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Matthew Kelly’s “Resisting Happiness” Review & Book Giveaway

Resisting Happiness by Matthew Kelly Book Giveaway via @ACatholicNewbie

Matthew Kelly was key in my conversion to Catholicism. I was already on my way, as I was in RCIA and had decided to at least go through the process to learn more, but he tipped me over the edge into full confidence in my conversion with his book “Rediscover Catholicism.”

So any new book he writes is always tops on my list to read. The title of this one caught my attention — “Resisting Happiness” — as I feel like I know a lot of people who are definitely resisting happiness. While I felt the book got a bit off track of what it promised on the cover — “a true story about why we sabotage ourselves, feel overwhelmed, set aside our dreams, and lack the courage to simply be ourselves … and how to start choosing happiness again” — it still delivered inspiring content about how to change our lives to follow God and find peace.

Finding God’s Purpose for You

For me this book was largely about finding God’s purpose for you in life as a way to find joy and peace. Kelly gives specific examples of his journey and how he came to start Dynamic Catholic after years of speaking on the road in his 20’s.

He gives fantastic examples of those who have figured out their mission and how they did so. I loved the story of an older woman who wanted to help Dynamic Catholic and spread the word of God, but who was not physically able. Instead, she bought as many copies of “Rediscover Catholicism” as she could and sent them to everyone she knew, even mailing them to important figures around the world — all with a personal letter. What a great mission!

Or the story of a successful business man who longed to be an evangelist like Kelly but never could seem to find the time to get started. Eventually after years of prayer, he discerned God had given him the gift of making money through his businesses, not of speaking, and so he decided he was to make as much money as he could and give it to Dynamic Catholic for their good work. I love it!

Key Points on Finding Your Purpose

Some other key points Kelly makes in the book to help those struggling with their life’s purpose:

  • If you don’t have a talent that others do, you don’t need it for the mission for which God has sent you. Let go what gifts you were not given.
  • The key to happiness: Find a way to lay down your life for others in a way that engages your talents and abilities.
  • Place your talents and enthusiasm at the service of life.
  • Look at your talents and your availability. What are you passionate about? What are you really good at? You are likely to find your purpose at the intersection of those two questions.
  • Don’t focus on what you were called to in the past but what you are being called to RIGHT NOW! Your calling changes over time.

Other Gems

I have gotten in the habit of making notes in the back of the books I am reading with bullet points of actions I want to take or key points I want to remember so I can go back and review later. Here are some other notes I jotted down from “Resisting Happiness”:

  • The most important things are almost never urgent; that’s why you must schedule them.
  • Pray at the beginning of each hour of your work, offering that hour’s work for a special intention.
  • If you want to be an interesting person, read books and develop a love of learning.
  • Learn how to say no. If it’s not a definite yes; it’s a definite no.
  • Take a pilgrim’s attitude instead of that of a tourist; accept that things will go wrong on the journey and that is simply a part of your walk.
  • Persistence is the antidote to resistance; take some action, even the smallest of actions, to begin the process to overcoming anything.
  • Be gentle with yourself.

If you enjoy Matthew Kelly’s writing, you’ll enjoy “Resisting Happiness.” As always, it is full of practical ways to bring yourself closer to God and written in conversational language accessible to anyone. What I loved about “Rediscover Catholicism” was how he was able to take the ancient practices of the Church and make them relatable to me today in the 21st Century. He helped me to understand WHY the Church teaches what it teaches and how those teachings helped me grow into the saint God designed me to be :). And in that same relatable way, he offers more words of wisdom in this latest book.

Book Giveaway

I’ve got 10 copies of “Resisting Happiness” to give away thanks to the folks at Dynamic Catholic, which I support through their Ambassadors Program! To enter to win, I ask you to do TWO THINGS:

  1. Sign up for my email below, which simply means you will get my blog posts via email (currently, no more than 2 per week) by Nov. 18, 2016.
  2. “Like” Catholic Newbie on Facebook below
Subscribe to Catholic Newbie by entering your email:

“Like” Catholic Newbie on Facebook:

I will draw 10 random winners on Nov. 19, 2016 from those who sign up for my blog email by Nov. 18, 2017. I will then double check that you have “liked” the Facebook page before I declare you a winner. Only one winner per email address. Copies will be shipped to you directly from Dynamic Catholic. Winners announced on the Catholic Newbie blog on Nov. 19, 2016.

Parishes, or others, who buy “Resisting Happiness” in bulk can currently purchase them for just $1 per copy. A great gift to give your parish — and anyone you know — this Christmas!

Read More:

Do You Only Read Contemporary Catholic Books?

Catholic BooksAlready an avid reader, since converting to Catholicism I have delved into all sorts of Catholic books — mostly new, but a few classics.

