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.

Book Review: Broken + Blessed: An Invitation to My Generation

The following is a review of the book "Broken + Blessed: An Invitation to My Generation" by Father Josh Johnson. I received no compensation for this review; all opinions are my own.
This book may be designated as an invitation to Fr. Josh Johnson's generation, but don't let that stop you if you are old enough to be his parent or even his grandparent. I heard of Fr. Josh from a podcast and then subscribed to the Ask Fr. Josh podcast. It is so uplifting to see a young priest who just wants people of any age to know God and to have a personal relationship with Him. That is what this book is all about. Fr. Josh intertwines his own experiences with scripture, Saints, and practical ways to get closer to God. The personal experiences keep it relatable, no matter your age.

Perfect for Small Groups or Individuals

I enjoyed the format of the book. First, Fr. Josh identifies a difficulty and then relates it to a personal experience. Each chapter ends with an Invitation to Prayer followed by questions, which makes it a perfect book for small groups. Or, individuals can reflect on the questions and use one, some, or all of them as journal prompts. I found each chapter to be very interesting and came away with ways to increase my prayer life and grow closer to God.

Even though he hasn't been a priest for a long time, Fr. Josh has such words of wisdom. Yet he remains so humble. He talks about his struggles with his own prayer life and his life in general. I saw a lot of myself in situations that he spoke of. Millennials have such an advantage over my generation: They have access to priests on social media that we didn't have.

Breaking Down the Book

In the Introduction, Father Mike Schmitz describes Fr. Josh as "authentic". The reader definitely gets that vibe from this book. Here is a man who understands that his brokenness is just like ours.

In the chapter Intimacy with God, Fr. talks about knowing who God is versus actually knowing God. He puts it in completely understandable language. He is able to use pop culture so it is relatable to everyone, regardless of age. He also brings in the lives of the Saints to drive his message home.

This book hits on so many different topics: humility, truly knowing God, Lectio Divina, the brokenness of the Catholic Church as an institution, divorce & annulment, inviting God into your life completely (despite the messiness), vices, praying the Rosary, suggestions on how to pray, as well as how to make prayer a priority.

In the chapter Breaking the Chains of Sin, we are given excellent advice on how to break out of the trap of envy. Included is the Litany of Humility with the suggestion of substituting the person's name for "other". Also included in the Invitation to Prayer section at the end of this chapter is an excellent examen of conscience using 1 Corinthians:13:4-6.

I often will give a book away after I have finished reading it, telling the person to pass it on. Not this book. I will keep it to refer back to; however, I plan on buying a couple of copies to give to my sons to read...just in case!
picture of book and coffee cup on an outdoor table

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