Learn more about Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious or order a signed copy!
My book, Blessed Beautiful &Bodacious, is ON SALE with other great books for women — all 25% off!

My book, Blessed Beautiful &Bodacious, is ON SALE with other great books for women — all 25% off!

Details to order books listed below! Check out some of these great titles!

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Call Ave Maria Press at 800-282-1865

or visit www.avemariapress.com.

Use Promo Code FAITH16.

Sale ends June 19th.

NO FOOLIN’ !! Ave Maria Press has a pretty incredible Overstock sale… up to 80% off some titles!

NO FOOLIN’ !! Ave Maria Press has a pretty incredible Overstock sale… up to 80% off some titles!

Now through APRIL 22nd — go shop at Ave Maria Press!

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Here’s the list of books that are on sale! You are bound to find a book or two that you would like. Go visit the Ave website!

(And yes, Ave Maria Press is my publisher but “BBB” is not part of this sale — boo! — but a whole bunch more are on sale, so don’t miss it!)

Books for the Catholics on Your List: 5 Keepsakes, 5 Classics, & 5 Good Stories + Bonus suggestions

Books for the Catholics on Your List: 5 Keepsakes, 5 Classics, & 5 Good Stories + Bonus suggestions

What kinds of books do I like to read, and what makes a good Christmas present?

I like keepsake kinds of books, I like spiritual classics, and I like a good story…

I’m offering this list to see if there’s something on it that might be of interest for your Christmas shopping needs.

(I also mention this with full disclosure, as stated in my sidebar, that any purchases made via the links on my blog will directly benefit this apostolate and keep Among Women up and running.)

Keepsake books

The Ignatius Catholic Study Bible: New Testament

Great Bible Study aids in this volume… love it!

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Divine Intimacy: Meditations on the Interior Life  

A book to pray with. Powerful meditations.

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Queen of Apostles Prayer Book

Another good book to pray with, great prayers from the saints in here alongside classic prayers.

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Jesus, Present Before Me – Fr Peter James Cameron, OP

The perfect companion to bring to adoration, or to use before or after Mass.

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Benedictus – Day by day Meditations by Pope Benedict XVI

A good primer on the mind and heart of this Pope.

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Spiritual Classics

The Reed of God  -Caryll Houselander

One of the best books on Mary, ever!

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Introduction to the Devout Life – St Francis de Sales

If you’ve never read a spiritual classic, De Sales is the place to start!

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Story of a Soul – St Thérèse of Lisieux (study edition)

Here’s the book that turned a young 24 year old woman into a Doctor of the Church.

It didn’t hurt that she was a saint either!

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Divine Mercy in My Soul – The Diary of St Maria Faustian Kowalski

Get to know the Divine Mercy in the Year of Mercy!

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God Alone – A collection of the writing of St Louis de Montfort.

(This includes The Love of Eternal Wisdom, True Devotion to Mary, and Secrets of the Rosary, among others.)

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Good Stories 

The Screwtape Letters – by C.S. Lewis

Many have heard of this book, but how many have read it. Anything by C.S. Lewis is a gift!

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Witness to Hope – The autobiography of John Paul II – By George Weigel

Powerful chronicle of the life of this new saint!

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The Greatest Salesman in the World – Og Mandino

I read this when I was a teenager. I still love it. There are tangential Christmas themes too!

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In This House of Brede – Rumer Godden

A great novel. Timeless.

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The Well – by Stephanie Landsem

One of the newer writers out there, with a great read that gets behind the eyes of the Samaritan woman.

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BONUS: Books that I have contribute to (mostly for women readers), plus a link to my book, Blessed, Beautiful, & Bodacious.

BONUS 2: My favorite journals are the larger sized (7 1/4″ x 9″) hardcover bound journals by Peter Pauper Press

BONUS 3: I recommend Catholic Digest Magazine – yes I write for them, but a great periodical for the home!

BONUS 4: I recommend the Magnificat – this daily devotional for Mass, plus meditations, articles, and morning and evening prayer.

