Monday, December 21, 2015

Walk Softly, Pray Joyfully

Every year I try to limit my Advent commitments, and every year I don't succeed as much as I'd like. So when asked to review Teresa Tomeo's Walk Softly and Carry a Great Bag: On-the-Go Devotions, I did exactly what the author recommends and tucked it in my purse to read whenever I could grab a few moments.

Each chapter of this charming book is a two-to-three page meditation on growing closer to God through prayer and laughter. Sometimes the chapter titles say it all:

  • Don't Just Do Something -- Sit There!
  • All I Want for Christmas Is a Good Night's Sleep
  • Don't Cry Over Spilled Perfume
  • Little Prayers Mean a Lot
By the time I finished Teresa's book, I felt like I'd found a new best friend. I felt cheered up, encouraged, and motivated to keep fighting the good fight.

Walk Softly includes some great advice from Pope Francis that speaks straight to my soul. I have a tendency to get down in the dumps. Aristotle aficionados would say I have a melancholic temperament. Fans of A.A. Milne would just say I'm a bit like Eeyore, the gloomy donkey. But here's what Pope Francis has to say about grumpy Christians:
Sometimes these melancholy Christians' faces have more in common with pickled peppers than the joy of having a beautiful life.
Or as one of my spiritual directors once said, "Smile! We're on our way to heaven!" In response to Pope Francis' words about pickled pepper Christians (aka the Saturday Night Live Church Lady caricature), Teresa urges the reader to pray "that I can be a good witness by living out my life with a smile on my face and a real pep in my step as I proclaim and preach about your Son."

She also advises us to turn our misery into ministry. Our greatest hurt can intersect with the world's greatest need. A mother whose child was killed by a drunk driver started the organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). A father whose son was abducted and killed cofounded the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Teresa and her husband began a marriage ministry based on their struggles to overcome difficulties and challenges in their own marital relationship.

Turning misery into ministry allows us to make sense out of suffering. Deep in the thick of struggle, no one wants to hear "Everything happens for a reason." But once we reach the other side, we can discover that the lessons we've learned are not for ourselves alone. Sharing our knowledge with fellow strugglers does give purpose to our pain, even retroactively.

I know that the struggles our family has faced because of my husband's four brain tumors have tested my fortitude and my faith in God. As a newlywed, I had a tendency to idolize my husband and put all my hopes for a happy future in him. But he's not in control of whether tumors invade his brain, and obviously neither am I. God is the senior partner in our marriage, the majority stockholder, so to speak. God is in charge of our marriage and our future.

The bedrock of a successful sacramental marriage is a willingness to turn the reins over to God. It will take more than just the two of us, my husband and me. It will take trust in God -- which is why all the practical marriage or relationship or communication tips in the world won't do a darned thing without solid spiritual formation. So the yoking of the two -- the practical and the spiritual -- has become the ministry that has grown out of the misery that my husband and I suffered during his sicknesses.

Like her meditation on misery and ministry, Teresa has included many nuggets of deep wisdom worthy of long reflection in Walk Softly. Read it and see which one speaks most clearly to you.

Many thanks to the author for the free review copy of this book.

10 comments:

  1. Oooooh, a new book to add to my Amazon wishlist now!! Thanks for the review on it! Love when books like this touch the heart so beautifully!! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The book is great for young moms -- check out Necessity is the Mother of the Microwave (what would we do without microwaves!).

      Delete

    2. I want to give a big thanks to a great spell caster commonly known as DR TAKUTA for the great spiritual prayers he did in my life by bringing my ex-lover back to me after many months of breakup and loneliness. With this, I am convinced that you are sent to this word to rescue people from heartbreaks and also to help us get the solution to every relationship problem. for those of you out there who have one relationship problem or the other why not contact DR TAKUTA. that is the best place you can solve all your problems, including a lack of jobs and promotions, binding and marriage spells, divorce and attraction spells, anxiety and depression problems, good luck and lotto spells, fertility, and pregnancy spells, and also the business success and customer increase, winning court cases and many more. contact him at takutaspellalter@gmail.com or contact mobile contact +27788634102















































































      Delete
  2. Nice! Thanks for sharing this book!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I will read this! Thanks for the recommendation!

