My thoughts on bread making and The Gift of Bread
Recipes for the Heart and the Table
When I was a child one of my favorite memories was watching my mother make homemade bread. My mother’s way of making bread may seem a little unconventional, but the process definitely worked. On bread baking day I would climb a chair and sit at the table mesmerized by her process. She never used a recipe, she made it all by sight and touch. After she proofed her yeast, she took a big enamel roaster (the kind you roast a turkey) and added a 5 lb. sack of Cinderella flour. After the flour came the shortening, salt, sugar, yeast then to this she added warm water. With the exception of the flour everything was done without measuring. As she kneaded the dough she would feel the texture and know if she needed more water to achieve the beautiful elastic consistency she always managed to create. Not once did I ever see her add more flour, or adjust anything else. She knew from experience and feel what she needed to do to have her dough turn out beautifully each and every time.
After the dough was silky and smooth she covered the roaster with its lid then wrapped the roaster in blankets to keep it warm and free of any drafts. My mother always gave her bread dough three risings. Two in the roaster and one in the pans. I swear it’s what made the bread crusty on the outside, but chewy and light as a feather on the inside. I always ran into the house when she punched it down for the first time. When she lifted that lid and the pungent smell of the yeast hit your nose there was nothing like it in the world, well that is besides slicing and eating it warm from the oven. My mother was always at her best in the kitchen baking and cooking for those she loved.
Today I try to carry on some of my mom’s favorite traditions and baking bread is just one of them. Try as I might though, after all these years I have never managed to create a loaf of bread the same way she did. I have however, managed to find a lot of great bread recipes and I’ve collected many bread cookbooks through the years. And even though I have enough cookbooks to fill a small library, I couldn’t stop myself from buying my latest find The Gift of Bread: Recipes for the Heart and the Table by Karen Whiting. This book is not just a cookbook full of bread recipes. This is a book where bread is lived spiritually, physically and emotionally. It is as she calls it a “cookbook devotional”. Each beautiful chapter starts with a short scripture passage, followed by a short personal story of family or friends followed by Lovin’ From The Lord where the author shares a biblical passage always related to meals or breaking bread. She includes a Food For Thought and concludes each chapter with The Joy of Bread Making where the reader gets countless kitchen tips or Lovin’ From The Oven where the author shares wonderful bread or muffin recipes for family and friends to enjoy. The finishing touch at the end of each chapter is A Morsel of Bread, a small quote that gives you food for thought for your day.
In rating this book I would easily give it 5 *****. To describe it I would use one of two words, DELIGHTFUL or INSPIRATIONAL. This is a book I plan to refer to again and again and not just for the recipes. The personal stories and scriptural passages in regards to relationships and food are so well thought out. An all-around gem of a book that will not only feed your hunger, but feed your heart and soul too.
In closing I wanted to note that the above picture is one I took of Karen Whiting’s book The Gift of Bread and the loaves of bread sitting by it are two loaves I made from one of the recipes in the book. The Amish White Bread was light and delicious and easy to make. Because my daughters occasionally, but lovingly call me out for tweaking recipes I will be honest and say the only thing I did differently was in using instant yeast verses dry active yeast. Dry active yeast you typically proof first, whereas instant yeast you just add it to the flour. I also shaped the loaves by hand instead of using a loaf pan. I like to have fun and do creative things when making bread, but that was it. Soft and yummy the bread was a hit.
So if you are a novice and would like to make some bread for the first time, or an old pro like my mom, The Gift of Bread: Recipes for the Heart and the Table is sure to be the inspiration to get you motivated to make and break bread.
Celebrate the joyful hope of the Christmas season as characters find healing in the midst of heartbreak.
New from Olivia Newport!
Christmas in Blue
In the wake of a personal loss deeper than anyone realizes, Angela plans to bypass as much of the season as possible and get through her duties as the church organist by going on autopilot. Instead, she finds herself in charge of the town’s celebration. After a mysterious young man arrives, townspeople suspect he is the reason that one set of plans after another disintegrate until little is left of their traditions. Yet Angela warms to Gabe because she suspects they share a secret—his real reason for coming to town. Even when all they have to work with is a garish supply of blue Christmas decorations, Gabe helps Angela discover the hidden beauty of hope.
