Here is the latest Coffee & Pearls Podcast:

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It’s no secret this was the worst pregnancy for me. I threw up a ton in the first trimester, got wicked bronchitis in the second and then was on bed rest for the third. During all that time, I had the opportunity to read a lot of books so I wanted to give you my favorite lessons from each one.

Most of these books are filled with underlined sections of wisdom or quotes that really spoke to me. I certainly don’t have time to cover them all so I thought I would just pick out the one that might be most helpful to all of you!

First up, The Marian Option. This book is beautiful and I really enjoyed it. I appreciate that book acknowledged that we live in some rough and scary times right now. Sometimes I think I’m worrying about things that aren’t there but this book says yes, those scary things are happening but we don’t need to worry about them.

My favorite quote is actually from the very first chapter.

“A mass movement isn’t needed – only a very few who know the true source of strength, grace, and genius to transform the world.” This fills me with such hope!

The other quote that really struck me was from Archbishop Charles Chaput who says:

“If we want to reclaim who we are as a Church, if we want to renew the Catholic imagination, we need to  begin, in ourselves and in our local parishes, by unplugging our hearts from the assumptions of a culture that still seems familiar but is no longer really ours. The problem is that many U.S. Catholics have abandoned this “spiritual struggle’ and have assimilated too much into the popular culture ‘that bleaches out strong religious convictions in the name of liberal tolerance and dulls our longings for the supernatural with a river of practical atheism in the form of consumer goods.”

We are it ladies. We are the ones who will turn things around. And we will do that by getting to know Mary. This is a great book to really understand who she is, especially as the spouse of the Holy Spirit but there are many books. And for those of you who think you don’t have time to read, pray your rosary. We always meet Mary there.

You can order the book on Amazon here.

You can also read my full review of the book at CatholicMom.com

To win a copy of this book, head over to my Facebook page. Make sure to like my page and comment on the giveaway post!


Next up, Lift Up Your Heart: A 10-Day Personal Retreat with St. Francis De Sales by Fr. John Burns. If I could have a crush on a book, this would be it!

This is basically a modern version of St. Francis de Sales classic Introduction to the Devout Life. I haven’t read that book but after reading this one, I’m certainly interested to try it!

This book is great for busy moms because you can make a deeply impactful retreat from home in just 10 days! I think that’s really tailor made for us. Each of the ten days focuses on a theme: God’s benefactions, sin, death, judgement, hell, paradise, election and choice of Heaven and finally election and choice the soul makes of a devout life.

There were so many beautiful and poignant ideas in this book so it was really a struggle to pick my favorite but I picked this one because I think if we can really internalize this one idea, it will drive all our other decisions.

We are looking for hope. We have a deep longing for eternity in the Lord and yet our worldly selves really can’t comprehend that. As Fr. John says, “We cannot get our minds around the concept of unending joy because, in putting together the perfect day with the greatest joy [something Fr. John asks us to imagine], our human experience tells us something very real: it will end. We cannot imagine what it would be like to exist in surpassing joy and to do so without end.”

He goes on to say, “Heaven cannot be a distant choice or a far-off idea. It must be an ultimate goal that is on our minds constantly.”

If we can meditate more on the reality of Heaven, no matter how hard it is to understand, I believe it will greatly affect our decisions in the present. This is something I’m terrible at but I know that if I were to conquer this in myself, it would bring me so much peace.

You can order this book on Amazon here.

You can read my full review of this book at CatholicMom.com


Last up for this episode, The Rosary: Your Weapon for Spiritual Warfare by Johnnette Benkovic. This book goes well with The Marian Option. Though they tell some of the same stories about Mary, I personally feel as if we can never read enough about the miracles that Mary has performed all over the world. This book gives us a real practical way to pray our rosary more deeply. I’ve struggled with knowing how to do that and I was impressed with some of the ideas this book laid out.

I think the cover of this book was designed to appeal to men and the theme calling out weapons and warfare might make women pass up this book at the store. But that would be a mistake. Spiritual warfare is not just for Catholic men! There is a fantastic section of the book called Your Special Forces Team: Valiant Women of the Kingdom. What a chapter title!

One of my favorite aspects of Catholicism is how often women are used to do great deeds for the faith. The stories of women who with devout devotions to the rosary accomplish some amazing things. This is definitely a section I think young women should read!

I don’t have a particular quote that sums up my biggest takeaway from this book. When I read the last page, this book challenge me to become a prayer warrior. If I, who consider myself a deeply devout Catholic, am not battle the darkness of the world through prayer, who else is going to do it? If I am reading books and recording podcasts but I am not taking up the sword of prayer, it is not enough.

I want to join the ranks of Valiant Women of the Kingdom and I cannot do that by worrying over shallow first world problems that are largely rooted in consumerism and the desire for comfort. I hope this book inspires others to feel the same and to take up this calling!

To win a copy of this book, head over to my Facebook page. Make sure to like my page and comment on the giveaway post!

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