Two Are Better Than One

Two Are Better Than Once (1)What do Pat Gohn and Danielle Bean have in common?

  • they’re both moms
  • they’re both Catholic, enthusiastically and unapologetically (if that isn’t a word, it should be!)
  • they’re both writers
  • they’re both media-savvy (Pat in radio and podcasting, Danielle in TV and magazines)
  • they both live “down a country lane” in New England
  • they’ve both been inspiring me as a mom, writer and user of social media for years
  • they know how to encourage women

I met Pat live and in person at last summer’s Catholic Writers’ Guild Conference. She is warm and engaging, a wonderful listener who immediately hugs you upon recognition. But before I’d even met her in person, I’d appeared on her podcast and we’d had several fun and inspiring Twitter exchanges. If you haven’t found her podcast yet, what are you waiting for?

I’ve followed Danielle Bean for close to 10 years–I found her through and looked forward to the daily blogs and stories that were posted in their daily newsletter. Danielle has since written several books; she appears on The Gist and is editor of Catholic Digest magazine. I haven’t met her in person yet but can vouch for the deliciousness of her Beer Roll recipe.

Pat Gohn’s book, Blessed, Beautiful and Bodacious, was published last year. Danielle Bean’s new book Momnipotent has been out only a few weeks, and I haven’t gotten to read all of it yet. But I’ve read enough to know that these two books are perfect companion volumes.

Pat’s book deals with the “why.” Danielle’s gets into the “how.”

If you’re looking for a Mother’s Day gift for that special woman in your life, I highly recommend this pair of books. Tie them up with a ribbon and attach a gift card for her favorite coffee shop.

There’s nothing like the gift of peace, encouragement and understanding on Mother’s Day. I don’t know any mom who wouldn’t love that.

Be an Angel

A few weeks ago, I read with sadness that Aquinas and More would be closing. I’ve had a long association with them and especially enjoyed being part of their Tiber River Book Review program as well as writing occasional articles for the site.

Here’s one piece I wrote last year about preparing your child for first Reconciliation.

Aquinas and More stands out, in my view, for its staunch no-China policy. This means that inventory selection is carefully guided by the source of the item.

Today, Aquinas and More owner Ian Rutherford announced an unconventional fund-raising effort that would keep the store’s online presence available to its customer base across the country. If you can lend a hand to a retailer that’s committed to bringing authentic, orthodox Catholic religious goods to its customers, won’t you consider donating?

No donations will be processed until the fund-raising goal is met, and there are rewards for donating that are pretty sweet. You’ve got 14 days to help out.

Be an angel and help Aquinas and More continue its mission.

Tiber River Review: The Truth About Therese

A saint who died when she was only about half my age? Who spent 1/3 of her life behind convent walls? How could such a saint possibly inspire anyone whose path in life had taken a very different turn?

While the title and subtitle of this book, The Truth about Therese: An Unflinching Look at Lisieux, the Little Flower, and the Little Way suggest a more “unauthorized biography” feel, that’s not what author Henri Gheon achieves in this short biography of St. Therese of Lisieux. Instead, he writes of the many difficulties she endured, even after she achieved her dream of becoming a Carmelite at a very young age.

My favorite chapter of this book was the first one, “My Initial Resistance to St. Therese,” because I have felt the same resistance. I was more captivated by this saint as a teenager; the older I have become, the more distant I have felt from her. But this book, especially in the later chapters, does much to bring out the spiritual battles that St. Therese fought throughout her life. While my battles are surely different, there is much that I can learn from St. Therese’s actions and attitudes about how to endure such spiritual warfare.
Through this book, I learned that St. Therese was more than a spoiled child, more than a goody-goody; I learned of her Little Way and how it can be put into practice. Most importantly, I learned that sainthood doesn’t come easy to anyone–but that’s no reason to stop striving for it.
The foreward by Philippe Maxence is short but not to be missed.
Perhaps because it was translated from the French, and surely because it was originally written in 1934, this book is not an easy read. Vocabulary, sentence structure and turn of phrase are challenging to the reader.

The fine print:  I wrote this review of The Truth About Therese for the free Catholic book review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.
Aquinas and More is the largest on-line Catholic bookstore.
I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.