Christmas in Gold
After eighty years, change is nothing new for Astrid. By the time she was twenty, she survived the destructive Nazi regime, caring for her family under brutal circumstances, moving to America, and losing her husband. At forty she was widowed again and left to build a new life with her children. Now, when she faces a move into an assisted living community and meets a young woman on the brink of despair, she resolves to stir up hope through tragedy one more time.
My Review of Colors of Christmas
If you are looking for a book to add to your holiday reading list this year, make sure to add Colors of Christmas by Olivia Newport. This gem of a book holds two beautiful stories in one, Christmas in Gold and Christmas in Blue, both tender and endearing and sure to lift your hearts and spirits this Christmas season.
Christmas in Gold tells the story of Astrid, an elderly woman who sells her home and moves to Sycamore Hills, a place where seniors can be as independent as they want or receive assistance should they need it. It is an adjustment for Astrid for she is fiercely independent and private, but finds herself in need of help after a fall that left her with a broken ankle. But as the holidays approach and her new place of residence is being decorated for Christmas, Astrid is drawn to a particular tree dressed in gold. She has possessed for years three gold ornaments, the only thing left of her family from Germany after the war. It is her own sorrow she carries quietly from the past that draws her to her Physical Therapist Carly who is running from past mistakes of her own. As Astrid begins to open up and shares her story with Carly a bond of trust begins to form and an unlikely friendship develops between the women. A friendship that will take them into a brighter future and happier holiday season.
Christmas in Blue is the story of love, loss and the beauty of family and friends. The town of Spruce Valley has always taken its Christmas celebration very seriously. A Christmas to Remember has always been the town’s highlight of the year, but this year things are different. Carole, the town’s chief organizer and decorator loved by all has passed leaving her best friend Angela, the Main Street Church’s choir director, in charge by default. As Christmas approaches all Angela wants to do is run away. The loss of her best friend has been more than she can bear, especially with the holidays fast approaching. But as the town’s expectations mount for A Christmas to Remember Angela has only days to prepare for what normally takes weeks. And if things weren’t bad enough the decorations that are normally stored and used every year are ruined due to circumstances beyond her control. With nowhere to turn and limited resources and ideas a mysterious stranger named Gabe appears in town and magical things start to happen. With Gabriel leading the way new decorations are sought, and though all they can obtain are blue, Gabe and Angela are determined to make this year’s celebration a memorable one. As A Christmas to Remember approaches the whole town pulls together at their annual celebration making it one that Spruce Valley will never forget. Feeling the love of God, Gabe and her neighbors, Angela is able to approach Christmas without the dread she anticipated but with joy and tenderness in her heart.
I loved the stories comprising Colors of Christmas. They were both different in content, but left me with a smile on my face and looking forward to the hustle and bustle of Christmas. It also left me with the knowledge that my relationships with family and friends is really what makes Christmas magical and not the gifts under the tree. It reminded me to be thankful and to never take anything for granted and to remember it’s about the child in the manger that we really celebrate Christmas in the first place. The Colors of Christmas should make everyone’s reading list this year and will make a perfect gift for that booklover in your family.
I want to thank Barbour Publishing Inc via NetGalley for an advanced copy of Colors of Christmas by Olivia Newport for a fair and honest review.
Story Time--The Most Important 10 Minutes in a Child's Day!
Your children or grandchildren will delight in this fully-illustrated storybook that brings 365 read-aloud classic Bible stories to life for impressionable young hearts.
Beginning with the creation story, "God Creates the Earth," and ending with "In Eternity with God,” your children will develop faith in an almighty God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, while journeying alongside Bible characters like Samuel, Jonah, Esther, David, John the Baptist, Mary, Joseph, and many more.
365 Classic Bedtime Bible Stories promises to make bedtime reading a delightful learning and faith-building experience for your kids 3 and up.
My Review of 365 Classic Bedtime Bible Stories
365 Classic Bedtime Bible Stories by Jesse Lyman Hurlbut is a beautifully illustrated collection of bible stories from the Old and New Testaments for children of all ages. Starting with the story of creation Jesse Lyman Hurlbut takes us on a journey through a biblical timeline that children not only hear, but see through the tender illustrations that are provided for the reader. A perfect book for children too young for an adult or teenage bible, but in need of learning as much as they can about God and the roots of their faith. Both children and adults together can enjoy these stories and there is one for every day of the year. What a beautiful way of starting or ending your child’s day.
