OPEN BOOK--What I'm Reading Now


The latest book to land on my nightstand (and on my prayer chair, and on my living room end table) is a new publication from Word on Fire. I saw the ad pop up on my Facebook feed a few weeks ago and, although I rarely click on ads, I followed this particular rabbit trail. Am I ever happy that I did!

“With All Her Mind: A Call to the Intellectual Life,” is a collection of thought-provoking essays from women in all stages and vocations of life. In her own way, each author expresses the necessity for women to pursue truth, goodness and beauty by embracing their “feminine genius” (thank you St. John Paul II!) and developing their intellectual lives along with their spiritual lives. It’s philosophical AND practical and I couldn’t put it down. The writings of Tsh Oxenrider (an author I followed even before I reverted to the Catholic faith) and Jackie Francois Angel (I’m a new fan!) were especially meaningful to me. This book will surely get your juices flowing and encourage you to find your own unique path to “Love the Lord with all your mind.”

Anyone else reading this book?

OPEN BOOK--What I'm Reading Now

It is Better to Receive

Sometimes, especially when it comes to God’s love, it’s better to receive than give.

The seed of this *face palm* realization was planted when I read the beautiful book, Thirsting for Prayer by Jacques Philippe. In the chapter where he describes conditions that are necessary for prayer to be fruitful, these words struck me: In our subtle pride, we want to do beautiful things for God instead of trying to find out what God wants to do for us gratuitously.  *Gulp*.  I recognized myself in that sentence.  I am often so caught up in my intention to do something for God that I forget to focus on the prerequisite requirement of loving and being loved by Him fully. “Merit does not consist of doing or giving a lot, but rather of receiving and loving a lot,” said St. Therese of Lisieux. Tricky!

It’s about love, the Holy Spirit reminded me. Specifically, God’s love for me and how I need to let that, first and foremost, be the compelling force behind my relationship with him and behind any works that result. But I have to let Him love me first. Let it, I felt God saying to my heart one morning while prayer journaling about the Thirsting for Prayer book. Let love come in. Allow it. Receive it. Let LOVE enter, and let LOVE be the guide for my actions. I can’t go charging ahead without it.  It can be prideful to keep asking “what can I do for you?” Father Jacques pointed out. Instead, my phrasing should be a more humble, “Please open me so that you can love and work through me, with me and for me.” It’s a subtle difference, but one with great implication.

God is faith, hope, love. He is a generous giver. He wants to give me an abundance of faith, hope and love through prayer and the sacraments and scripture.

And receiving it is priority No. 1 for those of us Thirsting for Prayer!