A Book for Moms and A Book for Heroes {my May column, The Catholic Post}

On the book page of the current print edition of The Catholic Post, I have two mini-reviews under “other recent reads.”  I’m sharing them here.

A book for moms:

Momnipotent: The Not-So-Perfect Woman’s Guide to Catholic Motherhood by Danielle Bean. Bean is also the editor of Catholic Digest magazine, and the author of several previous books for moms.

Bean’s books have always been marked by a generous amount of encouragement and spiritual uplift, and “Momnipotent” really excels in that. Especially enjoyable are the thoughtful commentary and advice that follows each short “quiz” that completes each chapter.

I confess that at first glance, I didn’t think Momnipotent is for me, but I’m very glad I read it. While I do highly recommend this book as best for moms of younger children, even the more “seasoned” among us can benefit from the concepts Bean covers, primarily the reminder that mothering is vital, hard, work, and worth doing well.

A book for those who value heroism:

Saint John Paul the Great: His Five Loves by Jason Evert

Last month’s canonization of John Paul II and John XXIII had me seeking out books by and about the two popes. Since it was new to me, I was awed by the depth and richness of “Journal of a Soul,” John XXIII’s spiritual autobiography, and I also enjoyed revisiting some of John Paul II’s books, chiefly “Crossing the Threshold of Hope.”

Saint John Paul the Great: His Five Loves is an enjoyable and readable biography, reminding readers just what a remarkable man John Paul II was and why he is known as “the great.” What really works well in this book is Evert’s organizing much of book into St. John Paul’s five “loves”: young people, human love, the Blessed Sacrament, the Virgin Mary, and the Cross.

Reading His Five Loves had me pondering the deep heroism that ran through all the aspects of St. John Paul’s life, and how he demonstrated it from his earliest days to his infirmity at the end of life. This book is a great introduction to the life St. John Paul, as well as a reminder that we are all called to heroism in our lives, and how that heroism looks will be unique to each individual. And at just over 200 pages, His Fives Loves is a bit more accessible, but just as inspiring, as the definitive biography of John Paul II: George Weigel’sWitness to Hope