Book Review: Bless Us, O Lord

If you are looking for a practical prayer book that is simplified for daily family use, Bless Us, O Lord is a great addition to your family’s resources.

I am always looking for additional ways to incorporate the Liturgical Year into the life of our family. A copy of Bless Us, O Lord was sent to me from Ave Maria Press and the author, Robert M. Hamma, does a fantastic job of including daily meal prayers with stories about the saints, prayers for specific feast and holy days, and Liturgical information. If you are looking for a practical prayer book that is simplified for daily family use, Bless Us, O Lord is a great addition to your family’s resources.

Photo Credit” DMHeckenkamp

October 2nd – The Feast of the Guardian Angels – Bless Us, O Lord (page 129) gives a short excerpt about the Guardian Angels and offers the following prayer.

“Loving God, we come together this evening to share this meal after a day filled with many activities. In our work and our play , in our travels and our rest, your presence is always with us. You give us the friendship of our guardian angels to guide us and guard us, to remind us of your presence, and to keep us on the right path. Help us to be aware that your love is ever near, and to be grateful for all the gifts that we receive from your generous hand, especially the gift of this meal. Amen.”

Book Review: Home in the Church by Jessica Ptomey

Do you know what warms my heart? What draws me in? A good book, but not just any good book – a book that embraces change. A book that shows a purpose, a struggle, but ultimately, a journey. This is exactly what Jessica Ptomey wrote about in her new book, Home in the Church: Living an Embodied Catholic Faith.

Ptomey’s journey from Protestantism to Catholicism exemplifies a beautiful conversion story as she found answers to deep spiritual questions alongside her husband. She delves into the beauty she experienced among her Protestant friends and churches, but ultimately, she found her true home in the Catholic Church with the sacraments, Holy Mass, the Catechism, and the ancient traditions.

Home in the Church will take the reader on a pilgrimage of conversion, love, and discovery. The book also provides other resources in which the reader may choose to delve deeper into the chapter themes. This Catholic conversion story is a vivid example of the work of the Holy Spirit upon souls so dearly loved by God and His desire for them to enter upon His earthly journey towards heaven.

@dmheckenkamp photo

Disclaimer: This review was not a paid sponsorship and is my own opinion. The book was gifted for review purposes.

Summer Reminders

We need to stop looking too much into the future! This is not the time to wish our lives away.

Summer is not over! Don’t wish it away either. I believe that many of us have been looking too much towards the fall – whether that’s because of school uncertainty, election issues, or another upcoming shutdown, but we need to stop. We need to stop looking too much into the future! This is not the time to wish our lives away. In Wisconsin, we spent several months in a shutdown and now, instead of enjoying these warm months with our families, we are spending our days worrying about the future – a future that we have absolutely no control over. So, here are a few summertime reminders, because after all we have several weeks to enjoy this glorious weather!

Photo by Andre Furtado on Pexels.com
  1. Faith. It’s time to make extra time for God. Let’s dust off those devotional books, put aside some quiet moments for prayer, and place our trust back in God. Bask in the sunshine, enjoy the warmth, and give the control back to God. This isn’t easy, but true freedom.
  2. Family. Family time should be a priority, but sometimes we place this on the back-burner. Yes, we need to earn a living. Yes, we need to provide support to our community. But if our family isn’t coming first, then we are not making progress – we are only treading water with nowhere to swim. Stop treading and start living. It’s okay to stay home all day, clean bedrooms, read books, bake cookies, or watch an old movie with the family. These are the important moments. The down-days will ultimately bring us more joy than the days we spend running around trying to fulfill commitments and barely recognize that our children only want time with us, not big events, but big hugs instead.
  3. It’s Too Short. In the Midwest, summer is too short and winter is too long. Why are we wishing for time to speed up as we await announcements beyond our control? Stop worrying. Yes, that’s easier said than done. But it’s wasting time to dwell on the uncertainty. Thrive on the here and now. Don’t wish summer away, winter brings 9 long months of dark and cold.
  4. Commitments. If you can’t remember what you did last week or if the calendar fills too quickly beyond you’re control – stop! Limit the engagements. Life is not suppose to be a rat race. We tend to say “when things slow down”, but they won’t slow down without intention on our part. Many of us enjoyed the empty calendars, the slow days at home that were brought on by quarantine. There’s no reason our lives need to return back to an unending sea of engagements. Determine what is most important and eliminate the rest.
  5. Conserve. If anything, this time has not only taught me to trust more but that I need to conserve more. Maybe some of these recent events proved our over indulgence is quite unhealthy – whether that’s too many commitments, too many treats, too much shopping, or too much entertainment. I’d have to say that within just a few months, I have learned a lot and have also encountered my flaws. Let’s not fall back into bad habits of giving into our momentary desires. Time with our families is more important than hours on social media or shopping on Zulily. Yes, there’s a time and place for all of those things, but are we doing too many things in excess that should be more controlled?