Monday, December 31, 2012

Book Review: Holiness for Everyone

Well, today is the last day of the year. It is a time when people reflect on the past year, and come up with resolutions to do better in the coming year. I would like to say that I perfectly planned this book review to line up with the new year, but I am not that organized. This Monday's book review is brought to you by Our Sunday Visitor, and I am reviewing Holiness for Everyone: The Practical Spirituality of St. Josemaria Escriva by Eric Sammons.

I was very intrigued by this book before I ever opened it. For starters, Scott Hahn wrote the foreword to this book, and I automatically assume anything he puts his name on has to be good. I was also intrigued by the spirituality members of Opus Dei (the order St. Josemaria Escriva founded) practiced. I knew it wasn't the exaggerated tales Dan Brown concocted in his book The Da Vinci Code, but I didn't know what all it entailed.

There are two main parts to this book. The first part is called "Laying the Foundations" and deals primarily with our relationship with God and free will. These three chapters were nice, but I didn't find it overly helpful. It was well-written, but it didn't satisfy what I was looking for and thought I was getting from the title of this book. Don't get me wrong, I understood the purpose of this section, it just didn't hit the spot.

The second part of the book is called "Building a Saintly Life." Let me just say that everything I wanted in the first part of the book, I got in this part. Drawing on the writings of St. Escriva, we get practical advice on prayer, sanctifying our daily work, and honoring the saints, particularly Sts. Mary and Joseph. I loved this part of the book and hope to be able to take these pointers and apply them to my everyday life.

Overall, I would have to give this book a 4 out of 5 stars. It was a very good, particularly the chapters in "Building a Saintly Life," but the first part was disappointing and progressed slowly. I would recommend this book to others though, as it is a book for the average person, and I don't know about the rest of you, but I can use all the help I can get.