Friday, December 13, 2013

Yes, God! (Ave Maria Press)

I must confess something to you all. One of my deepest desires is to have a son become a priest. In fact, I'd love to have a whole bunch of children who find vocations as priests, sisters or nuns. However, I know there is a fine line between encouraging vocations and causing children to flee from the faith, because you "shove it down their throats." But with my wonderful wife by my side, I have faith that I will be able to stay on the right side of this fine line. That brings me to the book I am reviewing today called Yes, God!

Yes, God! is a book I have been anxious to read. I can't describe my excitement when it finally arrived in the mail. In this book, author Susie Lloyd interviews ten people who said yes to their vocation to the religious life. Doing her best to get a sampling of people, she interviews priests, sisters, and nuns from both Western and Eastern rites within the Catholic Church. The families these ten men and women came from are also varied, which was perhaps the biggest surprise for me. I, like most people, assumed that if you want to foster vocations in the home, then that home should smell of incense and have a holy aura that you could see from space. This isn't the case though, as demonstrated in this book.

The book as a whole focuses on fostering different traits to encourage vocations, such as affection, generosity, spiritual poverty, etc. Each chapter of this book is divided into two parts. Part one gives a brief biography of one of the clergy or religious members who are featured, a description of their family life, and what led them to accepting their vocational call. Part two is the author's reflection on what she told you in the first part and how it relates to her and her family. I had a hard time picking which chapter I enjoyed the most as each one was beautiful in its own way. There's Fr. Mark Fesniak of the Ukrainian Archdiocese of Philadelphia, who grew up altar-serving at both Western and Eastern Rite Catholic Churches every Sunday. (No wonder he became a priest!) And there's Sr. Brigid Mary Rock who grew up on a farm, where she learned toughness mixed with affection from her father. Like I said, all of the stories are beautiful in their own right.

This book is not some magic formula on how to raise future priests and religious; nor is it a blueprint which provides step-by-step instructions for fostering vocations. Such a book does not and will not ever exist. Instead, this book provides a glimpse into the home lives growing up of our religious and gives some practical guidance that, while not guaranteed to make your sons priests, will help you become a better parent. I would recommend this book for all Catholic parents. In addition, I would recommend that parents (together with their children) pray for an increase in vocations. Also, do not shy away from discussing vocations with your children. You don't have to push them into it, but let them know it is an equally valid choice, alongside doctor, engineer, etc.

This book was provided to me for free by Ave Maria Press. If you found this review helpful, please click the link and hit Yes!