Think about those times in your life when you have felt inspired to something really great. Where does that inspiration come from?
The Holy Spirit. God inspires us to do great things with our lives.
----Matthew Kelly

Welcome to The Not So Perfect Catholic!

Disclaimer: I am not a theologian, just a Catholic empty-nester trying to figure it all out. The views on this blog are my own.

June Reads: Books Read During the Month of June

Are there some good books out there, or what? Unfortunately, my stack of books to read is growing instead of dwindling. Following below are brief reviews from books I read during the month of June. Get ready to add to your "To Read" shelf!

📗 Hungry Souls: Supernatural Visits, Messages, and Warnings from Purgatory      
     (Gerard J.M. Van Den Aardweg- TAN Books)
If you want to get a glimpse of purgatory and realize the importance of praying for the deceased, this is the book.  This book was fascinating. Purgatory is a difficult concept for Catholics and Non-Catholics to grasp, but this book did an excellent job of making that concept a little more concrete. There are saints' and laypersons' accounts of being visited, as well as how prayers and penance aided these souls during their time in Purgatory.
My recommendation: 👍

📗 Pope Joan (Donna Woolfolk Cross- Three Rivers Press)
Before I say anything about this book, I have to say that the author clearly states
that this book is fiction. In the back of the book, the author notes that there is some speculation that Joan was, in fact, a real person, and she makes some strong evidence to suggest that there may have been a Pope Joan. But, as I said, this book is fiction. Was there really a Pope Joan? That's just one of the answers we'll have when we get to Heaven!
My recommendation: 👍

📗 Knight of the Holy Ghost- A Short HIstory of G.K.Chesterton (Dale Ahlquist- Ignatius Press)
Yes, I knew who G.K. Chesterton was before I read this book...kind of. I knew he was an author, but this book delves into everything he was: The Man, The Writer, and The Saint. He was before his time; things that he said about the early 1900's still hold true today. For example, in the book What's Wrong With the World, he identifies four main things that are wrong with the world: big government, big business, feminism, and public education. His reasoning is that all of these things undermine the family, which is the basic unit of society, the thing that must be stable for society to be stable, the thing that must be strong for society to be strong, and the thing that is most under attack in our society today. (page 73) There are quite a few prophetic things that he wrote that are of specific interest.
The man was constantly writing, if not with pen & paper, then in his head. Constantly. If he wasn't writing books, he was writing poetry or articles for newspapers.  I was pleasantly surprised to read that G.K. is the author of the Father Brown series, which I have watched all the way through on Netflix. I had no idea he wrote the books, which now I think I have to start reading. 
Biographies are one of my favorite genres to read, especially one that is well written. I learned a lot about G.K. Chesterton by reading this short history, so much that I want to start reading some of his books. I dog-eared quite a few pages in this book so I can take notes on it and refer back to as needed. 
My recommendation: 👍

📗 Letters to a Suffering Church (Bishop Robert Barron- Word on Fire)
This little book packs a punch in explaining why, during this critical time in Church history, you should stay instead of jumping ship. Chapters touch on how this scandal is a "diabolical masterpiece", what scripture says about human sexuality, former history of scandals, dimensions of the treasure that explains why we should stay with the Church, and what we can do to fight for the Church. This is a short book (only 102 pages) and a very easy read. Bishop Barron hits the nail on the head when he says the Eucharist is the single most important reason for staying faithful to the Catholic Church. You can't find it anywhere else; and no wickedness on the part of priests or bishops can affect it. (page 74) One other thing about this book: it's free; you only pay shipping & handling. You can order it here.
My recommendation: 👍

picture of an open book held over water with the text "June Books" over the picture. Below the picture is the text "Review of Catholic Books read during the month of June"

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