I enjoyed 365 Classic Bedtime Bible Stories as it relayed Old and New Testament knowledge, but in a way children can grasp, break down and remember. Each story leads to the next in a timeframe that stays true to its biblical period. At times I felt like I was reading a bible just for children instead of bible stories and the illustrations that the book provided were sweet and beautifully done. The beauty of 365 Classic Bedtime Bible Stories is your children can journey every day for a year, learn about their faith and be the better for it.
If your children are unfamiliar with the bible or bible stories 365 Classic Bedtime Bible Stories is the perfect way to introduce them to God and their faith. If your children are familiar with bible stories then 365 Classic Bedtime Stories can expound their knowledge and the tender illustrations make those stories come to life. Let 365 Classic Bedtime Bible Stories make your Christmas shopping list for your children or grandchildren. It’s the perfect Christmas gift for the season (or any occasion) and an excellent way to start your loved ones New Year.
I want to thank Barbour Publishing, Inc via NetGalley for an advanced reader copy of 365 Classic Bedtime Bible Stories by Jesse Lyman Hurlbut for a fair and honest review.
The Wondrous World of Violet Barnaby
Violet Barnaby searches for the joy in life after losing her mother in this sweet and funny follow-up to The Charming Life of Izzy Malone. Violet Barnaby is a having a blue Christmas. She’s still grieving the loss of her mother, and to make things worse, her dad has just married Melanie Harmer, a.k.a. the meanest teacher at Dandelion Hollow Middle School. But on the day Violet and her dad are packing up and moving into the new house they’ll share with Melanie and Melanie’s two children, Violet finds a letter her mother wrote to her before she died, asking Violet to enjoy Christmas, along with a Christmas Wish List—things her mom wants her to do during the holiday season. On the list are exactly the kinds of things Violet doesn’t want to do this year, like Be Someone’s Secret Santa; Give Someone the Gift of Your Time: Volunteer; and Bake Christmas Cookies. Violet shows the letter to her friend Izzy’s Aunt Mildred, who calls a meeting of the Charm Girls, a club Izzy and Violet belong to along with their friends, Daisy and Sophia. Aunt Mildred decides she will give them each a charm to put on their bracelet if they do all of the tasks on the Christmas Wish List, which Violet is not too happy about. She’d rather forget about the list completely, but feels compelled to honor her mother’s wishes. And when Izzy’s crush confides a big secret to Violet, Violet feels like she is stuck between her best friend and the boy who she just might have a crush on, too…
Praise for The Wondrous World of Violet Barnaby "[an] emotionally perceptive novel of grief and recovery." - Kirkus You'll fall in love with Violet and love every minute of living in her wondrous world! - Stephanie Faris Violet Barnaby and the forthcoming The Carnival of Wishes and Dreams (2019). I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway
I can remember the first time I realized how much I liked reading. I was in grade school happy as a lark checking out my fifth Nancy Drew mystery at the library. I couldn’t wait to get home. I was so excited to get it started. Looking back I can remember wanting to read them all and I still remember my two favorites, The Secret of the Old Clock and The Hidden Staircase. My mom who loved mysteries joined me in re-reading some of those old classics.
As time moved on I graduated to other books. I must have read The Black Stallion about five times and then in eighth grade I became obsessed with The Good-Bad Boy, a hilarious diary kept by a precocious adolescence who eventually became a priest. It was so popular that there was a waiting list for it in our one and only tiny school library.
As the years have gone by my love for books has not changed. I can’t remember a time when I was not reading something. My tastes have changed through the years and I can honestly say I have broadened my horizons and now enjoy a wide variety of books. Book clubs have been a great vehicle for introductions to genre’s I may never have selected for myself. I have also been open to friends’ suggestions, especially those who are avid readers. I feel fortunate too that I have passed on my love of reading to my children. Even as adolescences and young teens they spent a great deal of time reading and still do today.
So, where I am going with all of this. Well, with all the electronics that our children have access to today the pleasure of reading it appears has taken a back seat to all the fun and excitement that hand held electronics and standard gaming systems can give. Although these electronics are fun and can be played with friends and family, children are becoming addicted to them and prefer to play games over reading a good book. As moms, dads and grandparents we have some stiff competition. Although we want our kids and grandkids to have fun, perhaps there can be a compromise. Below I have listed some ideas to get our kids’ reading again and hope they’ll work for you.
