Behold: further proof that God continues to work miracles.
I’m happy to announce the publication today of “The Busy Person’s Guide to an Extraordinary Life,” from the good people at The Word Among Us Press. A follow-up, of sorts, to 2019’s “The Busy Person’s Guide to Prayer,” this new book looks at how we can make the ordinary extraordinary by embracing the two great commandments: love of God and love of neighbor.
From the Introduction:
The fact is, actually fulfilling those mandates—“the two great commandments”—is a challenge. It is so easy to become lax, complacent, indifferent. We take God for granted. We take one another for granted. We fumble. We fall.
Face it: we sin.
It becomes even harder in the manic, frenetic age in which we live—when the distractions of email, texting, television, and multiple deadlines on all fronts make muddling through every day a chore. And let’s not even talk about praying; who has time for that? (Oddly enough, I wrote a book about that: The Busy Person’s Guide to Prayer.) Can’t we just be good people, be kind to one another, and let it go at that?
Well, sure. If you want your life to be, you know, ordinary.
But there is so much more that we can do and that we can be.
“The ways of the Lord are not easy,” Pope Benedict told German pilgrims to the Vatican in 2005, “but we were not created for an easy life, but for great things, for goodness.”
We were created for something extraordinary.
I will offer some ideas on how we can help realize that—and transcend the ordinary—using as our guide those two great commandments. We’ll look at how God expresses his love for us (whether we are aware of it or not) and consider some ways we can respond to that love, and we’ll talk about our love for our neighbor and how to live out that love. I’ll suggest things we can do every day that require little more than our own human desire, a yearning from the heart. You may be surprised to find you are doing some of them already, in one way or another—and isn’t that wonderful to discover?
Right now, it’s just available in print, but it will be coming out soon in a Kindle version, too. Also, in the weeks to come I’ll be offering signed copies as a premium for my Patreon subscribers. (Stay tuned for more on that.)
Of course, no one does something like this alone. I owe a great debt of gratitude to many friends who contributed their thoughts, notions, whims and wisdom to this undertaking — and I remain eternally grateful to my publisher Beth McNamara and ace editor Cynthia Cavnar, who both made me sound coherent and somehow kept me sane.
Sanity is something we all need in these troubled times, along with some encouragement. I hope this little book will offer that — and, along the way, offer as well a helpful prayer or two.
At one point, I quote Pope Francis, who echoes the sentiment of Benedict and reminds us:
“The Lord asks everything of us, and in return he offers us true life, the happiness for which we were created. He wants us to be saints and not to settle for a bland and mediocre existence.”
UPDATE: My friend Tony Rossi — who contributed to the book! — just posted an interview with me, and I’m delighted to share that here. Also in the interview is another old friend of mine, Gary Zimak, who talks about HIS new book “Let Go of Anger and Stress.”
Do you sense a theme here?
Read more about all that and hear the podcast of the interview here.