Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Catholic Book Club: Trusting God with St. Therese

Happy Catholic Book Club Wednesday everyone! I'm a little tired following a long night with a coughing Anne (poor wee babe), but I'm in good spirits. Despite a cold sweeping through the household (Henry has it too), spring is here, the snow is melting, and I'm all atwitter about Holy Week and upcoming exciting summer plans.

*angels sing!*

And today is book club day, which is always fun. :) This month, I read Trusting God with St. Therese, by Connie Rossini. Have any of you read it? If you haven't, I absolutely recommend it, and it's only $4.99 for Kindle. Worth it! Let's describe, shall we?

What I really enjoyed about this book are two things: (1) the creative structure, which I'll describe in a moment, and (2) the personal nature of the narrative. The way that the author organizes the book is both chronological and thematic. All of the themes tie-in to trust in God's plan for our lives, but it's broken down a bit. For example, there's a chapter addressing anger and other negative emotions, and one that deals with spiritual dryness and darkness. We start with St. Therese's infancy and work our way through to her death at age 24. Each chapter begins with a scene from Therese's life, and it's written in a very down to earth, relatable style. I've read The Story of a Soul, but I still felt like I was getting an insider's view into St. Therese's life, along with new information, just based upon the way the author presented the material. Following that, the author discusses the theme for a bit, relating it to Scripture or other Church teaching, and then moves into an applicable anecdote from her own life. We also move chronologically with our author, so as the book progresses, we learn about her childhood charismatic Catholic faith, the early death of her own sister, her deep desire to be married and having a difficult time waiting to meet Mr. Right, her struggle with new parenthood, and a painful encounter with her local Secular Carmelite community. Each chapter ends with us going back to the life of St. Therese briefly, to wrap up the theme. As well, each chapter includes two reflection questions and a handful of practical suggestions to grow in your own spiritual life based upon the content.

You all know how I sometimes struggle with non-fiction - I have a short attention span, and anything short of personal memoirs or biographies usually don't grab me. This book isn't a memoir per se, but it has a very personal style and includes many personal anecdotes from both St. Therese and the author. I found it very pleasing and engaging to read, and I truly enjoyed it. I looked forward to pulling out my Kindle each evening, which is always the sign of a book that I like. If something is taking me a long time to read because I don't excitedly bring out my Kindle out here and there, well...that's a bad sign. :) I read this book quickly due to my enjoyment of it.

If you've read this, please leave a comment with your thoughts! For the next few months we have some religious fiction on our list, which is always fun. April heralds Vow of Evil (A Sister Joan Mystery), by Veronica Black. I hope you'll read and join in!

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