Book Reviews

There are 3 reviews to read:-

1. A Vacation with the LORD – Reviewed by Cindy Fotso

2. Crossing the Threshold of Hope – Reviewed by Jacques Rothmann

3. Prayer for Beginners – Reviewed by Goretti DeGouveia

1. Reviewer: Cindy Fotso

Title: A Vacation with the LORD by Thomas H. Greens

A Vacation with the LORD by Thomas H. Greens is a book about a personal, directed retreat that lasts 8 days; reading the book in “real time”. It can be used though, on a wider spectrum over 8 weeks or just as your personal “alone time with God” over a few months. It is best to read this book, or retreat with St. Ignatius Loyola’s ‘Spiritual Exercises’.

The book is written as a guide to make a good retreat. It can be used by beginners making their first retreat or by the more mature retreater. Each chapter focuses on each day of the retreat and provides a theme for the day as well as suggested activities and scriptures to read. The overall book is divided into three main ideas; hollowing out yourself of yourself, refilling yourself with God, and living a good, believing and faithful life with God within you.

The title, A vacation with the Lord, gives you a rough insight on spending time with God, which is the purpose of the book. The cover is quite simple though, which might move beginners away from the book.

I think it was a very good book but it was not my personal style. I think that although there are some great messages inside, it is not exactly “youth-friendly”. I still give the book a 9/10.

To summarise the book:

Day 1: Find grace that you have been given through past experiences with God

Day 2: Discover how God sees you by listening to him and not your own voices about how you see yourself.

Day 3: Reflect, with the help of a gospel, how Jesus has lived in your life. Use this to write your own “fifth gospel”.

Day 4: Seek to know God more.

Day 5: Deepen you Christian faith.

Day 6: Learn how to respond to God’s word, which you now understand.

Day 7: Confirm to yourself your love and relationship with God.

Day 8: Keep faith in the Lord as He conquers all.

I would recommend the book to all those who are about to make a retreat. It can be read beforehand, and notes made of the messages, and things to follow. Or it can be read during the retreat. I believe that reading this book will help you make a better retreat.





2. Reviewer:  Jacques G. Rothmann

Title: Crossing the Threshold of Hope by His Holiness John Paul II

Rating: 7.5/10

Hear the Catholic Faith explained by the man called to be her shepherd.

Inspirational, practical, and full of hope – this book lives up to its’ title. Having read another of the late Pope John Paul II’s books (Memory and Identity) I was very excited to enter once again into the mind of this great man.

Born from a series of interview questions, this book allows the reader the opportunity to hear the Pope’s response to a number of pertinent issues, like:

  •  Does the Pope really have a special relationship to Christ and the Church?
  • If God really exists why is He hiding?
  • Why does God allow so much evil and suffering in the world?
  • What does it mean ‘to be saved’?
  • Why are there so  many different religions?
  • Why is  Christianity divided?
  • What is the ‘New’ Evangelization?

These are only a sample of the many deep and relevant topics explored by the Pope in this wonderful book. Blessed John Paul II uses the great depth of his experiences as priest and bishop in Nazi and Communist Poland, his presence at, and participation in, the Second Vatican Council, and his ministry in the See of Peter, to bring a message of Faith, Hope, and Charity to a world full of doubt and fear. Whether you’re wondering if the Church has anything meaningful to say in the modern world, struggling with your own questions about the Faith, or simply wanting to hear Christianity discussed and explained by this Holy Father, then this book is for you.


3. Reviewer: Goretti DeGouveia

Title: Prayer for Beginners – Peter Kreeft


Cover page – appears simple & self-explanatory, not intimidating

The book focuses on all the questions every Christian asks but maybe too afraid to ask out loud. Prayer is the necessary food required to feed our souls and to keep it alive.  The author wrote the book in a way that allows the reader to reflect and learn.

Prayer is love. To love someone, you seek to be in the person’s presence, seek to be intimate & in union, so too to love God. The book teaches you that through prayer your search to know God, to be in his presence and building a relationship is based on the same principle.

Prayer is simple; it does not have to be complex.  It can be as simple as calling “Jesus”.

Beyond sharing motives, methods, themes the book covers all the key areas for understanding and developing an intimate relationship with God.  The relationship is based on prayer, having faith and being patient & filled with grace.

This book can always be referred to as we travel through life’s joys & tribulation.

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