Young in the Spirit
Spiritual Strengthening for Seniors and Caregivers
Mary K. Doyle
3E Press $10.95
We’re getting older by the minute, individually and globally. More people are living far into their senior years. Scientific and technological advances offer significant resources and assistance, but getting to a ripe old age is only half the equation. We want our bodies, minds, and spirits to be fit and purposeful. It’s been well established that a spiritual life improves every dimension of our well-being, from attitudes of gratitude and compassion to improved immune systems and lower rates of depression. Mary K. Doyle’s brief writing is brimming with practical encouragement and pastoral guidance grounded in Scripture as well as in respected theological, psychological, and social works. With suggestions that shouldn’t surprise us—intentional daily devotion, active participation in communities of faith, serving and caring for others—Doyle gently reminds us to use our time wisely, living to the fullest.
Thirsting for God
Servant Books $12.99
Mother Teresa was living proof that one person—devoted and determined—could impact the entire world. How many of us have wanted even the smallest measure of her faithfulness and energy to accomplish the good, important work to which we’re all called? This collection of daily readings offers the wisdom and example of Mother Teresa, who lived in challenging circumstances yet humbly surrendered to God. Each entry opens the reader to “little practices of love” she recognized as opportunities for building a faithful life of service. “Prayer is nothing but oneness with Christ,” words for March insist. “Christ prays in me, thinks in me, looks through my eyes, works with my hands, and loves with my heart.” In September, we are reminded to “offer cheerful obedience from our inward joy.…If our work is done with joy, we will have no reason to be unhappy.” We can do no better than to let all these words quench our thirst and guide our journey throughout the entire year.
True Stories of Change
Liguori Publications $9.99
In God we trust. Inscribed on U.S. currency, this phrase is noted by some and disregarded by others. For award-winning journalist Marion Amberg, this motto has become almost a daily prayer. With each penny she found, whether frozen in snow or stuck to hot pavement, she whispered, “God, I trust in you.” That simple, physical act has lifted burdens and restored hope in the small things. Here Amberg collects a few dozen accounts of people finding pennies and saying the Penny Prayer. Pennies lead to fresh perspectives, missionary projects, and even a marriage proposal. Pennies prompt finders to pay forward a kindness, seek forgiveness, start a “trust” fund, and feed the world. Amberg’s storytellers are engaging and inspiring. “When I see a coin, I stop to see if my trust is in God at that moment,” shares Sister Charlene. “It’s God’s way of starting a conversation with me. Who am I to pass it by?” Don’t pass up this book either.
Tools for Rebuilding
75 Really, Really Practical Ways to Make Your Parish Better
Michael White and Tom Corcoran
Ave Maria Press $14.95
Top 10, sure. Maybe even 20, but honestly, who has time to wade through 75 tactics to improve a parish—particularly when you’re already hard at work trying to improve your parish? This second book from Fr. Michael White and Tom Corcoran, members of the pastoral team at Church of the Nativity in Baltimore County, MD, just might be worth the effort. Anchoring their vision in the eucharistic tradition calling for church to matter, the authors share positions and practices that have motivated their efforts to shape a vibrant, effective worship community while intentionally reaching out to Catholics who may be disconnected. Their writing is candid, strategic, encouraging, and not without a few surprises. Critical tools are identified with regard to people, preaching, finances, staff, sacraments and, yes, fun. Their deepest wisdom (spoiler alert!): Start loving people. Help them fall in love with God, and then wait and see what happens. The 74 other ways are worthwhile as well.
A Collection of Timeless Catholic Prayers
Margaret M. Dvorak
Liguori Publications $12.99
Someone once taught us to pray. Perhaps at first we only recited words; however, with time, we’ve come to recognize the power of those words to change our life and the life of the world. This collection from Liguori Publications compiled by Margaret Dvorak reacquaints us with the rich heritage of prayers from the Catholic tradition, inviting our attentiveness to their continued teaching and counsel. What might our lives look like if each day we prayed with St. Ignatius, All that I am and all I possess You have given me. I surrender it all to You….Give me only Your love and grace; with these I will be rich enough, or simply breathed with Padre Pio, Stay with me, Lord—a most useful resource to prompt and offer prayer.