CBB Review: The Joyful Spirit of Padre Pio: Stories, Letters and Prayers


One of my favorite saints, and the favorite of many, is Padre Pio. I was particularly interested when Servant Books released The Joyful Spirit of Padre Pio: Stories, Letters, and Prayers. My interest was raised a notch higher when I found out the author of the book was Patricia Treece. This makes the fourth title she has written on this modern Saint as well as mention of him in her book Nothing Short of a Miracle.The book consists of excerpts from letters to his spiritual directors, notes to … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day 289: Asterius of Amasea advise to rip out covetousness by the roots


Rip out covetousness by the rootsMost other sins have natural limits, says Asterius of Amasea. But covetousness strangles us like a vine strangling a tree. You can’t get rid of it unless you take an axe to it.But now, leaving ancient history, let us look at our own daily lives, and learn what sort of thing covetousness is in our own experience, and how hard it is to get rid of; for no matter whom it seizes, ever growing but never shrinking, it grows old with its victims and stays with t … [Read more...]

CBB Review: Catholic Prayer Book for Mothers


Mother’s Day is fast approaching, and I thought this would be a perfect time to endorse a wonderful little prayer book by Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle specifically for mothers.  Catholic Prayer Book for Mothers comes highly recommended by my lovely wife, Laura, who is also the wonderful mother to our five children.  Here’s what she has to say.Mothering is a blessed and rewarding job, however, at times (okay, may times!), it is challenging and downright painful!  Countless times us mothers think … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day 288: St. Ephrem tells us Christ suffered to keep you from anger

Christ suffered to keep you from angerGiving in to anger, says Ephrem the Syrian, leads straight to hell. Christ en­dured every insult so that we could be preserved from wrath.You have a spiritual nature. The soul is the image of the Creator. Honor the image of God by being in agreement with all humanity.Remember death, and do not be angry, so that your peace will not be a peace of constraint.As long as you live, cleanse your soul from wrath. For if it should go down to Sheol … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day 287: St. Ephrem says control your anger before you pray


Control your anger before you prayIt is nothing less than blasphemy, says St. Ephrem the Syrian, if you pray while you’re angry with your neighbor.This is the first commandment: that you should love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul, and with your strength as much as you are able.The sign that you love God is this: that you love your neighbor. If you hate your neighbor, your hatred is really for God.It is blasphemy if you pray to God while you are angry. For your h … [Read more...]

CBB Interview with John Schlimm

John Schlimm and Sister Augustine

PETE: Your book Five Years in Heaven: The Unlikely Friendship That Answered Life’s Greatest Questions, is a wonderful look into the unlikely friendship you, a 31 year old man seeking direction in your life, had with an 87 year old nun. What drove you to publish this story?JOHN SCHLIMM:  Sister Augustine once told me, “Every story has its time to be told.”Just as I was at a crucial crossroads in my life when I met Sister, and she helped me to navigate the pathway to self-discovery, the wor … [Read more...]