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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:

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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:

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 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 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!

Simple Ways to Become More Engaged in Catholicism

Matthew Kelly - CatholicismI am a big fan of Matthew Kelly, a Catholic author, best known for his inspiring “Rediscover Catholicism” book. After hearing someone mention it one day as I was just becoming interest in Catholicism, I sought it out at the library and it really “sold” me! He is around my age (30’s-40’s) and has a very down-to-earth way of making Catholicism relevant to today’s world, even some of the most ancient and seemingly out-of-date practices. You actually can get a free copy of Rediscover Catholicism at his website, which I highly encourage you to do!

I recently read his new book “The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic” and attended one of his seminars in Indianapolis. One of the biggest messages I took from both are simple ways you can become more engaged in Catholicism. Why would you want to do that? Because you will feel better, in turn your family will feel better and ultimately, the world will be better! We have to start with what we each can do. As I quoted from the “YouCat” (Youth Catechism) in a previous post:

“God gives himself to each one of us individually, and he wants to transform us through communion with him. Once we are transformed, we are supposed to transform the world.”

Here are some recommendations from Matthew Kelly that you can slowly start to add into your life to become more engaged:

1) Pray daily – Kelly found that the most engaged Catholics all have a daily prayer routine. He provides a great 10-minute prayer ritual in his book (I made several copies and have them sitting around my house) that includes thanking God for what you’re most grateful for today, reflecting on when you were/weren’t your best self that today, considering any ways God may be talking to you today, praying for anyone you feel called to pray for and concluding with the Our Father.

2) Read the Gospel – He suggests spending 15 minutes a day reading one of the four Gospels for a year. He says keep reading them over and over for a year to help get to know Jesus. Then you can move on to other parts of The Bible.

3) Donate or volunteer – Make a conscious effort to increase the amount of time you give to volunteer work or to increase the amount you donate to your church or charities a little bit each year.

4) Pray the rosary – Try praying the rosary on a regular basis (I am working toward daily). Here’s a great blog post from a fellow blogger on the power of the rosary.

5) Go to confession monthly – No one wants to do this one, but already confession has become a favorite of mine! It’s truly a joy to be forgiven and be handed a clean slate. You’ll be amazed at how it effects your outlook on life and your ability to reel in sinful tendencies.

6) Make Mass more meaningful – Kelly suggests keeping a Mass journal and asking God before each Mass to show you one way you can be a more holy person. Pay attention during Mass to that one message that speaks to you (and it will!) and write it down. Review them periodically and see how well you’ve followed God’s guidance.

7) Read a Catholic book – Try to read 1-2 Catholic books a year. Start with Rediscover Catholicism! Kelly maintains if we all read just one more Catholic book a year what a difference that would make to the church and the world.

Kelly’s “The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic” book aims to encourage Catholics to be more engaged so we can have a more powerful positive effect on the world. If we can just get a few more people engaged at each parish, that could have a huge impact on our country and the world toward goodness and peace.

Get started doing your part by adding one of these simple steps to your daily routine. Keep adding a new one every month or so and let me know how it impacts your life. I am working on this also and will share my progress! Come on, Catholics! Let’s engage the world!