
Dzur (2006)
Tiassa, section 2 (2011)
Iorich (2010)
Tiassa, section 3 (2011)
Hawk (2014)
Vallista (2017)
Tsalmoth (2023)
Lyorn (2024)
...

The Khaavren Romances:
The Phoenix Guards (1991)
Five Hundred Years After (1994)
...

The Viscount of Adrilankha, published in three volumes:
The Paths of the Dead (2002)
The Lord of Castle Black (2003)
Sethra Lavode (2004)
...

Other Books:
Brokedown Palace (1986)
To Reign in Hell (1984)
The Sun, the Moon & the Stars (1987)
Cowboy Feng's Space Bar and Grille (1990)
Agyar (1993)
My Own Kind of Freedom (2008)
Good Guys (2018)
...

Co Written:
The Gypsy (1992) with Megan Lindholm
Freedom & Necessity (1997) with Emma Bull
...

Incrementalist (with Skyler White):
The Incrementalists
The Skill of our Hands
...

Incrementalist Short Stories
Fireworks in the Rain - Steven Brust
Strongest Conjuration - Skyler White
...

Short Stories:
An Act of Contrition - Liavek (1985)
An Act of Trust - Liavek: The Players of Luck (1986)
A Dream of Passion - in the convention chapbook for Ad Astra (1986)
An Act of Mercy - Liavek: Wizard's Row (1987, with Megan Lindholm)
An Act of Love - Liavek: Spells of Binding (1988, with Gregory Frost and Megan Lindholm)
Csucskári - Excerpt from The Sun, The Moon, and the Stars in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: First Annual Collection (1988)
A Hot Night at Cheeky's - Liavek: Festival Week (1990)
Looking Forward: Excerpt from Athyra in Amazing Stories, March (1993)
Attention Shoppers - Xanadu (1993)
Abduction from the Harem - in Timewalker Issue 14 (October 1996)
Drift - Space Opera (1996)
Valóság and Élet - in Sandman: Book of Dreams (1996)
Calling Pittsburgh - in Lord of the Fantastic: Stories in Honor of Roger Zelazny (1998)
When the Bow Breaks - The Essential Bordertown (1998)
The Man From Shemhaza - in Thieves' World: Enemies of Fortune (2004), reprinted in Year's Best Fantasy 5 (2005)
Klava with Honey - Eeriecon Convention Chapbook #4 (2005)
Chapter One - in Eeriecon Convention Chapbook #6 (2007)
The Desecrator - on tor.com (2011)
Fireworks in the Rain - on tor.com (2013)
...

Steven Brust - Vlad Taltos Books 1-17 and Compillations