Wednesday, January 31, 2018


I enjoyed OPEN TO THE SPIRIT: God in Us, God with Us, God Transforming Us by Scot McKnight. To have a book just on the Holy Spirit is a gift. McKnight does a good job collecting Scripture passages to shed light on Who this third Person of the Holy Trinity is, why we should open ourselves to Him, and how. He includes many anecdotes about the transforming power of the Holy Spirit in his own and other people's lives and McKnight encourages the reader to remain open to the Holy Spirit.

Some criticisms. I'm surprised that the beautiful prayers and litanies to the Holy Ghost were not included. I view this as a serious omission given that we have a treasury of these. In fact, the early Church prayed its first novena for the Holy Ghost from Jesus' Ascension until Pentecost. And it is common to sing Veni Creator Spiritus for all important occasions like confirmation, ordination, dedication of a church. We sang it for New Year's Day! And one of the most beautiful litanies composed is that to the Holy Ghost:  Why a book about the Holy Spirit wouldn't have this is a mystery.

For a better treatment of how the Holy Spirit comes to be and the Holy Trinity, I recommend Frank Sheed's book: Theology for Beginners

Thanks to Blogging for Books for an ARC of Open to the Spirit.

REDISCOVER JESUS by Matthew Kelly was a Christmas gift from Stella Maris Catholic Church. And what a wonderful gift to remember who Jesus is. I have yet to feel like the honeymoon is over, but I remember what it was like to lose my faith at the age of 12, how much I missed my Best Friend, yet refused to speak to Him because I didn't understand suffering. I read this book with delight and it's classic Matthew Kelly with his direct approach and takeaways at the end of each short chapter. And there are exactly 40 chapters, one for each day of Lent, coming up in just two weeks on Feb. 14--why yes, on St. Valentine's Day! So if you haven't picked up a copy, do so.

How God Hauled Me Kicking and Screaming into the Catholic Church by Kevin Lowry is both entertaining and insightful. You all know I'm a sucker for conversion stories because there are so many roads leading to the Truth of the Catholic faith, and this one involved "beer and billiards." Kevin was a Presbyterian preacher's kid as well and he details one of his greatest pleasures regarding them. I won't spoil it for you.

The book is in two parts; Part 1 is his conversion and Part 2 is Stumbling Blocks: how all those weird things about Catholicism turn out to make sense--Eucharist; Confession; Mystical Body of Christ; Mary; Faith vs Works; Authority; Church's Imperfections; himself. He does a great job of explaining how he turned these "stumbling blocks into stepping stones." I think Protestants who are curious about Catholicism would enjoy this very much.

Every Day with Mary is a daily devotional edited by Dr. Mary Amore. Each month focuses on one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, for ex. Jan is on peace. Each daily meditation refers to Mary and how she expressed that virtue in her life. She is our guide to Jesus. May we all be clothed in her virtues. Ave, gratia plena.

I end this post with some pictures that Max took when he went to the March for Life in WA-DC. He stayed with a friend who's at Georgetown. It's great to see so many young people who value life. They have lived with missing siblings and friends their whole lives.



1 comment:

David Alan Binder said...

Apologies, I seem to have misplaced your email.

Thanks for the great interview!

I have published your interview. Please be sure and publish the link on your website, plus tell your family, other authors, friends and publicist to use it as much as they would like.

Here is the link:

I have written a child's picture book and would appreciate a mentor taking a look at it. Your valuable contributions would be appreciated.

David Alan Binder