“That’s the beauty of the Book Program.
You have no idea the lives it’s going to touch.”
“The Book Program brought me back to the Catholic faith and will bring others back. It’s a great way to reach people who only attend church on Christmas and Easter.”
Giving Someone the Right Book at the Right Time Can Be Life-Changing
That’s why, for ten years, Dynamic Catholic has been making it possible for parishes like yours to give out great Catholic books to everyone attending Mass on Easter and Christmas. Every year, thousands of parishes participate—because it works. It’s simple, affordable, and transforming lives and re-energizing parishes across the country in ways we never imagined.
What Makes the Right Book?
We know there are a lot of resources out there for your parishioners. At Dynamic Catholic we are specifically creating resources that meet people where they are and lead them to where God is calling them to be. That’s why all of our books are . . .
Make it easy to understand even complex aspects of the faith.
Provide clear steps to help you grow in holiness.
Demonstrate how Catholicism is relevant to your everyday life.
Inspire you to take the next step in your spiritual journey.
Why Beautiful Hope is the right book
Why Beautiful Hope is the right book
Our culture leaves many people feeling hopeless. But even in the chaos, God gives us hope—not mere optimism, but lasting hope for the future. The compelling real-life stories in Beautiful Hope cause readers to reflect on how hope is present in our lives every day. This book will inspire your parishioners to live boldly with hope so they can approach life with newfound vigor and enthusiasm.
“Man can live forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air, but only one second without hope.” — Unknown
It was Paul’s time. He could see it in the doctor’s eyes. After ninety-two years of life, Paul was ready to go back to God. His last request was to spend a private moment with each special person gathered around his bed.
Three children, five grandchildren, a coworker, and two lifelong friends shared the final hours of Paul’s life. Words of love, appreciation, and forgiveness. Tears of sorrow. Tears of laughter. Each person left the room feeling lighter than they had felt in years. Peace came with each encounter. A peace that only comes from spending time with a life well lived.
Outside, in the waiting area, nervous and a bit scared, Connor waited for his turn. Connor was Paul’s grandson. When Connor was ten, his dad left him, his mother, and his two younger brothers. Connor’s mom, Paul’s daughter, wanted her three sons to have a strong male role model, so she moved the family into her father’s house. A recent widower, Paul was thankful for the company.
In the early years, Paul had taught Connor everything he knew: how to fish, how to live as a man of integrity, and how to pray. In the later years the roles had changed. As Paul’s body began to fail him, Connor had taken his grandfather to Mass on Sunday; he had helped him get dressed in the morning and ready for bed at night; and he had stayed up late with him listening to old Frank Sinatra records when Paul had been in too much pain to sleep. The two men loved each other at a level words could not express.
But Connor wasn’t yet ready to say good-bye. Paul was his rock, his role model, and his best friend. Connor wondered how he would navigate life without him. Connor was the last one to visit his grandfather. He walked in and sat down next to Paul, who had his eyes closed. When he opened his eyes, Paul smiled at his grandson. Immediately Connor began to weep. “I don’t want to lose you!” he shouted and buried his head in his grandfather’s chest.
Paul took a deep breath and savored the moment. He remembered the day Connor had been born, how he had fit in the palm of his hand. Paul thanked God for sending him such a friend so late in life. Paul lifted his grandson’s chin so they could look each other in the eye. “Son, we’ll always be together, you know that. Just pray for me on this side of heaven and know I’ll be praying for you on the other. Then one day we’ll meet again.” He wiped the tears from his grandson’s eyes; they shared a smile and hugged one last time.
That’s beautiful hope.
For some time Brian had been feeling restless, like something was missing. He couldn’t figure out why. He had a good job. He provided well for his wife and two kids. He had a nice marriage. Sure, the passion wasn’t really there anymore, but that happens with age. For the most part, his kids were well behaved. He loved them, and they knew it. On most Sundays the family went to Mass together. Life was good. He was a good guy. So what was wrong? Why couldn’t he just be happy?
On his way to work each day, Brian passed St. Patrick’s, his parish church. Recently something had always seemed to be tugging at him to go inside. For weeks he had ignored it and told himself it would pass. But it hadn’t. The nudging had continued.
Finally, Brian went into the church, not because he thought it would help, but to prove a point. He thought that if he just went in and sat there for ten minutes, nothing would happen, and he could move on with his life. But instead, the stillness swallowed Brian whole. He instantly liked how quiet it was. Everything in his life was so loud; the silence was actually comforting . . . peaceful.
Brian began to daydream about heaven. He wondered what it would be like to stand before God. He wondered how God would feel about the halfhearted way he was living his life. He wondered if God would think he was a good husband and father. And at that thought a deep feeling of dissatisfaction nearly overwhelmed Brian.
