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Book review: Prayers for Catholic Men

But first, a little story.  You know how it goes when you’re a kid – when you see a big box you assume “cool gift” and when you see something tiny you assume “oh brother, silly trinket”.  One year my grandmother (yeah, the Irish Catholic one) decided to teach me a little lesson.  As we were ripping through our gifts on Christmas I came across a decidedly small box to me from my grandparents.  Now, while they didn’t always have a lot of money my grandmother knew what we kids wanted and always seemed to come up with something that would induce a shriek of glee.  I’m quite sure a look that was a cross between dejected and quizzical came across my face at the sight of this tiny box because she piped right up, “go ahead and open it dear, sometimes good things come in small packages.”  It may be hard to believe but I don’t think I’d ever heard that term before.  So, grudgingly I opened the box.  A wallet.  Yay.  Just what every 9 year old is dreaming of.  Not to be stopped she quietly chided me, “keep going, you never know what you’ll find if you don’t look.”  Picture holder – check.  Slit for change – check.  Slit for cash – check.  Cash – che …  Yep, she’d slipped cash into the wallet that I was about to let get lost in the wrapping paper.  I don’t remember how much money was in there, but to this day I recall the lesson she taught me.  Sometimes though I have to be reminded.

When I opened the box containing Prayers for Catholic Men I have to admit my heart sunk a bit.  I had been expecting something much larger – a real beefy book I could get my hands around that could help me straighten out some of the crooked parts of my spiritual life.  At about 3″x4″ and only 96 pages long this wasn’t what I was expecting.  Sometimes I’m not the brightest bulb on the tree.  While it’s small this book is packed with prayers for men young and old, single, married, divorced and widowed.  There is something in here for just about everyone from the age of about ten on up.

It isn’t just a collection of prayers though, there are some very insightful reflections interspersed throughout the book.  Some of these reflections I wish I had read when I was younger as they could have helped me to avoid some very stupid decisions.  The brilliance in this book being so small is there is no reason for you to not bring it with you everywhere – home, work, anywhere.  Inside this little cover is  a pack of power enough to move the mountains of a sluggish culture.  It is a reminder that prayer – that faith – does not need to be long and ornate to be effective, it just needs to be honest and from the heart.

Even if you, like me, have shelves full of books this is one with which you won’t go wrong.  But do me a favor – don’t put it on your shelf.  Put it in your pocket or your briefcase or your bag.  Put it to work, and let this little dynamo move your soul closer to God.

This review was written as part of the Catholic book Reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Prayers for Catholic Men.

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