Today I’m doing a review and giveaway of Talking to God: Prayers for Catholic Women by Julie Dortch Cragon!cragon-cover

When I received this book, I remember thinking, “Do I really need another prayer book?” I pondered that question for a while.  While I enjoy reading Catholic books, I want to be intentional about building up my library.  I decided that, while I own many similar books filled with prayers, the honest truth is that I’m not picking them up and reading them very often.  I tend to keep a prayer book with me after I buy it and then after a month or two, I slide it back on my bookshelf.

So I had an idea! I decided that I will keep buying little prayer books, enjoying them for a few months and then instead of putting them on my bookshelf, I will pass them along to friends and family.  Maybe I’ll even keep them in my purse and give them to strangers who seem to have heavy hearts.

I’m still in the honeymoon phase with this book so it’s hard to think of giving it away becuase I’ve been enjoying it so much! I am so very happy I read this prayer book because in it, there were some perfect prayers that I needed this week.  It’s as if God reached down and gave me great comfort as I read some of these prayers.  That’s the thing I truly enjoy about a collection of prayers.  You never know what you’re going to find and you’ll often find exactly what you need.

I wanted to share with you some words from the introductions because I thought they were touching and so important for Catholic women to read:

“Throughout the day, we should be mindful that God wishes to continually hear from us. But how can we possibly speak to God every minute when we are obviously busy? First and foremost, we are comforted by the fact that someone, somewhere in the world is praying. When we do take time to pray, we can unite ourselves to others and in turn, they unite themselves to us so that every minute, God does hear from us through others. Second, we understand that even our works can be a form of prayer when we intentionally perform them as acts of love. As the Catechism assures us, “He ‘prays without ceasing’ who unites prayer to works and good works to prayer. Only in this way can we consider as realizable the principle of praying with ceasing” (CCC, 2745). Whether we are doing laundry or preparing for a board meeting, caring for children or operating on a patient, attending school or teaching school, we need God with us at all times. May we begin by joining ourselves with all women around the world as we unite prayer to our works and our good works to prayer.”

As I read this, I knew I needed to be reminded that my prayer time is not just about me and God.  We are a great Catholic church.  We are one.  We prayer with and for each other.

It was hard to choose just TWO favorites but I couldn’t very well copy the whole book here 😉 so here they are:

The Prayer to Love, Starting with Myself
Lord, teach me to love myself. You gave me this life. You blessed me with this temperament. You formed me, and I am loved by you unconditionally. In my eyes, I have many faults. I am constantly beating myself up about something. I question my conversation from the day before. I question the purchase I made, the work I’ve chosen, or the clothes I wear. Lord, help me to rise about my self-doubt. In reality, your love is all that matters, and you love me as I am. Bless me with the gift of loving myself as you love me…as I am.

Lord, I Messed Up
Lord, I really messed up today. I goofed. Accepting mistakes and failure is difficult for me. Help me to swallow my pride, to accept when I make mistakes, learn from them, and move on. Help me to model humility for those I encounter today, allowing you to work through me, turning failure into success. I know that you love me unconditionally. Teach me that same love for others as they struggle through their own failures today.

Also, honorary mentions, Prayer of Trust for Fertile Couples, Prayer for Those Afraid to Have More Children. They also had many prayers for infertile couples as well.  I really like that the book deals with these two challenges that many couples face.

Most of you know I’m a sucker for saint quotes and this book has them pepper throughout most of the pages.  I can’t get enough of the great wisdom passed on by these strong men and women of the church!

This book is a gem.  I will enjoy it for a few more months and then I will pass it on to someone else who greatly needs the peace and comfort I know this book will bring.  I challenge you to continue to enjoy prayer books and to share them with the people around you.  This is a powerful way we can share our faith!

Win This Book!

To enter this giveaway and win a copy of this delightful book Talking to God: Prayers for Catholic Women by Julie Dortch Cragon, put a comment below about how I can pray for you (i.e. pray for your marriage, motherhood, sickness, pregnancy, infertility, positive attitude etc.)  I will pray for you and also I will use a random number generator to choose one of the comments as the book winner!

Enter by midnight May 7th and the winner will be chosen on Mother’s Day!