Suddenly life felt incredibly short. Work problems, his to-do list at home, and whether or not the Indianapolis Colts would win on Sunday took a backseat in his mind. Brian began to wonder when he had last looked into the eyes of his wife and really listened to what she had to say. He thought of the car sitting in his garage and the promise he had made to his son that they would fix it up together. He thought of his daughter and how they had done nothing but argue for months. He thought about the last time he had prayed to God . . . really, truly prayed.
Brian went back to his parish church the next day. And the day after. And the day after that. He formed a new habit of just sitting in silence. And talking to God. He thought about his life. He thought about heaven. Then he started making a plan with God. He made a plan to change his life.
That’s beautiful hope.
Not long ago I was at a conference here in Cincinnati, and a woman stopped me. “I’m sorry to bother you,” she said, “but I just want to thank you.”
I stopped walking, and we shook hands. She began to tell me the story of her husband. Of how he had come to one of my Living Every Day with Passion and Purpose events and how God had moved his heart in a powerful way. She told me how the genius of Catholicism had changed his life and how he had become the husband and father she had always dreamed he could be.
She told me about the day of his accident. About what it was like to get a phone call from a stranger saying that your husband had just died. She talked of the heart-wrenching experience of telling their children that their father was never coming home. She spoke of the pain of going to sleep alone that first night.
Then she shared about the day before the funeral and an idea she’d had. In the last year of her husband’s life he had tried to share the love of God with as many people as he could. She laughed as she recalled her children’s embarrassment as their dad shamelessly handed out Catholic books and CDs to anyone and everyone.
She told me that the day before the funeral, she had called our team at Dynamic Catholic in desperation. She said she had begged one of our Mission Team members to rush-order two of her husband’s favorite audio CDs. To honor him, she had wanted to give the CDs as a gift to everyone who attended his funeral.
Before she left she thanked me again. She thanked me for inspiring her husband and helping God change her family’s life for the better. And she asked me to pass a thank-you along to my team for going above and beyond when she had needed it most.
I was deeply moved as I watched her leave. I may never see her again, but if I do, I will be the one who will be thanking her. I will thank her for two reasons.
First, her story reminded me that it’s never too late for a new beginning. Her husband had discovered that. It’s never too late to start over again. It’s never too late to choose to become the-best-version-of-yourself. She reminded me that God wants us to be people of possibility, and people of possibility never give up.
The second reason is that she reminded me why we started Dynamic Catholic in the first place. It’s because we believe our future can be bigger than our past.
If you ever come to visit our team, you will find our mission statement written in large, bold letters when you walk through the front doors of the office. It reads: The mission of Dynamic Catholic is to re-energize the Catholic Church in America by developing world-class resources that inspire people to rediscover the genius of Catholicism.
Our mission statement creates more than just an explanation of what we aim to accomplish. It’s a declaration of what’s possible. It’s a mission of hope.
For this book, we’ve enlisted the help of some incredible people to capture the power of hope. Each author was asked to write on any or all of the following topics: What gives you hope? What sustains your hope? Where does your hope for the Catholic Church come from? What are your hopes for the Catholic Church and humanity? How do you bring hope to others?
Some of the authors in this book are professional authors and speakers, but many are not. Many have never published anything ever before. They are everyday American Catholics doing their best to live the gospel. The reason for this is simple: God’s hope can be experienced and spread at any age, in any state of life, anytime, anywhere. All it takes is an open heart and a willing spirit.
When I first had the idea for this book, I asked members of the team at Dynamic Catholic to tell me about the one person in their life who brought them the most hope. Nearly every single one of them shared with me the person in their life who had suffered the most. Should it be any surprise that the light shines brightest in the darkest night?
These are trying times for people of faith. The Church has been through a lot these last twenty years. As I travel around the country, it seems that we are all less hopeful than we were twenty years ago. We are less hopeful when we think about the future for our families and loved ones. And we are less hopeful for the future of the Church.
If we are to become the people and the Church God dreams of us becoming, this must change. We need hope. After all, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things. Hope is the one thing you can’t buy, but that will be given to you freely if you ask. Hope is the one thing people cannot live without.
What we read today walks and talks with us tomorrow. We truly do become what we read. I hope this book walks and talks with you so much that God fills your whole mind, your whole body, and your whole soul with hope. I hope you feel proud to be Catholic. We are a people of hope. And our future is even brighter than our past.
How will you bring hope to others today?
Matthew Kelly is the New York Times bestselling author of The Rhythm of Life and twenty other books, including Rediscover Jesus.
“I had drifted away from the Church and felt the urge to come back one Christmas. Our pastor gave us copies of The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic. Truly one of the best gifts I’ve ever received!”