Among Women 198: The Beauty and Mission of Mature Womanhood

Among Women 198: The Beauty and Mission of Mature Womanhood

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Myself alongside Lisa Mladinich with her new book, True Radiance, Summer 2015.

On Among Women, we look at the blessings and challenges of midlife and beyond! This is a great take on the feminine genius and how women become more beautiful — not less! — as they age. Join author and amazing catechist, Lisa Mladinich, and I as we discuss the heavenly sides of dealing with our own mortality, and rediscover our mission in God’s plan as we discuss themes from her new book, True Radiance: Finding Grace in the Second Half of Life.

You’re going to want to listen and share this!

The blog tour buzzing about Lisa Mladinich’s “True Radiance” is underway! Here’s where it will be!

Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 4.33.17 PMThe TRUE RADIANCE BLOG TOUR starts today and many of the bloggers will be giving away a copy of Lisa Mladinich’s book! I’ll be interviewing Lisa for Among Women soon, and we’ll be doing our own giveaway at that time in a couple weeks. In the meantime, you could win a book at one of these fine blogs….or you can buy the book here.

 Today, Oct. 19 kicks off at Kathy Schiffer‘s Seasons of Grace! Kathy will be writing about Interior Beauty.

 Tuesday, Oct. 20, Mary Ellen Barrett will blog at Tales From the Bonnie Blue House  about the Sacred Mentality–the sacramentality of our bodies.

Wednesday, Oct. 21 features Leticia Velasquez at Cause of Our Joy, discussing the chapter on Brain Health.

Monday, Oct. 26 Sister Margaret Kerry Fsp will cover Women’s Spirituality at CatholicMom.com, from the chapter on Wisdom and Witness.

Tuesday, Oct. 27 Sarah Reinhard will talk about Women’s Friendships at Snoring Scholar!

Wednesday, Oct. 28, Jen Fitz will cover the Vocations chapter at Sticking the Corners.

Thursday, Oct. 29, Lisa will be interviewed at Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle‘s author blog, discussing one of the Common Pitfalls for Women in the second half of life: complaining!

Friday, Oct. 30, Lisa will again be interviewed at Maria Morera Johnson‘s personal blog about one of the Roadblocks to Peace (impurity)and what to do about it!

Read all about it at Lisa’s blog Water into Wine.

I was honored to write the Foreword to this book. Here’s a few of my thoughts.

True Radiance takes aim at some of the falsehoods that mar and malign our feminine genius. Besides her own encounters with the healing love of God, Lisa Mladinich’s personal research and discussions with other women in the second half of life offer perspective and encouragement from the front lines of post-menopausal living.

Mladinich’s anecdotes and her confident faith challenge us to lovingly reconsider the things that distract us from understanding true beauty. She writes, “like anything that isn’t God himself, the quest for physical beauty can consume too much of our time, money, and attention—when, in the second half of our lives, quite frankly, we’ve got better things to do.”

We do have better things to do! For me, I love reading books that tell honest stories. I appreciate that Lisa Mladinich writes in a way that honors my faith and my intellect. She’s an all-in Catholic. Her awe and zeal for the faith is refreshingly invigorating. Yet she manages to tickle my funny bone while offering a reverential look at this blessed and, at times, bewildering phase of life.

Is it possible to find God speaking to you through a hot flash? Or truth as you battle with a bout of brain fog? Can you sense a smile from heaven in your dog’s antics? Or find peace in a sentence from the Catechism? Lisa Mladinich’s book offers that and more.

Proverbs 31:30 reveals that a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” Faith and true beauty go hand in hand. And often, we women learn that best from the examples of other women. From her touching reversion story describing the Blessed Mother leading her closer to Jesus, to her chapter on the need for friendships with saints and other women, Lisa Mladinich never forgets that it is grace that fuels a heart’s movement toward God and others. She, and the women she profiles in this book, offers authentic ways to uncover grace in our own experiences as we mature.