I am currently participating in “Epic: The Early Church” video study through my parish and so picked up some of the early church writings of saints, including bishops and popes, who lived during this period. On my desk right now is St. Athanasius’ “On the Incarnation.” St. Athanasius was the bishop of Alexandria in the early 300s who defended against Arianism, a belief which denied the divinity of Christ.

The introduction to the version of the work I am reading was written by the great Christian theologian and author C.S. Lewis. In it, interestingly, he recommends reading one classic/old book for every new book you read, or at least one old one to every three new ones.

He explains that older books give us a history and context within which new books have descended. Also, every age has it’s own outlook, he says, so it’s important not to solely immerse yourself in that outlook, but present yourself with other perspectives, especially by those deemed great theologians and even doctors of the church.

How many old books do you read compared to contemporary books?

Matthew Kelly’s Latest Book Only $1 for Parishes

Matthew Kelly’s book Rediscover Catholicism was key in my conversion. It was the first thing I’d come across that helped me make sense of Catholicism and understand its place in our modern day society.

Rediscover Jesus by Matthew Kelly

His latest book, “Rediscover Jesus” is a gem, as well, and amazingly, his company, Dynamic Catholic, is offering it for a limited time at the cost of just $1 (plus $.50 cents shipping) to parishes who order at least 500.

“Rediscover Jesus” takes a look at Jesus’ life and teachings specifically and helps us incorporate them into our everyday life. The book also strives to help us develop a personal and intimate relationship with Jesus, something that is key to true conversion (see my blog on Ways to Grow Closer to Jesus). It’s incredibly conversational and easy to read and broken into small chapters designed to be read daily. My copy is well highlighted and dog eared! Watch a short video from Kelly about the book below:

“Matthew has a way of describing the faith that is so simple and profound,” says Patrick Lencioni, author and founder of The Table Group. “Give Rediscover Jesus to those who are struggling in their faith, those who are growing deeply and anyone in between. It is readable, actionable and inspiring. It will become a classic.”

Why offer it to parishes? Kelly aims to re-energize Catholics who have fallen away from the church or who may be coming to mass in body only, with their soul still unconverted. He encourages parishes to give away these books at holidays, such as Christmas and Easter, when many who still identify as Catholics show up for a once-a-year mass.

“Thirty-two percent of people at Christmas Mass only come to Church once a year,” says Kelly. “Christmas is our biggest opportunity to re-engage those people. Sometimes all it takes to bring people back to the Church is the right book at the right time. ‘Rediscover Jesus’ is that book.”

If your parish is interested in purchasing the books to hand out to parishioners, visit  Dynamiccatholic.com/rediscoverjesus or call 859-980-7900. They are available while supplies last.

You can find Kelly’s other books, along with many other great Catholic reads from theology to modern writings, on his website at DynamicCatholic.com. Most are FREE with just the cost of shipping. I highly recommend putting in an order right now for “Rediscover Catholicism” if you haven’t read that one yet. May it inspire you as much as it did me!

Catholicism through a Convert’s Eyes: Win 2 FREE Catholic Books!

Journeys Home book giveaway through 7/20/15 via @ACatholicNewbieAs days pass and we become comfortable in our Catholicism and the sacraments begin to feel more like a routine and Catholic conversion storiesless like an encounter with the living God, it’s time to shake ourselves out of that lukewarm sleep and remember WHY we are Catholic.

As a convert myself, I find it often helps to view your faith anew through the eyes of a convert, someone who as an adult actively CHOSE Catholicism because they fell in love with it. Some who choose it despite knowing they were leaving a career, friends or family behind because they knew they had found the fullness of God’s truth in our faith.

Journeys Home and Journeys Home 2 edited by Marcus Grodi, founding president of Coming Home Network International, is a wake-up call to the joys of our faith. These books compile the conversion stories of men and women — priests, religious and lay people. They serve as a joyful wake-up call to the beauty of Catholicism and Jesus’ call to all of us to return home to Rome.

Catholic conversion storiesI love nothing better than a good conversion story! I love to dissect exactly what drew a person to the Church, where it happened and why. What was their thought process? These stories do a great job explaining all of this and give great logical understanding, paired with faith, of why Catholicism is the one true Church, calling people from all faiths back to the church Jesus founded 2000 years ago.

You’ll enter the mind of Southern Baptists, Anglicans, Evangelical Pentecostals and Muslims to explore what drew them to Catholicism. Some more recognizable converts who share their stories in the books include:

Thanks to CatholicWord.com, I am able to gift two lucky winners each with volumes 1 and 2 of Journeys Home to inspire you on journey and re-awaken in you Catholicism’s call. Simply enter the contest by completing as many of the tasks below as you desire. The more you enter, the better your chance to win! I will announce the winner on Monday, July 20.

Good luck!

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