1. Start early. We all know how important reading is to babies and preschoolers. As they grow we have to continue encouraging books, but take it a little further. As your children or grandchildren begin to mature make library trips a priority. Weekly or bi-weekly trips can be fun and something to look forward to while keeping track of books to read and return teaches them responsibility. If financially feasible, a trip to a local bookstore can be fun too. Choosing a book to purchase and keep helps children make decisions about what they really want to read. This is also where relatives can get involved indirectly. Gift cards to books stores make perfect gifts for children on birthdays and Christmas. Like most children, gift cards are greatly appreciated as they get to pick the gift themselves.
2. Make electronics something they have to earn. Like an allowance given for doing chores, electronic time can be earned through reading. For example, for every 30 minutes reading, 30 minutes is earned for the gaming system of their choice. Some may say this will only teach them to dread reading, but I disagree. This gives them the best of both worlds. Otherwise, and I have seen it, they can easily spend hours on electronic devices without even realizing it and books are collecting dust under their beds or in the corners of their rooms. Sometimes as parents and grandparents we have to be the bad guy and say “NO”! No more electronics, use your brain for something else!!
Remember too, kids love challenges and rewards. For every 5 books they read a trip to the store or ice cream shop of choice can be won. It doesn’t have to be anything expensive. Kids love Dollar stores as much as adults and who doesn’t like an ice cream cone or sundae. Whatever the treat may be make it special and something everyone can enjoy. Short on cash, then allow your child to pick the activity the family will participate in that day. A game of cards, a favorite board game or baking their favorite cookie works too. It’s your time and attention they want anyway. Just be creative.
3. If your children have a regularly scheduled bedtime, bump it up by 30 minutes and allow them to read in bed. Some kids like to take their hand held electronics to bed, but this can often stimulate their minds instead of relaxing them. Reading can help them calm after a busy day and take them away to places where they have to use their imagination. It also gives them something to look forward to again the next night, especially if it’s a chapter book. If your children are still young and have difficulty reading without assistance this is a perfect time to spend the last 30 minutes of their day together. Assisting them with reading not only makes them a better reader, but allows you some quiet time together in an otherwise hectic day.
4. Whenever possible, let your children or grandchildren see their favorite books come to life. Diary of a Wimpy Kid, James and The Giant Peach, The Hobbit, Little Women, The Polar Express, The Chronicles of Narnia and the Cat in the Hat are just a few wonderful books that have been made into films. Just Like adults, children like to see their favorite characters jump off the page and entertain them on a screen larger than life.
5. If a parent or grandparent has trouble getting a child to read a book and it becomes a battle, find out what they are passionate about. If your child likes sports, there are many children’s books about sports. Perhaps your child likes animals, dolls, or if you’re lucky they may be interested in history, Again countless books have been written on all of these subjects. If none of these hold interest for your child or grandchild, how about a comic book or magazine. I collected Betty and Veronica, Jughead and Archie in grade school for years. I devoured those comic books and couldn’t wait for the next ones to hit the stand. The most important thing to remember is we want them to enjoy reading. If we make reading a chore instead of a reward we defeat our purpose.
Well I hope that some of these ideas to encourage your children or grandchildren to read has been helpful. We all want our children to succeed and becoming good readers is one way to start them on their way. Reading will educate them and help them to self-entertain especially when they are bored. More importantly it gives them a great alternative to endless hours of electronic activity. Reading will open them up to different worlds and allow them to develop a creative imagination. Reading is also something the whole family can share. In a busy world with all the activities that compete with their time, books are a way of slowing down and sharing with siblings and the whole family. It’s never too late to encourage your children and grandchildren to become avid readers. Why not start today!
In this first book on the topic written from a Catholic perspective, award-winning writer Mary DeTurris Poust offers personal, hard-won wisdom on the complex relationship between food and spirituality.Mary DeTurris Poust draws on the rich appreciation of meals she first gained at the tables of her childhood in an Italian-American family, leading readers into reflection on the connections between eating, self-image, and spirituality. Like Geneen Roth in Women, Food and God, but from a uniquely Catholic point of view, Poust helps readers spot ways they use food to avoid or ignore their real desires--for acceptance, understanding, friendship, love, and, indeed, for God. Poust draws from scripture and the great Catholic prayer forms and devotions to assist readers in making intentional changes in their use of food. She also offers reflections on fasting, eating in solidarity with the poor, vegetarianism, and the local food movement.