    ReplyDelete
  4. My name is Karina, I'm someone who has lived a life seemingly in the background, I must say this final indignity I have suffered almost too much to endure. You see, I have been sickly and weak since the day I was born and doomed to go through all my life a weakling. I seemed to have always suffered from one illness or another and could never play with the other children as I so desperately wanted to. Mother always made such a big fuss over me, also, making the situation worse as the other boys teased me mercilessly after they saw it. I was browsing  the internet searching on how i could be transformed into a powerful when i came across the email of a man named Lord Mark. who was a VAMPIRE so I told him that I has always dreamed of becoming a  VAMPIRES, All i did was just to follow the procedure that i was been told, and i bet you that procedure I took change my entire life to something i ever desire, freedom, sickness free, pains free, fame, influence, connections and even more that i can. Thanks to Lord Mark. Do you want a life full of interesting things? Do you want to have power and influence over others? To be charming and desirable? To have wealth, health, and longevity? contact the vampires creed today via email: Vampirelord7878@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. My ex-husband and I had always managed to stay friendly after our divorce in February 2017. But I always wanted to get back together with him, All it took was a visit to this spell casters website last December, because my dream was to start a new year with my husband, and live happily with him.. This spell caster requested a specific love spell for me and my husband, and I accepted it. And this powerful spell caster began to work his magic. And 48 hours after this spell caster worked for me, my husband called me back for us to be together again, and he was remorseful for all his wrong deeds. My spell is working because guess what: My “husband” is back and we are making preparations on how to go to court and withdraw our divorce papers ASAP. This is nothing short of a miracle. Thank you Dr Emu for your powerful spells. Words are not enough. here is his Email: emutemple@gmail.com or call/text him on his WhatsApp +2347012841542

    He is also able to cast spell like 1: Lottery 2: Conceive 3: Breakup 4: Divorce 5: Cure for all kinds of diseases and viruses.

    ReplyDelete
  6. MY LOVER IS BACK...
    My name is Ronald Monica from USA. I am really pleased with this service. I am one of those people who said, “I’ll never call a psychic or a magician or whatever” to help me with my problems – least of all my love problems, but I reached the point where I knew I needed some guidance, and I’m so glad I found this man called Dr balbosa, I never in a million years would have thought I’d be writing a letter like this, but when I nearly lost Andrew, my love in one of our stupid, fights (he broke up with me), I thought I had lost everything. i cry all day and think that he will never come back to me again. I read a testimony by a man called Tyce Logan about him saying how Dr balbosa helped him to get back is ex wife within 48 hours .I quickly email Dr balbosa and explained everything to him And when I was at my most desperate situation he didn’t take advantage of me. Dr Balbosa is the best and genuine spell caster. He performed a very good service for a person in true need. I don’t know how you did it, or how this magic works, but all I know is, IT WORKS!! Andrew, my husband and I are happily back together, and I’ll always be grateful to Dr balbosa...
    don't fail to contact him for any kind of help, Dr balbosa is very capable and reliable...From Monica

    CONTACT HIM ON:
    CALL/WHATSAPP: +1(206)-485-3691
    WEBSITE: https://balbosasolutionhome.com
    EMAIL: balbosasolutionhome@gmail.com  

    ReplyDelete
  7. Welcome applications for representation from sex worker. Wild sex girls are ready to hit the clubs and just keep going all night long. Featured Best Porn Sex Collection.
    Unlimited Sex Videos Gallery, HD Sex Movies, XXX SEX videos, Teen porn videos, Hottest xxx porn available at most popular adult agency.
    For High peak of Sexual fun - browse XXX Porn Movies | Teen Anal Sex Videos | Old Pussy Sex Videos

    ReplyDelete