I’ve long been a quote junkie, collecting the verbal fragments of others like someone else might accrue baseball cards or stamps. I have to be one of the rare teenagers who asked her parents for a copy of Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations for Christmas. So it’s no surprise that I thoroughly enjoyed Julie Davis’s Happy Catholic – Glimpses of God in Everyday Life. You might know Julie from her popular blog that shares that book’s title. She’s the Happy Catholic (not always happy but always happy to be Catholic!) who frequently shares sometimes inspiring, sometimes just plain witty snippets taken from her personal quote journal in her regular Well Said posts.
Her book takes her Well Said quotes to the next level and includes brief thoughts and reflections related to them. I have a confession to make: I keep this book in the magazine rack in my bathroom. Sometimes sitting on the commode is the only place I can sneak in a few solitary minutes in a house full of littles. It doesn’t take long for a child (or big dog) to barge in (our lovely, charming, and old home is full of doors without locks), but, fortunately, I can usually squeeze in reading at least one quote and reflection before being interrupted.
And whether I’m reading something out of the mouth of a great theologian or an animated superhero from The Incredibles, I’m getting a glimpse of God and how He can be found everywhere – in humor, in sorrow, in the tabernacle, in a secular world, in the most quotidian particulars of life.
So much of our faith is found in living it, and it’s difficult to live our faith if we only feel God is nearby when we’re at church or when we’re participating in formal prayer. What I love about Julie’s approach to spirituality and religion is that there’s always an opportunity for growth and reflection no matter what you find yourself doing, seeing, reading, experiencing, or feeling.
Happy Catholic is a great book for busy people because you can really open it up to any page and start reading – and thinking and growing in your faith. You could read it like most books in a linear fashion, or you could skip around and pick random passages to read.
I also highly recommend this book for young Christians. I gave it to my cousin as a Confirmation gift since I was her sponsor. In her thank you note she wrote about how much she was enjoying the book and how it easy it was for her to read a paragraph or two each night. A lot of teens aren’t going to sit down and immerse themselves in Summa Theologica or An Introduction to the Devout Life. They want to read something quick that they can relate to. Happy Catholic fits the bill because of its format and because its author is anything but holier-than-thou and wise enough to consider that even pop culture can’t escape the wisdom of God.
So go ahead and buy a copy for yourself and throw in an extra copy into your cart for a special young person in your life.
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 Happy Catholic – Glimpses of God in Everyday Life. They are also a great source for a Catechism of the Catholic Church or a Catholic Bible.