My Reading Challenge Pick for “A Catholic Memoir or Autobiography”

If you’ve been reading along and following the 2017 Catholic Reading Challenge, then you know that I’ve been sharing what I’m reading for each category throughout the year. It helps keep me on track, and I hope it helps inspire you toward your reading goals for 2017! 

Category: A Catholic Memoir or Autobiography

My Pick: The Secret Diary of Elisabeth Leseur

I’m going to tell you from the get-go that this might be the most impactful book on my spiritual life that I read this year, perhaps in the last few years. So, here’s the plug that made me want to read it in the first place: Elisabeth was the devoted wife of Felix Leseur, who was an adamant aetheist for their entire marriage. After her death, he discovered all of her journals (the contents of this book). In reading them, not only did he convert to Catholicism, but he became a Catholic priest! After his conversion, he compiled Elisabeth’s journals and various correspondence into this book, travelled around sharing her story, and had her cause opened for canonization.

I read this book with a group of ladies from my parish this summer, and I think we would all say that we were profoundly impacted by Elisabeth’s humble spirituality, profound love, and immense wisdom. There is so much that I could say about her writings, but I am just going to highlight for you some of the major themes along with corresponding quotes from her journals. Continue reading “My Reading Challenge Pick for “A Catholic Memoir or Autobiography””

Living With Intention

It is that time of year. Summer is coming to a close, and Labor Day is right around the corner. The back-to-school, back-to-sports, back-to-busy-days time of year is nearing. And that usually means that we have to adjust our schedule — or actually create one. This process can often induce a couple of different reactions, depending on your personality. If you are a super-planner, you get jazzed and your new calendar gets a color-coded overhaul of when and where you do what. If you are not a planner (the word “agenda” makes your skin crawl), you immediately start flinching at the thought of being confined to a “rigid schedule.”

But I want to suggest an approach to our daily schedules that is neither rigid nor non-existent. I would call it living with intention. Being an intentional person is a lifestyle that encompasses much more than just how we schedule our time, but for now I’m just going to apply this concept to how we intentionally schedule activities. Being intentional does require some amount of structuring our time (sorry, free-spirits, if that is not what you wanted to hear), but that doesn’t mean creating rigid schedules that don’t allow for buffer time or flexibility to enjoy the activities and people that pop-up unexpectedly. Continue reading “Living With Intention”

My Reading Challenge Pick for “A Book by a Female Saint”

I hope you have been able to join me for the 2017 Catholic Reading Challenge. I’ve been sharing what I’m reading for each category throughout the year. But even if you aren’t doing the reading challenge, these posts might provide you with recommendations that need to be on your TBR list. 

Category: A Book by a Female Saint

My Pick: The Dialogue of St. Catherine of Siena

I chose to read St. Catherine’s Dialogue for a few reasons. First, she was my Confirmation saint when my husband and I entered the Catholic Church four years ago, and I have really be meaning to read her book since then. I think most people can relate to having a book on their list for years and finally getting around to reading it, and I’m so glad that I finally did (better late than never).

Second, I read Sigrid Undset’s biography of St. Catherine earier this year, and I was deeply moved by it. Not only did it provide an intimate connection for me to St. Catherine, but it seriously raised the bar for me on saint biographies. This is hands-down the biography to read on St. Catherine. Reading about her life and her life’s work compelled me to spend time with her spiritual writing.

Third, St. Catherine is a saint who experienced profound and regular mystical encounters with our Lord. However, the majority of her life was not lived solitarily. She was an servant of the Church who lived an active and vibrant life of ministry very connected to others in the world. I believe that someone who could move so easily between mystical encounters and practical service is a saint to learn from and study. Continue reading “My Reading Challenge Pick for “A Book by a Female Saint””