Family, the Church, and the Real World
Redemptorist Pastoral Publication
Liguori Publications $14.99
Understanding Church teaching is essential for an authentic personal relationship with God, but we need more. We need support in the ways we might connect this wisdom to daily living, especially our significant relationships. Deep within, we realize we are called into loving, responsible relationships with one another—whether single or married, religious or lay—and we also acknowledge we can live these relationships better. Learning what the Church instructs and how to apply this ethic to our lives can encourage, reinforce, and celebrate our committed efforts to abide in faithfulness and love. There is much to sort through and the prospect may be overwhelming and intimidating. This book provides solid background on Church teaching and steps to immediately act on what you read. Authors speak to their unique and pastoral strengths—social work, parenting, catechesis, psychology, theology—motivating the important, blessed, imperfect work of life in our domestic “churches.”
Made for Love, Loved by God
Peter John Cameron, OP
Servant books $15.99
“The hunger for love haunts us.” Who of us has not benefited from a gentle reminder of the profound fundamental truth that God loves us? While it can at times sound like too simple or well-worn a response in grievous circumstances, we are often too quick to casually dismiss or even intentionally avoid the enormity of such seemingly small words—God loves you—and we can forget to be startled. Made for Love, Loved by God helps us remember. In the affirming and genuine style of conversation with a good friend, Magnificat editor-in-chief, author, and playwright Fr. Peter Cameron speaks to the vastness and impartiality of God’s love and mercy—“beyond all demands, all rights and all measures.” Nourished with effective references from an assortment of spiritual guides—among them Flannery O’Connor, Rilke, Pope Benedict, Van Gogh, Viktor Frankl, Dorothy Day—and rooted in the message and mission of Jesus, God’s love incarnate, Made for Love, Loved by God broadens our understanding of all we receive and how we are to live as women and men desperately loved by God.
What Are We Doing On Earth For Christ’s Sake?
Richard Leonard, SJ
Paulist Press $14.95
Perhaps you have asked the question Australian Jesuit Richard Leonard poses in the provocative title of his latest book. A chance conversation at 35,000 feet prompted him to speak to those uncertainties about faith, religion, church, and belief that many, particularly young people, have today and to offer a hopeful way forward. What Are We Doing on Earth for Christ’s Sake? respectfully and without apology challenges the interrogation of contemporary culture, “especially of our detractors,” the author explains, “whose voices are louder than ever.” Three substantial chapters examine significant topics: the argument of belief and unbelief, addressing “how we hold on to what we believe in the face of those who tell us we’re crazy”; an array of questions solicited from believing and nonbelieving young adults on topics including the veracity of the Bible, the historic Jesus, morality versus moralizing, and the wealth and power of the Church; extraordinary and ordinary witnesses to faith, hope, and love, or “those who walk the talk” and inspire us to do likewise. Here and now. For Christ’s sake.
More Than You Could Ever Imagine
Bernie Owens, SJ
Liturgical Press $19.95
Our lives “are one great unfolding,” suggests Jesuit retreat master and seminary professor Bernie Owens. We are shaped by our choices, experiences, and daily challenges. Ultimately, we are transformed—“passed over into the Heart of God,” the author envisions—applying the metaphor of our ancestors: “liberated…coming into [our] inheritance” as sons and daughters of God. “That God may be all in all,” St. Paul writes to the Corinthians, while Vatican II speaks of the universe becoming “perfectly established in Christ” (Lumen Gentium). Grounded in Scripture and the wisdom of Ignatius, Teilhard de Chardin, Teresa of Ávila, and John of the Cross, Fr. Owens guides us through the work of “becoming divine,” offering spiritual and theological teaching, making the insights accessible and appealing. Questions for personal or group reflection make this a valuable tool for faith-formation gatherings, pastoral ministry teams, and spiritual direction.
Hope and a Whole Lotta Prayer
Liguori Publications $19.99
“There isn’t anything you and God can’t do together—including raise a teenager.” While hard to fathom, columnist and mother Barbara Canale promises parents of teens in this collection of daily devotions designed for them that it can be done and “they are not alone.” Recognizing the challenges unique to adolescents, Canale is confident: God is there through it all. Remaining connected to the divine source may sound like a no-brainer, but Canale knows firsthand it’s easy to forget. She remains certain that prayer is the answer. Beginning in back-to-school September, she speaks to numerous hot-button parenting issues: Safeguard Your Treasures: reflecting on our attachments and what we can and cannot live without; Come as You Are: the useless battle of dressing up for church; Leaving the Nest: training fledglings for flight. Turning it over to God won’t spare us from the storms, Canale confesses, “but the rewards are worth it.”