Here is the latest Coffee & Pearls Podcast:

Scroll down to read it as a blog post!

The last post focused on the books: The Marian Option, The Rosary, and Lift Up Your Heart. This post features three books that are all focused on prayer.

Why do I read so many books on prayer? Don’t they seem repetitive? Well, it’s because I have a short attention span. I am easily distracted by shiny things and not only do I forget to focus on prayer but even when I do, I often find myself at a loss for what to pray.

This is why I am constantly reading books to prop me back up and to give me specific ways to pray. These three books had some truly wonderful ideas that I hope I can hold onto for many years!

First up, St. Faustina Prayer Book for the Conversion of Sinners by Susan Tassone. This is a small book that you could easily keep with you in your purse. It starts by explaining what conversion is in the first place. Then Tassone shares St. Faustina’s take on conversion and why we need to be praying for sinners and the Holy souls in Purgatory.

The rest of the book has lots and lots of prayers you can say! I like books with this feature because I can pick them up, find a prayer that speaks to my current situation so I don’t have to struggle to find my own words. There are many saints featured who had great conversions themselves and specific prayers we can say to ask for their intercession.

I’m going to put a few quotes together to give you a sense of my biggest takeaway from the book.

“Conversion requires prayer… and prayer requires conversion. It’s a daily process. There is no magical formula but there is a mystical one: we can seek the grace of conversion through prayer — and, through prayer, we can better and better live that grace. A deeper conversion often means more time. More effort. It calls for an increasing surrender to God and an abandonment of selfishness.”

The author talks about how we are all called to sainthood, which is a topic especially close to my heart. I thought this book would motivate me to pray for the conversion of all the non-believers in my life but it more strongly encouraged me to work on my own deeper conversion.

I often give books I’ve read away to share them with others but this is one I will keep for my own library so I can reference it often. It’s a great size to bring with me to Adoration and after reading St. Faustina’s diary, I know I will always have a strong devotion to her.

You can order this book on Amazon here.

You can read my full review of the book at

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, Praying The Angelus by Jared Dees. I have heard of the Angelus before but never prayed it and it certainly has not been a daily devotion of mine. When I stumbled upon a copy of the Praying The Angelus painting in a thrift store for $4, I bought it and felt called to learn more about this devotion. It was timely then that Jared Dees’ book came out to tell me all about this prayer.

This is also a smaller book and I kind of like this trend of smaller books that are easier to cart around. This author is extremely sincere both about the history of the Angelus devotion and also his own practice of it. He talks about his struggles and how often he prays the Angelus with no “seen” benefits from it.

I think this is important because we tend to view prayer as quid-pro-quo situation expecting to have miraculous things occur after we’ve been faithful for two whole weeks. While God certainly does perform miracles, it’s not what we should expect. We should not set down devotions if we don’t feel or see the proof that they’re “working.”

This, I believe, should be the biggest takeaway from this book. Here are some quotes that sum up this idea.

“The consistent practice of any Catholic devotion takes a lot of effort. Many (perhaps most) people who take up these practices soon find disappointment and boredom in them. Feeling of peace, mercy, love, and certainty can often be present in daily prayer, but they are never automatic and often inconsistent. It took me months of daily practice to begin realizing how GOd was at work in my mind and heart.”

Whether we’re talking about the Angelus or any other devotion, we must remember that we take up these practices out of devotion. I talked about this concept in Season 2 Episode 17 of Coffee and Pearls.

You have the time to take up a Catholic devotion and to obediently carry it out. Choose one. It doesn’t matter which one. Choose it and build up your self-discipline muscle in your faith life because you love God above all else.

You can order this book on Amazon here.

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!

Last book! Praying The Rosary Like Never Before by Edward Sri. Ladies, the guy is a fantastic writer. He makes things clear, interesting, and compelling. I actually had to tell myself to slow down while reading it so I could soak it all up. I definitely think this is a book I will reread.

My favorite part of this book was when the author spent several pages on each mystery making references to the bible and providing ideas and prayers that one could meditate on for each decade. Each section provided so much more depth than I had ever given to the mysteries, which seems silly as I type that out because they are… mysteries.

The book also features many reasons that stand in the way of our saying the rosary. I think it’s important that we acknowledge these and say them out loud. The only way to conquer these distractions and excuses is to bring them into the light. I felt encouraged and hopeful that I could slay some of my own anti-rosary dragons!

The most important take-away point of the book, in my opinion, is that Jesus is at the center of the rosary. This was such a simple and profound concept and yet I had never heard it before.

“After [the] opening lines, we come to the climax of the Hail Mary: ‘And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.’ John Paul II says that Jesus’ holy name not only serves as the hinge joining the two parts of the Hail Mary but also is this prayer’s very ‘center of gravity’ (RVM, 33). Indeed, the Hail Mary is meant to lead us to the person of Jesus, and at the center of this prayer, we speak his sacred name.”

Ever since I read that, I now pause, just a little, when I say the name of Jesus. I think of him as the center, pulling together all the beautiful words of the rosary with his love. It has made me feel so much more peaceful praying the rosary knowing that Jesus is there. I don’t mind that the rosary is largely about Mary and it makes me feel closer to her when I pray it but now instead of thinking that the rosary is Mary’s way of pointing to Jesus, I picture them both present in the prayer calling me to deepen my faith.

Edward Sri is a pleasure to read and I’m looking forward to reading some more of his books. It has a nice modern cover and would make a good present for a rosary lover in your life!

You can order this book on Amazon here.

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!