Go on and get your copy right here!

 

Perfect! My Badass Book of Saints + the Feast of St Teresa of Avila = A sale!!!!!

Perfect! My Badass Book of Saints + the Feast of St Teresa of Avila = A sale!!!!!

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Go to this link to get the sale and use offer code: MARIA

I was happy to write the foreword to this book, here’s a little bit from that…

St Augustine is often credited with this idea: “There is no saint without a past, no sinner without a future.”

So, what about us?

Do we dare imagine ourselves, maybe in our wildest dreams, as becoming saints?

Sometimes the only images our minds have of saints are the white plaster ones in a churches or museums, or paintings and icons from long ago. Rather than perceive the holy boldness they possessed, we falsely picture their lives shrouded in an unrealistic piety, or an unreachable cleanliness-that’s-next-to-godliness. It’s sometimes hard to imagine them as real. Or messy. Or messed up. Or messin’ with people.

That’s what I like about this book. It introduces saints that smash the holier-than-thou and goody-two-shoes boxes we sometimes categorize them in.

Nobody’s dissing piety or faithfulness here. There are no saints without it. But women of holy influence come in a variety of shapes and sizes, temperaments and tempers. And they come to faith through countless circumstances and circuitous channels that bring them to God.

God’s beckoning to us may come through a variety of voices… some off beat and some in tune. Who inspires me is likely different than who might inspire you. Johnson’s litany of the courageous who’s in her life is infectious: It’s worth getting to know a saint or two who might actually be more like us than we’d care to admit, or one who might shock us into a new and more courageous way of living. This is a book that’s not afraid to talk of the beautiful mess, where faith meets real life, where saints and mortals coexist, one cheering the other on to glory.

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The path to sainthood starts — and ends — with my desire to act for the love of God.

I think I can do that….

Itll just take a little audacity on my part…. to banish the silly notion that “they dont make women like that anymore.” (p. 27-28.)

God, indeed, is still in the business of creating women who are destined to do great things.

By all means, order the the book! 

Melanie Rigney’s Blessed-Are-You Blog Tour Finishes Here! “Blessed are the meek…”

Melanie Rigney’s Blessed-Are-You Blog Tour Finishes Here! “Blessed are the meek…”

Welcome!

Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 4.09.42 PMThis is the final stop of the 8-beatitude blog tour for Melanie Rigney’s latest book, Blessed Are You: Finding Inspiration from our sisters in faith!

This book is available today for you to browse or purchase through this link: Blessed Are You!

Franciscan Media summarizes the book this way…

Melanie Rigney uses stories of the saints, our sisters in faith, to help readers grow in their spiritual lives. Some of these saints are familiar—Teresa of Avila, Catherine of Siena, Bernadette of Lourdes, Elizabeth Ann Seton—while others are not so well known—Maria Karlowska, Claudine Thevenet, Josephine Bakhita, Margaret Flesch. They come from different places and different times, creating an intimate portrait of the universal Church. Yet the lives of each of these women illustrate the qualities of the Beatitudes—what the Catechism of the Catholic Church calls “the heart of Jesus’s preaching” (1716)—in a down-to-earth and human way. Through the lives of these exemplary women saints and the qualities they espouse—meekness, mourning, poverty of spirit, justice, mercy, purity of heart, peace, righteousness—women will find ways to live more fully the Gospel values of Christian life.

Melanie Rigney invited me to write the foreword for this book and I gratefully accepted. Her book is a fantastic mix of lessons from the beatitudes of Jesus and the inspirational lives of saints who live them.

Beatitudes = Being like Jesus.

This book is a call for all of us to live the beatitudes – to know them and love them.

Here’s a little bit from the foreword I wrote:

The Catechism of the Catholic Church declares: “the Beatitudes depict the countenance of Jesus Christ and portray his charity.”

