A new year — time for a fresh start. Choose one of the first three titles if you want to kick off 2017 with a more intense prayer life. Choose the fourth one if you want to get better at defending the Catholic faith.
A Year of Daily Offerings
by Father James Kubicki, SJ (Ave Maria Press)
Resolve to start your day with prayer — to make of yourself and your day a holy offering to God. These 366 daily reflections on the saints and seasons of the year are followed up with a personal prayer of offering and a short “daily word” of praise or petition to repeat throughout the day. Examples are: “Make my heart like Yours” and “Take and receive all that I am.” There’s also a follow-up question for the evening to examine how well you lived each morning offering.
When the Lord Speaks to Your Heart
by Gaston Courtois (Pauline Books & Media)
These are very short meditations you can read and ponder any time of day. They are written in the “voice” of Jesus, as if he were giving you daily reminders to seek his will in all things and live in his presence. Readers will find in these messages a sense of joyous intimacy with the Lord and a desire to share his love with others.
Praying the Rosary for Spiritual Warfare
by Father Dwight Longenecker
(Our Sunday Visitor)
Much as we love the Rosary, it can become routine. Resolve to turn your Rosary into a weapon against the evils of the day with this book. For each mystery, Father Dwight Longenecker (a Catholic Digest contributor) describes a particular sin afflicting our world, with firsthand accounts from “witnesses from the battle.” He then shows us how to “meditate for victory” and provides a list of very specific intentions to make for each decade. You’ll take up those beads with enthusiasm and put them down with a sense of accomplishment.
A Daily Defense
365 Days (Plus One) to Becoming a Better Apologist
by Jimmy Akin (Catholic Answers Press)
Resolve this year to get better at defending the faith when questioned by Protestants or unbelievers. All it takes is studying one simple lesson each day of the year from expert apologist Jimmy Akin. Topics include the communion of saints, why Catholics call priests “Father,” and how to answer someone who says, “I’m spiritual but not religious.” Along with simple explanations, Akin provides the scriptural basis and the logic behind key Church teachings.
Yearning for You, My God
A Companion for Praying the Psalms
by James Torrens, SJ (Twenty-Third Publications)
Father James Torrens helps us open our minds and hearts to 33 of the psalms, thoughtfully selected from each of the genres — praise, thanksgiving, lament, and more. His powerful reflections, accompanied by nine of Father John Griesbach’s glorious, full-color paintings, invite us into the world of the psalmists and help us raise our own prayer to God.
People of God’s Mercy
What 14 Figures from Scripture Reveal About Divine Compassion
by Marci Alborghetti (Twenty-Third Publications)
Marci Alborghetti brings her unique narrative voice to 14 biblical figures who famously experienced God’s mercy. Their personal stories are pieced together imaginatively using scriptural and historical evidence. Each chapter is a page-turner and includes thoughtful reflection questions.