My Review of CRAVINGS - A Catholic Wrestles with Food, Self-Image and God
If you are like me and have read every diet and nutrition book out there and are still disappointed with the results or lack thereof, perhaps Cravings, A Catholic Wrestles with Food, Self-image, and God by Mary DeTurris Poust is the book for you. I bought this little book about two years ago and just this August finally decided to crack it open and I’m awfully glad I did. First let me say, if you are looking for a diet and exercise plan you will not find it in the pages of this book. If you are looking for quick weight lose tips, again, you will not find it here. But, if you are looking for a real solution or a meaningful guide of self-evaluation and discovery of what motivates us to eat or overeat then perhaps this book is for you.
In Cravings, Mary DeTurris Poust tackles some heavy issues that caused me to pause and self-evaluate my relationship with food. Cravings showed me, as well as it will any reader, that most likely our hunger goes deeper than the need for food, but a spiritual hunger that only we can fill with a relationship with God. She talks about mindless eating and the emotions that make us snack or binge. She talks about loving ourselves where we are now in order to work on the self we want to be. She tackles our attitudes about food and why, how, what and where we eat. Although she does not offer a diet or food plan, she does talk about what has worked for some people she knows and she talks about getting our family and table back to basics. Buying good, wholesome, if possible local meats and produce to get the most nutrition and vitamins out of our food. Like anything else, our meals should be a celebration of taste, family and love, giving thanks for what our bodies are going to consume. As she points out in various ways we are what we eat, and if we want to be whole and temples of the Holy Spirit the food we buy and consume should reflect just that. Her ideology is not strict, but one that makes sense and can change our lives and attitudes about how we feel about ourselves and the food we eat.
I liked this book for so many reasons, but the number one reason was it made me evaluate why I was constantly snacking. I kept a food diary as the author suggested and wrote down what I was eating and how I was feeling at the time I was eating it. What an eye opener!! Most of my snacking occurred when I was stressing or had an unpleasant task ahead of me. It made me realize that some of my eating was not from hunger, but mindless, stress related eating that left me feeling worse the next day. If nothing else, the self-awareness I obtained from this book was invaluable. It also made me aware that I was not always turning things over to God or asking for help from a friend or family member when I had too much on my plate. We all stress about the lack of hours in our day when all we need to do is reach out and ask for help. The second thing I liked about the book was the author used herself as an example when giving examples or pertinent information. It helped to know that she experienced many of the food related issues I did. Being vulnerable and putting herself out there made me realize that food is not always the issue. Changing attitudes about what I was eating, my self-image, and my willingness to spend time with my family and a God who loves me would go further than any diet could. Last, but not least, I treasured the Food for Thought section at the end of each chapter. The personal questions related to the chapter topic was invaluable. I recommend everyone to read these question and take the time for self-examination. It’s amazing what you may learn about yourself.
I recommend Cravings, A Catholic Wrestles with Food, Self-Image, and God by Mary DeTurris Poust for anyone who wants to try a different approach to better health, mindful eating and an improved spiritual connection to God. I recommend when reading Cravings you take the time to savor the words, ideas and questions contained within. No matter where you are in your life journey, Cravings has something to offer to everyone.
There were seconds, when I woke, when the world felt unshrouded. Then memory returned."
When Jessica regains consciousness in a French hospital on the day after the Paris attacks, all she can think of is fleeing the site of the horror she survived. But Patrick, the steadfast friend who hasn’t left her side, urges her to reconsider her decision. Worn down by his insistence, she reluctantly agrees to follow through with the trip they’d planned before the tragedy.
“The pages found you,” Patrick whispered.
“Now you need to figure out what they’re trying to say.”
During a stop at a country flea market, Jessica finds a faded document concealed in an antique. As new friends help her to translate the archaic French, they uncover the story of Adeline Baillard, a young woman who lived centuries before—her faith condemned, her life endangered, her community decimated by the Huguenot persecution.
“I write for our descendants, for those who will not understand the cost of our survival.”
Determined to learn the Baillard family’s fate, Jessica retraces their flight from France to England, spurred on by a need she doesn’t understand.
Could this stranger who lived three hundred years before hold the key to Jessica’s survival?
My Review of The Space Between Words by Michele Phoenix
Michele Phoenix gives us a heart wrenching story of the power of faith and the human spirit to survive in The Space Between Words.
