I am a big fan of historical and contemporary romances and I consume them in exactly the way that Amazon Kindle envisioned it—voraciously. With a total of 664 in 2021 and over 300 as of mid-August 2022, I feel confident in saying that I am an amateur expert in the various tropes that underscore these genres.
The theme that always touches me most (it makes me cry crocodile tears!) is the hero or heroine’s fear of love—friendship, familial, romantic—because they know that loving someone also opens the door to pain and loss.
Catholics are inundated with demonstrations of the depth and breadth of God’s love for us, in the Scriptures, and in the sacraments, regardless of our acceptance and embrace of that love. Each of this week’s six CatholicsRead titles reminds us that God’s love is worth whatever risk we face, whatever pain we experience, and whatever joy we may find.
As my fictional main characters recognize, loving someone requires facing the fact that those we love will eventually die. Catholic Book Publishing’s Daily Comfort While Grieving provides Scriptures and prayers that can be a source of strength and solace as we walk through each day, dealing with the inevitable suffering and sorrow that comes with loss and, hopefully, finding healing for our brokenness.
Remember the Greatest Commandment—“Love one another as I have loved you . . .”? How often have we treated others without love, especially during the pandemic? The love we are called to demands that we break away from the lenses through which we filter our understanding of others and challenge ourselves to see each other in new and, sometimes, uncomfortable ways. Wired for Racism? by James Woodall and Mark Ellingsen, published by New City Press, challenges the race-based thinking that characterizes many of the social, legal, and economic structures in our world today.
Who better to model the way to love completely and without hesitation than Jesus in the Gospels? A Magnificat monthly subscription is the perfect spiritual companion to accompany you on your daily journey of prayer. Deepen your prayer life with official texts of daily Mass, prayers for the Morning, Evening, and Night inspired by the Liturgy of the Hours, meditations on the Gospel, faith-supporting articles, Scriptural insights, saints’ lives, art commentaries, and more. It is an ever-present reminder of who, when, where, why, and how to love in spite of the risks.
While Jesus is the ultimate model, the women in the Bible—including the many who are unnamed in the Scriptures—can inspire us to see and act on God’s love in our lives. Author Joy Mead’s A Telling Place: Reflections on Stories of Women in the Bible from GIA Publications reflects on Bible stories from the woman’s perspective, celebrating women not merely as bit players, but as vital contributors in the building of God’s Kingdom.
Paulist Press offers two titles that provide insight into God’s love and compassion. In Experiencing God’s Compassion, Virginia A. Blass recounts stories of God’s mercy in her life and the lives of others. Some of the stories are meditations on the mercy stories of the Bible, seen through the eyes of those who spoke them or those who wrote them. In Extravagant Love, Ruth Burrows explores how in baptism we are all plunged into the self-emptying life of Jesus, and called to live our lives in this way of love.
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Therese Brown is the Executive Director of the Association of Catholic Publishers. She holds a master of arts degree in youth and liturgy from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. She previously served as senior marketing specialist at United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Publishing Office. She is the author of Graced Moments: Prayer Services for the Lives of Teens (World Library Publications). She resides in the Baltimore area.