To live the Beatitudes is to be like Jesus, to reflect his countenance, and to be his charity in the world. Picture Jesus’ face, and his example, in each of the Beatitudes as you read them in Blessed are You. The real blessing will come when you can picture your own face, and your faithful example, following Jesus! It’s challenging, yet rewarding. What Melanie Rigney has done in this book is demonstrate the powerful countenance of Jesus that comes through the faces of faith-filled women, chapter by chapter, beatitude by beatitude. So take notes on the women who inspire you. More than famous list of proverbs, the Beatitudes are paradoxical promises – hope in the midst of tribulation — and a response to the holy desire for happiness that God has placed within our hearts. Memorize them and make them your own.

Meekness matters!

Today, on this final leg of the blog tour, we focus on the beatitude meekness.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. (Matthew 5:5)

When I was growing up I was a bit rambunctious. I frequently had parents and neighbors asking, “why are you so loud?” I had not yet realized the gentility needed for the deep and booming voice God had given me. You could say that it took a while before meekness was on my youthful radar. In time I learned that meekness is one of the qualities that Jesus describes as a key to happiness in Christian life, and indeed, meekness properly asserted brings rewards from God.

Melanie Rigney writes… “In today’s world, meek gets a bad rap. We link it to words like submissive and deferential, words that might make for a deeper relationship with God in theory but that make us uncomfortable to say, let alone consider using as guideposts in our relationships with others here on earth. We want to be strong, empowered, confident, successful, popular—not meek, for goodness sake!

The thing is, we become all of those things when we embrace meekness and humility.”

How true!

Rigney’s book shows that meekness is what Jesus (who was all powerful, being God himself) ultimately demonstrated when he humbled himself in the Garden of Gethsemani at the beginning his passion. He was humble to God’s sovereign will for his human life. Meekness was also a quality of Mary — she humbly yet confidently submitted her request to Jesus at Cana when the wine ran out. Jesus went on to perform his first of many miracles at his mother’s request.

Meekness, though it rhymes with weakness, is anything but. Meekness waits on God. Meekness trusts God implicitly. Meekness lets God lead.

One aspect that I love about Blessed Are You is its liberal use of quotes from the saints. Among those mentioned in this chapter are two of my favorites saints — Gianna Beretta Molla and Thérèse of Lisieux. I’ve included their prayerful quotes for our edification.

“O Jesus, I promise to submit myself to all that you permit to happen to me. Only make me know your will.”
St. Gianna Beretta Molla

“… Dear Lord, Thou knowest my weakness. Each morning I resolve to be humble, and in the evening I recognize that I have often been guilty of pride. The sight of these faults tempts me to discouragement; yet I know that discouragement is itself but a form of pride. I wish, therefore, O my God, to build all my trust upon Thee. As Thou canst do all things, deign to implant in my soul this virtue which I desire, and to obtain it from Thy Infinite Mercy, I will often say to Thee: ‘Jesus, Meek and Humble of Heart, make my heart like unto Thine.’”
St Thérèse of Lisieux

Find out more about Melanie Rigney

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 1.35.18 PMCatch the earlier dates of the Blessed Are You blog tour — click the links below:

Week One

Week Two

Find a conversation with Melanie and myself about The Sisterhood of the Saints, a previous book, on Among Women.

Find Melanie’s posts at Your Daily Tripod.

Go to MelanieRigney.com.

 

 

Honoring Momma Mary, a new book: Word by Word, edited by Sarah Reinhard

Honoring Momma Mary, a new book: Word by Word, edited by Sarah Reinhard

9781594716409.jpg.232xToday is the feast of the Queenship of Mary, so it’s a great time to share this forthcoming book that honors Momma Mary!

My pal, Sarah Reinhard, is an energetic author and a good ideas person. Her latest brainchild is this forthcoming book, Word by Word. So happy to have been able to add my own itty bitty prayers to the pages of this book! When I contributed to this, I just knew it would make a dandy book of meditations on the Hail Mary! So many good writer friends are in this book. Check it out!