Jessica and Patrick are the best of friends living a quiet life in Denver. When Patrick decides to leave his antique shop for a time to study at the American University in Paris, he invites Jessica to join him the last few weeks of his Paris stay to sightsee and treasure hunt together. But pleasure turns to tragedy when an evening concert is shattered with the sound of gunfire leaving Jessica badly hurt and Patrick fatally wounded. Wanting badly to flee Paris after the horror of the attacks, Jessica embarks on a journey to Southern France to complete a trip she and Patrick had planned to find antique treasures. Staying in a B&B in Balazuc, Jessica meets the proprietor Mona, her son, and Mona’s brother Grant. With their help she discovers a barn filled with antiques where she is emotionally drawn to a beautiful wooden sewing box. Arriving back at the B&B, Jessica discovers a secret compartment in the sewing box containing a letter and pages from an antique Huguenot Bible. Enlisting Grant’s help, little by little they translate the old French language into English where they uncover the story of Adeline Baillard and her family, Huguenot’s, persecuted because of their faith. Touched by Adeline’s story, Jessica and Grant cannot rest until they ascertain the fate of Adeline’s family. Traveling as far as England, Jessica and Grant begin a quest for answers. As Jessica and Grant come closer to the truth healing begins for the both of them. Tragedy and pain are confronted providing an open door to a new and loving relationship.
I loved the Space Between Words. This book is filled with tenderness as well as gut wrenching emotions. I loved the characters that Michele Phoenix created both past and present. Adeline’s devotion to God, her family and students was both maternal and altruistic. Her courage in the face of persecution was heroic. I also loved seeing the gradual emotional healing of Jessica and the emerging relationship between her and Grant. I cheered them on as the pain of their past gave way to a brighter and hope filled future. As a reader I was left feeling Jessica and Grant’s lives were now full of possibilities and that made me happy. Like any good book I was reluctant to let the characters go.
The Space Between Words by Michele Phoenix is a heartrending journey that takes you from the persecution of the Huguenot’s in France to a terror attack at a rock concert in present day Paris. It is the story of faith, courage and healing in the most tragic of circumstances. It is a woman from the past helping a woman today heal and live again. It is a story that will continue to haunt you long after you turn the last page.
I want to thank Thomas Nelson-Fiction via NetGalley for an advanced reader copy of The Space Between Words by Michele Phoenix for a fair and honest review.
With autumn around the corner and those sweet days of cooler temperatures, apple cider and falling leaves get ready to greet us, most of us look forward to slowing down and settling in as the days get shorter and the nights longer. Fall is the season to take a little time for yourself to brew a cup of tea or warm some apple cider and settle into a good book. If you are looking for suggestions, please see some of the books I have listed below.
Lift Up Your Heart by John Burns
ABC’s of The Christian Life by G.K. Chesterton
Traces of Guilt by Dee Henderson
With You Always by Jody Hedlund
The Legacy by Michael Phillips
Miss Whitaker Opens Her Heart by Jennifer Moore
If I Run by Terri Blackstock
If I’m Found by Terri Blackstock
The Wedding Shop by Rachel Hauck
Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
Sandpiper Cove by Irene Hanon
Our Lady of Fatima by Donna Marie Casper O’Boyle
Healing Promises by Anne Costa
Sweetbriar Cottage by Denise Hunter
A Letter from Lancaster County by Kate Lloyd
Gathering the Threads by Cindy Woodsmall
The Alliance by Jolina Petersheim
The Divide by Jolina Petersheim
Sacred Space by The Irish Jesuits
The Dog Who Was There by Ron Marasco
Any of these books can be found on Amazon, B&N, Goodreads and your local library. Take the time to pamper yourself and enjoy!
A Heart Like Mary's is the perfect book for all Catholics wishing to begin or deepen their devotion to Mary. Author and Marian theologian Rev. Edward Looney guides us through thirty-one daily meditations on the unique characteristics of Mary’s heart. This easy-to-read and engaging monthly devotional is full of practical lessons that address the personal challenges we all face as Mary’s fellow pilgrims walking the path of faith.
In the midst of feeling lost in his prayer life and relationship with God, Fr. Looney found himself reflecting on who Mary is and how he could be more like her. He learned that by daily meditating on Mary's attributes and praying for the grace to have a heart like hers he could turn his pessimistic and critical thoughts into optimistic and charitable ones.
