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December 4, 2013 / Patrizia Tilly

Out with the Old

We’ll soon be making New Year’s resolutions. Plan ahead to get your new year off to a good start! Let us help you with some ideas for resources for personal and professional use.

Getting in Spiritual Shape
by Joan McKamey

Do you need a resource to suggest to someone who wants to get into a regular prayer routine? Need a spiritual workout that will help you grow stronger in your faith and lead you to deeper intimacy with Jesus Christ?

A 40-Day Spiritual Workout for Catholics by Bob Rice was designed with one purpose in mind: to help you grow strong in your Catholic faith. This workout will help you establish a daily habit of prayer through powerful Scripture reflections, inspirational quotations from saints, and insightful explanations of how to pray. Take the 40-day challenge to exercise your spiritual muscles and strengthen your love for Jesus Christ.

This is a great resource for anyone who wants to jumpstart his or her prayer life and who needs a little guidance for doing so. It’s perfect for Lent, but why wait until then to use it? God is ready and waiting to hear from you RIGHT NOW!

Praying Daily
by Joan McKamey

Another way to support and encourage a regular habit of prayer is with the gift—to yourself or another—of a prayer-a-day book.

Sisterhood of Saints: Daily Guidance and Inspiration by Melanie Rigney offers a daily dose of guidance and inspiration from such widely known female saints as Monica, Teresa of Avila, Therese of Lisieux, Agnes, Barbara, Joan, and Bernadette. Recently canonized women such as Sts. Rosa Venerini, Mother Theodore Guerin, Marie Eugenie of Jesus, Maria Bernarda, Alphonsa of the Immaculate Conception, Marianne Cope, Kateri Tekakwitha, Anna Schaffer, Paulina do Corcao Agonizante de Jesus, Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, and the women among the martyrs of Vietnam, Korea, and China offer new inspiration.

Each day’s entry features a reflection on the life of the saint, with brief biographical information and her relevance for today; an inspirational quote from Scripture, the saint herself, or her canonization proceedings; and a daily challenge based on a charism of the saint.

Thirsting for GodThirsting for God (hardcover gift book, paperback) is a collection of short stories, prayers, and meditations from the heart of Mother Teresa—a heart filled with a humble surrender to Jesus, a love for souls, and a simple joy in service to others. As you feast on these daily reflections, you will discover the secrets of a life fully surrendered to God.

Mother Teresa understood what it meant to thirst for God, and she poured out her life on behalf of God, whom she saw in the poorest of the poor. In each of these 365 daily readings, you will encounter the woman who yearned to know God above all else and whose words point the way for those who long to quench that same thirst.

These books will make great Christmas gifts for parish catechists, Catholic school teachers, your Secret Santa, and anyone else on your gift list who desires to grow in faithfulness to prayer. Be sure to ask about our discount on bulk book orders!

Prayer Group
by Angela Glassmeyer

I bet there are many people whose New Year’s resolution will be to grow closer to God and pray more frequently. This is, of course, always something for which to strive. It is also something with which many people struggle. Why not start the new year by offering a small group on the topic of prayer?

Ron Rolheiser, OMI, has written a book to help you! Prayer: Our Deepest Longing looks at the issues facing people of faith in today’s culture and offers a way to more effectively deal with them by seeking out opportunities for prayer. The book is divided into five short sections, making it ideal for five weekly sessions (or a Morning of Prayer, perhaps?). There is also a free leader’s guide to help you or a volunteer facilitator lead the group in discussion.

I encourage you to check it out and consider offering a group in January for those parishioners—and maybe even nonparishioners—who have decided to make getting closer to God a goal for 2014.

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