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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Share What You Love

One week from today I will be attending a women's conference at our diocesan retreat center, one of my favorite places in the world. It is set in a rural context with open spaces and surrounded by fields and mountains. It brings a sense of calm and tranquility.

I will be going a couple of days early to have some extra space to transition from a busy academic year to summer. I am planning to focus on prayer, reading, writing, and resting flowing into the conference.

One of the reasons why I am excited for the conference is because it is a chance to learn and grow alongside other Catholic women and because it is a new event for our diocese and I am so grateful for the opportunity. I decided to donate some books that have nurtured me in my faith development to be used as giveaways. As I reflected over which books I thought would be a good fit for this context, I ordered copies of the books pictured:

1) Praying the Angelus: I just finished this one with the St. Teresa's Online Book Club. I loved that it focused on the power of Catholic prayer and as with my experience, I think the book will be valuable for a range of reasons. If the person who receives it already prays the Angelus three times a day, it can enrich their experience by pondering the prayer and practice through a new lens. It can help someone who is unfamiliar with the Angelus to begin a transformative habit. Even if the person does not decide to pray the Angelus three times a day, it can help to reflect on the power of existing layers of prayer routines and prompt reflection on room for growth.

2) Who Does He Say You Are?: I have not actually read this one yet but am starting it as part of a WINE Book Club. I love the cover of the book and am excited about the concept. There is a link between WINE and the conference as Kelly Wahlquist, founder of WINE is one of the speakers. During Lent we read Walk in Her Sandals that was edited by Kelly and a book club for both WINE and St. Teresa's Online Book Club.

3) Getting Past Perfect: I read this as part of a CatholicMom.com book club. One of my favorite concepts from the book was thinking about our most important identity in life being who we are in relation to God, something that will complement Who Does He Say You Are? well. Even if a woman who doesn't happen to be a mom ends up receiving the book at the conference, it can still be of value to her based on this concept and many others that can be applied to roles other than being moms in life. For example, I could make a lot of connections to my career while reading her writing specifically focused on the lens of being a mom.

4) Divine Mercy for Moms: This was the original St. Teresa's Online Book Club read and then it was also a CatholicMom.com book club later on. Similar to Getting Past Perfect, though targeted to moms, I think women in general would enjoy reading about their experiences and the role of the Divine Mercy chaplet in their lives. Over time I have been memorizing more of the chaplet but still don't have it fully memorized. I am hoping to do so soon. As I do, I would like to revisit this book. I am also very excited for the authors' latest book coming out this fall.

5) Extreme Makeover: The full titles of the books show why Who Does He Say You Are?: Women Transformed by Christ in the Gospels and Extreme Makeover: Women Transformed by Christ, not Conformed to the Culture will likely complement each other well. When I originally read this book, I appreciated seeing glimpses into the transformation in Tomeo's own life based on better understanding her Catholic faith. It was a journey I was starting on when I first read it.

6) The Catholic Mom's Prayer Companion: This continues to be part of my daily morning routine. Like the other CatholicMom/Ave Maria Press books I have listed here, I think women in general will see value in this book, whether or not they are moms. I appreciate the short daily reflections that follow a consistent pattern on a range of topics from a variety of writing styles of the contributors.

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