From Ave Maria Press: In Word by Word: Slowing Down with the Hail Mary, popular Catholic author Sarah Reinhard compiled an accessible, profound, and unique meditation on each word of the Hail Mary, one of the most important prayer traditions in Catholic life. Each of the reflections encourages readers to “slow down” with the Hail Mary and experience previously unseen dimension in the popular devotion, making it come to life in a new way. This unique, formative, and informative exploration of the beloved prayer is a gift to anyone who wants to be continually changed through it—learning to slow down and examine things more closely.

The book is based on a blog series Reinhard facilitated with popular Catholic writers and social media experts, including Lisa M. Hendey, Brandon Vogt, Paula Huston, Kate Wicker, Pat Gohn, Kevin Lowry, Lisa Mladinich, Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle, Fr. Patrick Toner, and Jeff Young.

Order your copy of Word by Word: Slowing Down with the Hail Mary, edited by Sarah Reinhard. Note: This is pre-order time, the book become available in October — the month of the Holy Rosary!

My Year to Write Forewords: 3 great books coming from Melanie Rigney, Lisa Mladinich, and Maria Morera Johnson

My Year to Write Forewords: 3 great books coming from Melanie Rigney, Lisa Mladinich, and Maria Morera Johnson

When the first request came in, I was a bit shocked and humbled. Within a couple weeks two more invitations came in. Last winter, amidst the trials of being cooped up by continual snow storms, God gave me three new assignments in support of other writers with new books.

It is with deep gratitude that I share with you three forthcoming books in which I have been privileged to write the forewords.

Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 4.09.42 PMThe first one is new this month. You’ll be hearing more about it here on the blog soon — Melanie Rigney’s Blessed are You: Finding Inspiration from Our Sisters in Faith. The book’s blog tour stops here next week — look for it here on August 27. However the blog tour is currently underway this week, so go visit MelanieRigney.com for a list of where and get clickin’!

This book is a wonderful mash-up of the Beatitudes-meet-saints stories. If you’ve never had a firm grip of what the beatitudes might look like in daily life, this book will help! I’ll brag on it a bit more when the blog tour gets here! Regular listeners of Among Women may remember when Melanie was my guest when her last book about the saints came out.

Get Blessed Are You by Melanie Rigney now!

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The second book I want to share is Lisa Mladinich’s True Radiance: Finding Grace in the Second Half of LifeThis book is due out in October, but I had the pleasure of catching up with Lisa at the Catholic Writers Guild conference that paralleled the Catholic Marketing Network show last month in New Jersey. It was great to see an early proof of the book.

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Me with Lisa Mladinich at CMN and a copy of her new book!

Can you say “I’d like to grow old gracefully?” Its something we all ought to aspire to for ourselves and others. I love how Lisa’s new book points us toward the glory of heaven while keeping our feet down to earth. Lisa is also a longtime friend of Among Women and you’ll find two conversation with me that I retrieved from the Among Women archives here and here.  A lot of good things have happened in Lisa’s life since those two recordings, and this new book is just one fine example… pre-order it today! 

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Third, but not least, is Maria Johnson’s My Badass Book of Saint: Courageous Women Who Showed Me How to Live. Yeah, that’s a mouthful to say but its a great story book… you’ll meet gun-toting nuns,  women who worked in the French Resistance,  and the author herself, a first-generation Cuban-American whose family fled Cuba, telling stories of badass women who kept faith first despite oppressive odds. I can’t wait to see this book finally in print.

Maria and I do a lot together as friends and as colleagues but what a joy to be asked to collaborate on this eye-popping title! Look for it this November, but hey – go pre-order it now! 

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Ok, look for more about each of these books in the weeks to come. In the meantime, here’s one amazing photo that really brought me joy…. two friends with two new books with forewords by moi. They had never met before but they shared their books with each other, and took a photo for the sake of me…. Too funny…

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Maria Johnson (l) with Melanie Rigney (r) both holding each other’s books! (Photographed at the Edel Conference, 2015) (Facebook photo courtesy of Maria Johnson)

For a look at all the books I have contributed to in recent years, go here.