A Heart Like Mary's offers readers a simple yet reflective introduction to Marian spirituality by way of a month-long daily devotional. Readers come away with a clear sense of who Mary was, how she cares for and looks after the faithful, and how we can honor her in our daily lives.
Based heavily on scripture, Church teaching, and Looney’s personal experience, A Heart Like Mary's gently teaches us how to imitate Mary’s love for others and devotion to God. Each day's meditation offers simple yet reflective insight into a unique characteristic of Mary’s heart. You’ll discover twenty-one attributes and ten separate desires of her heart, including:A Heart That Says YesA Heart That RejoicesA Heart Filled with Generous LoveA Heart Attentive to the Needs of OthersA Heart of CompassionA Heart Desiring to Alleviate SufferingA Heart Desiring Us to PrayA Heart Desiring PeaceAs we're guided through each of these meditations, we'll find inspiration for changing our own behavior and heart's disposition so that we, too, can respond to God, our loved ones, and life's obstacles with the same tenderness that Mary does.
Each day provides a scriptural quote or message from one of Mary's apparitions, followed by a reflection leading us into the depths of Mary’s heart and showing us how to mirror her heart. We also will be invited to call upon Mary’s intercession, asking her to give us a heart like hers. Each meditation concludes with a challenge to incorporate a love for Mary into our prayer life and action toward others
My Review of A Heart Like Mary's
Inspired by an experience while in the seminary and to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the appearance of Our Lady of Fatima, Reverend Edward Looney gives us a beautiful thirty- one day devotional titled A Heart Like Mary’s to inspire us transform our hearts to be more like Mary’s. A heart that is humble, prayerful and compassionate with a desire to please her Son. A heart that is inspired to love and be charitable towards others.
This devotional which takes thirty-one days to complete was motivated by the two Marian months, May and October which has thirty-one calendar days and also by the length of days of the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima. The first part of this beautiful devotional concentrates on the attributes of Mary’s heart such as patience, chastity, generosity and humility. The period of time to complete the attributes of Mary’s heart is twenty-one days. The last ten days are filled with the desires of Mary’s heart as revealed through her many appearances throughout the years. Some of those include praying for peace, conversion and alleviating the pain of those who are suffering. Each day Reverend Looney begins with a short Scripture passage or a title called Mary Speaks, followed by a reflection and finishing with a short prayer to Mary Our Intercessor and a Step toward Living with a Marian Heart. The single day’s reading flows perfectly from beginning to end. At the conclusion of the thirty-one days of devotion, Reverend Looney discusses Consecration to Mary and gives us information how to do so with a variety of prayers to help us.
In conclusion, A Heart Like Mary’s is a lovely book of prayer and reflection that anyone who has a devotion to Mary will truly appreciate. It is also a starting point for anyone who wishes to become more like Mary and desires to become closer to her Son through prayer and service. It is a devotional that will benefit anyone and everyone wishing to have a heart more like Our Lady’s, a heart that is humble, charitable and loving. A heart that the world is desperate for, a heart that the world is longing for.
I want to thank Ava Marie Press via NetGalley for an advanced reader of A Heart Like Mary’s by Edward Looney for a fair and honest review.
Farewell to Summer
$250 Cash Giveaway
September 1st to 22nd
Enter for your chance to win $250 in Paypal Cash or a $250 Amazon Gift Card.Sponsor List – Thanks to this fabulous group of bloggers and authors for sponsoring this giveaway! I Am A Reader Julie Coulter Bellon Lori's Reading Corner Donna K. Weaver Helen Smith Simple Wyrdings Kasey's Book Reviews Krysten Lindsay Hager Geybie's Book Blog Heather Gray, Writer of Christian Romance Glistering: B's Blog S.T. Bende Heather Boyd, Romance Author Simply Sherryl Laurie Treacy, author Maureen's Musings Carol Malone Bound 4 Escape The Late Bloomer's Book Blog Christy's Cozy Corners The Editing Hall Aubrey Wynne: Timeless Love Auggie Talk The Serious Reader The Lovely Books Bookroom Reviews BloominThyme Organic Gardening
Giveaway Details$250 in Paypal Cash or a $250 Amazon.com eGift Card Ends 9/22/17 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal or gift codes via Amazon.com. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the authors, bloggers and publishers on the sponsor list. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway
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