Why Resisting Happiness is the right book
Why Resisting Happiness is the right book
With an inviting appearance and short chapters, Resisting Happiness was specifically written to re-engage disengaged Catholics and inspire your most engaged parishioners to take their spiritual lives to the next level. Through short chapters and actionable takeaways, this book will help all your parishioners recognize and conquer resistance in their own lives so they can become the-best-version-of-themselves and experience true happiness—which can only be found in God.
Chapter One: Resistance
The alarm clock goes off. It’s time to get out of bed. This is your first decision of the day. Will you get out of bed or hit the snooze button? You press the snooze button and roll over.
What just happened? No big deal, right? Wrong. You just lost the first battle of the day. Resistance just kicked your butt. Resistance has broken your will before you’ve even gotten out of bed. You will most likely be its slave for the rest of the day.
I have been battling resistance my whole life. As we get a little further into this book I think you will discover you have been too. What is resistance? It’s that sluggish feeling of not wanting to do something that you know is good for you, it’s the inclination to do something that you unabashedly know is not good for you, and it’s everything in between. It’s the desire and tendency to delay something you should be doing right now.
Do you ever feel like you are your own worst enemy? Have you ever thought you could accomplish great things if only you weren’t so busy with so many little things? Do you struggle to make decisions with confidence? Are you tired of setting goals and not accomplishing them? Do you procrastinate? Are you afraid to say what you really think and feel? Then this book is for you.
If you’ve ever tried to accomplish anything worthwhile, then you’ve been face-to-face with resistance. You may not have called it by that name in the past, but I suspect you will in the future. It helps to call it by its name. In every moment of every day, resistance is there, waiting to pounce.
The hardest war to win is one you don’t even realize you are fighting, and the hardest enemy to defeat is the one you don’t even know exists. Every day you are at war with resistance.
Make no mistake, resistance is your enemy. It will not quietly go away and leave you alone. You have to slay it like a dragon, and you have to slay it anew each day.
How does resistance manifest? It wears a thousand masks, many of which are so effective we don’t even recognize resistance is behind them. Laziness, procrastination, fear, doubt, instant gratification, self-loathing, indecision, escapism, pride, self-deception, friction, tension, and self-sabotage are just some of the ways resistance manifests its ugly self in our lives and causes us to settle for so much less than God has imagined for us. You cannot become the-best-version-of-yourself unless you wake up every morning ready to slay resistance. It stands between you and the person God created you to be. Resistance stands between you and happiness.
You have to break through resistance in order to accomplish even the smallest tasks. I catch myself in a battle with resistance several times a day.
Here’s a simple example:
I sit down to write, but instead I start checking my e-mail or thinking about what snacks will be required to write something great. This is resistance at work. Sure, I am an accomplished author and have written twenty books that have sold millions of copies, but just like every college student who sits down to write a paper, I will have to slay resistance in order to even get started. The thing about resistance is that it is so simple, so ordinary—and so paralyzing if we are not mindful of it.
This is why most people who start writing a book never finish it. We all know people who are writing a book. I get requests from people all the time to help them get the book they are writing published. They are very keen to speak about the publishing process right now. I always say to them, “Focus first on writing your book. When your manuscript is finished and ready for a professional editor to look at, send me a copy, and then we can talk about publishing options.” More than 95 percent of them I never hear from again. Resistance gets the better of them.
Imagine all the books that are unwritten because of resistance. I wonder if Mozart or Beethoven had an unwritten symphony, or if Picasso and Monet died with their greatest work inside them because of resistance. I wonder how many diseases have not been cured because resistance got between the scientist and the cure. I wonder how many things never got invented because inventors succumbed to resistance. How many men and women didn’t become saints because of resistance? Resistance is a slayer of dreams.
Looking back on today, where did you encounter resistance? It was there, wasn’t it? In fact, if you really sat down and analyzed your day, you would discover that many times throughout the day you were in a tussle with resistance.
We all battle resistance daily: popes and presidents; kings, queens, and the working class; the CEO and the janitor; the rich and the poor; the educated and the uneducated; the young and the old. Nobody gets to escape the battle with resistance.
The first goal of this book is simply to give resistance a name. Once you name it, you see it differently. Things that we cannot name tend to build in mystery and become dangerous. Simply naming, defining, and learning to recognize resistance in the moments of our days causes it to lose most of its power over us. It is no longer a mystery because we have named it.
When aspiring authors contact me for advice, I always ask them a series of questions about their book. One of those questions is: What is the promise of your book? They usually look at me and wonder what on earth I am talking about. But to me, every book makes a promise. A great book delivers on its promise and an average book does not. Learning to overcome resistance is one of life’s essential lessons, and the promise of this book.
The first lesson is that you never defeat resistance once and for all. It is a daily battle.
Resistance stands between you and happiness.
Write down every time you encounter resistance for a week.
Nearly one-third of the people in the pews at your parish on Easter come to church only once a year. Sometimes all it takes to bring them back to church is the right book at the right time. Easter is your best opportunity to re-engage them!
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