Worth Revisiting-The Story of St. John Paul II: A Boy Who Became Pope

Available through Pauline Press and Amazon

As a backdrop, I would be remiss if I also did not share the infinitely amusing ways God continues to make his presence known in my life and how I obtained my current copy of this book.  To my delightful surprise one Sunday, the Pauline sisters visited my home parish of St. Peter’s in Plymouth. After mass, I hurriedly ran downstairs to peruse the numerous collections to be had.

Let’s be honest, the gracious invitation of our sisters and my passion for books are two areas in my life that I find great difficulty saying “no” to.

Having spied this book, my husband saw the gleam in my eyes and knew he would not be leaving church empty handed. However, having only had it in my possession for less than a day, I felt compelled to share it with a friend and her daughter.

Oh yes it had found a home and the then 8 year old girl, who was to make her First Communion soon, was reading it every night!   So, while I explained to my hubby where our newly acquired copy went, I knew God had a plan of replacing the book one day.  Skip forward 10 months, and I now have my own copy again courtesy of A Seeking Heart radio show with Allison Gingras  and Pauline Books & Media along with an invitation to write a review. This I do joyfully, with a desire to share what I feel will become a treasure in the hearts of your family as well.


            In this story is woven the early childhood of Karol Wojtyla and his response to the burning question of God’s calling in his life to answer who he truly loves most of all. Though each loss of those dear to him left his heart aching, there was also joy in a growing awareness of the great things God was beckoning him to do and to be. Each of us, within our own vocations as single, married or religious is also asked to reply to God’s great gift of love in our own lives. Beautifully this story underscores that a profound love of God does not mean that our love for others is diminished, but magnifies our ability to love and express that love more fully. Captivating and exquisitely illustrated,  A Boy Who Would Become Pope is a stirring glimpse into the young inner life of John Paul II and a challenging proposal to seek God’s love in all that we do.

Peace,

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Worth Revisiting Wednesday: Consecration to Mary

It’s Worth Revisiting Wednesday! A place where you can come and bring a past & treasured post to share, and link-up with fellow bloggers! Co-Hosted with Allison Gingras at Reconciled To You.

As I will be on air Friday chatting about “Saints and Sinners” as part of An Engaging Faith for Real Life Radio, I thought that this would be an apt post to revisit since two of these saints have also been consecrated to Mary. If you haven’t considered this retreat before, there are so many amazing graces to be found in becoming less dependent on ourselves, and to lean more on Mary to lovingly guide us to Christ through humility and submission to God’s will.


Mid Retreat Reflections: Consecration to Mary.

Familiar with Louis de Montfort’s treatise on Mary, I have thoroughly enjoyed Gaitley’s use of modern saint stories that bear vivid witness to lives devoted to Marian consecration. Here we follow St. Maximillian Kolbe, Blessed Mother Teresa and St. JP II. who also had devoted themselves to Mary to glimpse how that was manifested in the course of their everyday.

As a convert to Catholicism, I began this path of understanding and growing in Mary a little more than 20 years ago. Still, it is this later discovery that has prompted a desire to fully seek who Mary is in the life of Christ, the life of the Church and quite personally for me. Oh, how very much I still have to learn!

This retreat is said to be undertaken with ‘fire in one’s heart’ with generosity and desire. Where we lack these things, the Holy Spirit, Mary and the saints are there to lovingly guide and support us.

1. “Doing the Lord’s work does not always turn out according to our plans.”//This is none more evidenced than in the lives of the saints who were often redirected in their efforts to serve. For me, it speaks to the need to let go of the outcome and instead to seek God’s will and guidance in every instance of my desire to serve. Many times, I may never know the results of the work begun.

2. Because of sin, there is a great need to continually renew our baptismal promises and recommit our lives to Christ.// Mary’s life is a beautiful witness to a life fully committed to God’s will, and devoted to the heart of Christ- she is there to help us daily to honor our own promises.

3. Give Mary our prayers, sacrifices and gifts to distribute to those who need it most.// Initially, this was difficult for me to grasp. If I have been asked to pray specifically for someone, how can I let go of who my prayer’s intention is for? Because our efforts are not lost but she “augments, increases and purifies the spiritual gifts we give her”. Moreover, it isn’t that we cannot pray for those we love we just let go of the “final say”.

4. Why did Mary call herself the Immaculate Conception at Lourdes and not rather I am Immaculately Conceived?// I had never given this much thought before and yet much like St. Kolbe I was now enthralled with the distinction. As the spouse of the Holy Spirit she had in fact taken the name of the One who creates, sustains, and renews the face of the earth- the uncreated Immaculate Conception. Born without original sin, Mary also knows within her the Holy Spirit as “uncreated Love” which bears divine fruit within her womb in Jesus.

5. W+ w =S. In short, when we seek to unite God’s will with our own it is then we are led to sanctity or holiness.// Following God’s will is difficult but when look to Mary’s beautiful example we see she is there to lead the way.

6. Every day “people give themselves over to Satan to be possessed by him…why can’t people give themselves over to God to become an instrument of love?// Mary implores us to not be content in our own salvation, but to lead others, indeed the entire world, to conversion and to the love of Christ.

7. Christ longs, undeniably “thirsts” to be close to each one of us. “Hear your name. Not just once. Every day. If you listen with your heart you will understand”.// Moreover, this intimacy calls us to see the suffering of his children who are left lonely, hungry and uncared for. This too is a “thirst” of Christ which goes unfulfilled when we walk away from those most in need.

Father, thank you for this gift of time spent with you to seek how to better serve you in all that I do. Holy Spirit help me to conform and unite my will, as did Mary, with you. “Help me to listen (and respond) to the thirst of Jesus” 

Peace and Love,

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“Captivating”-The Story of St. John Paul II: A Boy Who Became Pope

Available through Pauline Press and Amazon

As a backdrop, I would be remiss if I also did not share the infinitely amusing ways God continues to make his presence known in my life and how I obtained my current copy of this book.  To my delightful surprise one Sunday, the Pauline sisters visited my home parish of St. Peter’s in Plymouth. After mass, I hurriedly ran downstairs to peruse the numerous collections to be had.

Let’s be honest, the gracious invitation of our sisters and my passion for books are two areas in my life that I find great difficulty saying “no” to.

Having spied this book, my husband saw the gleam in my eyes and knew he would not be leaving church empty handed. However, having only had it in my possession for less than a day, I felt compelled to share it with a friend and her daughter.

Oh yes it had found a home and the then 8 year old girl, who was to make her First Communion soon, was reading it every night!   So, while I explained to my hubby where our newly acquired copy went, I knew God had a plan of replacing the book one day.  Skip forward 10 months, and I now have my own copy again courtesy of A Seeking Heart radio show with Allison Gingras  and Pauline Books & Media along with an invitation to write a review. This I do joyfully, with a desire to share what I feel will become a treasure in the hearts of your family as well.


            In this story is woven the early childhood of Karol Wojtyla and his response to the burning question of God’s calling in his life to answer who he truly loves most of all. Though each loss of those dear to him left his heart aching, there was also joy in a growing awareness of the great things God was beckoning him to do and to be. Each of us, within our own vocations as single, married or religious is also asked to reply to God’s great gift of love in our own lives. Beautifully this story underscores that a profound love of God does not mean that our love for others is diminished, but magnifies our ability to love and express that love more fully. Captivating and exquisitely illustrated,  A Boy Who Would Become Pope is a stirring glimpse into the young inner life John Paul II and a challenging proposal to seek God’s love in all that we do.