Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Book Reviews!

About 10 minutes ago I received two wonderful books in the mail. I am extremely excited about both of them. You might be wondering how I can put "book review" in the title of this post when I clearly haven't had time in the past few minutes to read either book. Well that's because neither of them are the type of books that I will finish in a day, a week, or even a year. These are two books intentionally designed to be read slowly and even out of order if need be.

The first one is the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible New Testament 2nd Catholic Edition RSV with introduction, commentary and notes by Scott Hahn and Curtis Mitch. I am so excited to have this brand new Bible to add to my growing collection of Catholic resources! It will be put to immediate use as I prepare in the next week to facilitate the Gospel of Matthew Bible Study by Jeff Cavins at my Parish. This New Testament bible is thicker than any of my other full Bibles because the majority of it is commentary. It includes a nice size concordance, an index of doctrines (WOW!), charts, maps, and topical essays. I sure hope I remember to feed my kids this week because I might just get lost in all this awesome information at my fingertips. I love learning my Catholic Faith!

The second but equally exciting book that I received today is Karen Edmisten's Through The Year With Mary. This is not a book that is meant to be read cover to cover. (That's going be hard!) It includes 365 reflections on our Mother Mary. There is a quote for every day of the year and a short commentary on each one. I love that it is dated! I'm not the most organized soccer mom on the block so this will keep me on track. It will take away the pressure to "keep up" with it daily. I can just turn to the one for today's date even if it's been a few days or a week since I've had time to look at it. I do the exact same thing with Proverbs. I love that there are 31 chapters and when I feel like I need some advice or a kick in the pants, I can turn to today's date in Proverbs and usually it's exactly what I need to hear. I'm sure Karen's new book will be the same way.

I have many of Scott Hahn's books on my shelf. Some I've already read and others are on my to-read list. I love to catch him on EWTN and listen to CD lecture's that he has recorded. He has taught me so much and is incredibly gifted in scripture study! I can't wait to begin reading what he has to say about Matthew's Gospel.

I've been following Karen's Blog for a few years now. I check in with her daily to laugh at her "Ramona" stories or to learn something I didn't know about my faith. Her first book, The Rosary, is an awesome, quick-read but is a wealth of information and understanding about our wonderful Catholic devotion given to us by our Blessed Mary.

Scott and Karen are two amazing writers. I know without question that I will learn something about my faith from anything they write. Both have incredible conversion stories that are must-reads!

I'm off to read and reflect on today's quote from Blessed Teresa of Calcutta and to try and stop myself from reading the entire book today!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Jesus, I Trust in You

Time flies when you're having fun right? Well, time is speeding by but I'm not sure it's because I'm having so much fun. Life is busy that's for sure. It's also hard and annoying and frustrating. It can make a person tired, stressed and grumpy. But in spite of all that, we are doing ok. We are holding our own while my husband is deployed. We are neck deep in soccer, homework, birthdays, orthodontist appointments, choir practice, and religious ed. We've had to deal with things breaking and sadly putting our kitty cat to sleep. The girls are all struggling a bit to adjust to school this year and I'm doing my best to keep on top of our hectic schedule, paying the bills and making sure everybody gets fed. So far, so good. I know we can handle this. I know we'll be ok. I also know that I can only do all this through prayer and offering all of this to our Lord. I have to trust him.

St. Faustina, in her Diary, wrote 120 times of her own misery, and ours. However, she wrote 240 times about her trust in the Lord. Wow, she set the bar pretty high. God handed her the gift of free will and she made the decision to trust him. In one way that sounds like such a simple thing to do and yet it's something I know that I will strive for the rest of my life. Only through prayer and grace will I achieve a fraction of the Faith that our blessed St. Faustina had. Trust means to hand it all over to him. Trust means to accept pain and suffering and hearthache. Trust means to obey His commands even if we don't like it or really understand it. Trust means to pray for those who anger us or sin against us, and mean it. Trust in God means to know Him, to love Him, to serve Him and fervently desire to someday be happy with Him forever in our Heavenly home. Another important "statistic" taken from St. Faustina's Diary is that she spoke of God's Mercy 1200 times. Ten times more than her suffering she spoke of His infinite Mercy. If we ask, if we trust him, if we obey him, God will forgive us our sins. I have so much to learn but one important thing I've come to accept is that God will forgive not only me but ALL people. Luke 23:34 says "And Jesus said, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." The brutal men who tortured our Lord were God's precious children. He loved them. No matter what they did, he wanted them to spend eternity with him in heaven. If only they would repent for what they did. If only they would choose to Trust God, he was willing to extend his Mercy. No matter how hard life gets in the next few months, I know that God will be with me every step of the way. I only have to open my heart and trust in Him.

Dear Lord, I ask that you protect and comfort my husband and the other soldiers with him. They are far from home and missing their families. Bring them home safely but not my will Lord, but yours be done.