A different sort of gift guide

From the Leaven for the Loaf Facebook page: as Advent winds down, let me suggest two gifts that you can give any time of year.

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2 thoughts on “A different sort of gift guide

  1. Hello Ellen,

    Thank you for the post. 2 great gift reminders.

    I agree wholeheartedly with your observation(s) about gratitude and how often we fail to express our gratitude to others.

    Recently I started to call legislators (House of Representatives and Senate) in states other than Pennsylvania thanking them for the positions they’ve taken and votes cast. When I call I explain to the staffer that I’m not a “constituent” but I want to express my gratitude as an American citizen for the position taken by his Representative or Senator. I’ve learned from staffers that it is a rare occasion for constituents to call let alone someone outside of the legislators district/state. All staffers contacted have expressed a sincere thanks for my phone call and expression of support and thanks.

    A couple of months ago the subject of gratitude came up during a discussion prompting me to order a set of books from Sophia Press located in Manchester New Hampshire entitled “the gratuity and simplicity set.”

    Great read. Below is an excerpt from the book review on Sophia’s site.

    Wishing you and your family a very happy, holy and blessed Christmas.

    Look forward to catching up with you at a New Hampshire pro-life event.

    Very truly yours,

    Jack Marren

    Little Book of Holy Gratitude

    Sharp penance for remembered sins helps stouthearted Christians seize heaven, but gentler souls like Our Blessed Lady and scores of her saints have trod a different path. Their souls are possessed by gratitude, inspired by the remembrance of past benefits, and filled with wonder at the abundant loving-kindness of God.

    As Father Faber shows, gratitude is the fertile soil from which springs an ardent, exuberant love of Christ – a love that can be yours as well. These wise pages reveal the critical role that gratitude plays in your sanctification, and they’ll remind you of the many things the Lord has given you for which you should be grateful each moment of every day. Here you’ll also learn:

    That thanksgiving is the very essence of Christian worship
    Why gratitude is easiest way to heaven and the surest path to joy
    How gratitude dissolves pride even faster than penance
    How gratitude can make you like the Angels themselves
    That ingratitude is the hidden sin of too many good people (What about you?)
    Why you should even be grateful — yes — for blessings received by your enemies
    How gratitude often wins souls more quickly than preaching
    Why it’s scandalous that we neglect gratitude more than prayer
    Why you should even be grateful for your troubles
    That gratitude brings far more blessings than most of us ever suspect
    Hear in this small book the voices of so many saints who knew that gratitude is the very key to holiness: St. Alphonsus de Liguori, St. Bernard of Clairvaux, St. Bonaventure, St. Bridget of Sweden, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Francis de Sales, St. Francis Xavier, St. Gertrude, St. Gregory of Nyssa, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Jane Frances de Chantal, St. Jerome, St. John Chrysostom, St. John of Avila, St. John of God, St. Lawrence Justinian, St. Louis of France, St. Peter Faber, St. Philip Neri, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Thomas Aquinas, and many others.
    Strength in Simplicity

    At last a spiritual book for Catholics who have to devote more time to making dinner and picking up the kids than to meditation and prayer! Essential (and easy) reading for busy Catholics, Strength in Simplicity shows you how to grow closer to God in the things you already do every day, without burdening you with numerous devotions or complicated methods.

    Author Emmanuel de Gibergues explores the virtue of simplicity — that is, having the single intention of pleasing God in all that you do. You’ll learn what a difference simplicity can make for you — as it did for our Lord and our Lady. You’ll come to recognize the signs of true simplicity and find out how to practice simplicity toward God and in your life’s activities. Even better, you’ll find the secrets of practicing simplicity within yourself — a deceptively difficult spiritual discipline that de Gibergues makes easy here.

    As this book helps you bring the calming and transforming virtue of simplicity into every part of your life, you’ll become better able to direct all things to God and learn new ways to be attentive to His presence in your life. Don’t rush through life without this saving message!

    Strength in Simplicity reveals to you:

    True simplicity: how it isn’t willful ignorance or simple-mindedness

    Your intentions: are they pure? Why this could be the most important question you’ll ever answer

    Two advantages of simplicity: what you’ll gain by clearing your life of complications

    How simplicity can make you generous, courageous, and more loving

    Failure: your attitude toward it may be crippling your spiritual life. Find out how

    The most dreaded enemy of your soul’s progress: is it keeping you from deepening your happiness and love for God?

    Two indispensable qualities for beginners in the spiritual life: do you have them?

    And much more to help you simplify your life and come closer to God!

    Read more

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