Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Book Review: Small Steps for Catholic Moms

by Danielle Bean and Elizabeth Foss
Notre Dame: Ave Maria Press, 2013

The hugely successful Small Steps for Catholic Moms: Your Daily Call to Think, Pray, and Act by Danielle Bean and Elizabeth Foss was originally published in 2010, but fell victim to a publisher closure and went out of print. Ave Maria Press has re-released this popular book as part of the CatholicMom.com series of books. 

It is an understatement to say that Danielle Bean, editor of Catholic Digest and host of The Gist as well as mother of eight children, and Elizabeth Foss, award-winning writer and mother of nine, know what it means to be busy moms. The duo has put together a devotional to help mothers easily work prayer into a hectic life. 

Small Steps for Catholic Moms offers an entry for each day, but Bean and Foss are adamant that there is no one “right way” to use this book. One may follow along day by day or pick it up when the need for inspiration arises and study a few pages. Each month is dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue, such as joy, simplicity, courage, humility, and peace. Each day features something to think about, pray about, and act on. Quotes from scripture and the saints offer the day’s food for thought. The prayers are simple, yet profound, and the actions are practical ways to live out one’s faith. 

Any Catholic mother searching for a quick spiritual pick-me-up will find great value in the pages of Small Steps for Catholic Moms.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Book Review: Sisterhood of Saints

Sisterhood of Saints: Daily Guidance and Inspiration
by Melanie Rigney
Cincinatti, OH: Franciscan Media, 2013

Are you in need of some daily inspiration? Do you love to learn about the saints? If you answered “yes” to either of those questions, then Sisterhood of Saints by Melanie Rigney (Franciscan Media, 2013) is a book you will want to keep close by. 

Rigney writes that researching all these women changed her life. She marvels at the similarities and differences in this select group of holy women. “They weren’t perfect. . . Sometimes they hurt people, badly. They were outcasts sometimes as well. . . They helped people who had given up on themselves, people who had never heard of God or had little use for him if they had. . . Some of them were really ordinary. . . [Others] crossed battle lines or offered up their lives in wartime. . . Others died safely in their beds. In short, they are women just like you and me.”

For each day of the year, Rigney offers a short biography of the featured saint, a quote of inspiration from either the Scriptures or the saint, and a challenge to help you live your spiritual life more deeply.
Rigney has highlighted the big-name women saints. Those looking for Mary, Therese, Elizabeth, Brigid, Catherine, Kateri, etcetera will not be disappointed, but one is especially impressed by the number of lesser-known saints who are featured in these pages. The reader will have the opportunity to make many new heavenly friends, such as Rita Amada de Jesus, Anna Wang, Giuseppina Gabriella Bonino, and Celine Borzecka. There is a saint in heaven for every woman to relate to and seek help from.

The Sisterhood of Saints would make a wonderful gift for the Catholic women in your life. It is also a wonderful resource for oneself, to deepen one’s faith and learn more about the communion of saints.