This timely new addition to the Bringing Lent Home series focuses on the life and wisdom of recently canonized St. John Paul II. Designed by Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle for families with young children, it offers a variety of prayers and practices for each day of Lent.
This family guide to prayer and Lenten devotion is the perfect way to deepen a family's observance of Lent while also learning about St. John Paul II, beloved pope for more than thirty-five years (1978 -2005) and one of the Church's newest saints. Structured around a daily quotation from St. John Paul II, a story about his life, and practical suggestions for living the threefold call of Lentprayer, fasting, and almsgivingthis useful booklet takes the worry and the work out of planning the family's Lent and can be used with any of the three Catholic lectionary cycles. Parents can enhance their own daily prayer by using the booklet's reflections for parents. On Sundays, families focus on the themes assigned to that Sunday of Lent, and Cooper O'Boyle suggests a project for the week ahead.
About the Author
Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle is an award-winning author and journalist, speaker, pilgrimage host, retreat leader, and the EWTN television host of Everyday Blessings for Catholic Moms and Catholic Mom's Cafe, which she created. She is the recipient of apostolic blessings from Saint John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Donna-Marie is such a blessing and gift from God for busy moms who are looking for creative, inspirational, practical ways to bring their family together, to grow in faith, hope and love during the grace-filled time of Lent. She is a wise mentor and faithful friend whose books like this one truly help parents, as the primary educators of their children in the faith, to guide their little saints to heaven. I'm thrilled she wrote this book and look forward to using Bringing Lent Home with St. John Paul II this Lent with my family! I've used her previous two books, Bringing Lent Home with Mother Teresa of Calcutta and also with St. Therese of Lisieux, as guides in years past with my husband and three young boys, and it is prayer and family discussion time that everyone looks forward to each day, including our four-year-old! It's a perfect guide, because it offers a fresh idea each day for prayer, fasting and almsgiving, and helps us stay focused on the purpose of Lent and growing in our relationship with God and serving others. The book being available this year is great timing, as we'll be able to learn more about our beloved St. John Paul II and have him as our companion during Lent, and leading up Divine Mercy Sunday, which this year will mark the one year anniversary of him being canonized a Saint. We have so much to learn from these holy men and women that God put on Earth to serve as bright lights and witnesses for us in how to live the faith, and Donna-Marie invites the learning at just the right pace and helps us to apply it to our lives in a meaningful way together as a family!
During his earthly life, Saint John Paul II was one of my favorite people in the world. I affectionately referred to him as my "papa," because I felt his influential presence had set a tone for my life that was life-giving and inspiring. Even now, post-canonization, I still feel that characteristic tug on my life through his many writings and through the generations of young people who have since grown up with a fire for the faith, because of his impact on their lives. Some of them have become my colleagues and friends, and some attribute their sense of mission and their passion for Jesus Christ to long ago encounters with the Holy Father at World Youth Days around the world. Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle's latest effort in the "Bringing Lent Home" saint series, published by Ave Maria Press, focuses on John Paul II, so I had to have a copy. Having loved the first two, based on the writings and life stories of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta and Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, I hoped this one would be special. I was not disappointed. Set up in the same basic format as the others, "Bringing Lent Home with St. John Paul II: Prayers, Reflections, and Activities for Families," sets a rhythm for family spirituality in Lent that is eminently do-able and appealing to both adults and children. O'Boyle is a terrific writer, and because she has raised five children of her own, is sensible and appropriate when creating simple, but engaging activities and prayers for use in the home. Likewise, the reflections based on John Paul's life show a personal connection to the saint's life and work that becomes a bridge to the reader, helping us to experience the flavor of John Paul's spirituality in our own lives. My favorite parts are the brief, daily stories from John Paul II's life, told with clarity and affection in a way that is both enjoyable and educational. O'Boyle has researched well, and has tied events and turning points in the former pontiff's life to the potential spiritual journey of the ordinary Lenten pilgrim. If you're looking for an easy way to bless your family's journey to Easter Sunday, this affordable, accessible resource is a must-have.
This is much more than a "book" - something read and then retired to a shelf. It is a means of bringing our beloved pastor, Pope St. John Paul II, into our homes and allowing him to lead us through another Lent, joining ourselves to Jesus in His Passover. As you know, wherever John Paul went, he was accompanied by the Blessed Mother; and I am sure that you will find that to be equally true when you bring him into your home. As a mother of five, Donna-Marie is keenly sensitive to moms' and dads' responsibility to help their children grow in the spiritual life. With that thought at the fore, she has crafted daily meditations and activities appropriate for the entire family. Each day contains (1) a reflection for parents to engage in prior to beginning prayer with the children; (2) an excerpt from John Paul II's audiences or writings for the family to read aloud; (3) a family prayer time; (4) a story from John Paul II's life; (5) and then a daily suggestion for how the family can fast, give alms, and offer short individual prayers throughout the day. What I found especially ingenius of Donna-Marie was how the stories she shares from John Paul's life take us chronologically from his birth (shared on Ash Wednesday) straight through to his own personal passion and death (on Good Friday) and his canonization (Easter Sunday). It is such a powerful way of reminding us that Jesus is recreating His earthly life in each of us. And walking with John Paul through the most horrific events of the last century, not to mention personal tragedies, allows us bear our own crosses and see how the glory of Christ's Resurrection is shot through even the darkest of experiences. "Joy" - that's the word that keeps coming to mind for this book. It planted joy in my soul, that same joy that beamed from the eyes and smile of John Paul II, the same joy our Blessed Mother surely had gazing upon her Son, Jesus. "Bringing Lent Home with St. John Paul II" is quite the treasure.