"When a soul recognises the will of God and shows a readiness to submit to it entirely, then God gives Himself to such a soul and renders it most powerful succour under all circumstances." - Rev. Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

God uses everything {book edition}

I firmly believe that God uses everything in life, from the people we know even down to the seemingly trivial things, like movies we watch and the books we read. Everything somehow works together in only the way that God can plan, with everything leading us (if we choose to listen) onto the path meant for us.

I love reading books where the characters go through so much adversity but still make it through to the other side. Everything they experience is part of God's bigger plan.

I also love reading books that inspire me to see everything in my life as part of God's will, even the small things and especially the difficult things.

So! I thought I'd link up with Jenna for #5Faves and share 5 books - of different genres - where it could be said that "God uses everything." Because He does. :)

1. The Hiding Place by Corrine ten Boom

I don't know how I never heard of this book until this year, but I have to say this is now one of my favorites! Corrie ten Boom's life was crazy and difficult but so inspirational. This is a must read.
"Every experience God gives us . . . is the perfect preparation for the future only He can see." -Corrie ten Boom

2. Abandonment to Divine Providence by Rev. Jean-Pierre de Caussade

A priest recommended this to me back in the days after we lost Levi, and it was exactly what I needed to read. I pick this one up every time I'm in one of the phases of life where I want to ask God, What the heck do you want me to get out of this?? Just read a page or two a day because it can be intense.
"There is not a moment in which God does not present Himself under the cover of some pain to be endured, of some consolation to be enjoyed, or of some duty to be performed. All that takes place within us, around us, or through us, contains and conceals His divine action." - Rev. Jean-Pierre de Caussade

3. Mark of the Lion trilogy by Francine Rivers

I was gifted this on Kindle last year and am finally reading it now. Honestly, it was hard to get into at first because it takes place during the time of the Apostles, when Christianity was new and Romans had many false gods, which was kind of unnerving (but I may just be weird...fiction is hard for me to read sometimes). But I love how the underlying theme is that God uses everything to bring people to come to know Him. I haven't read the 3rd of the trilogy yet, but I really enjoyed the first two!
"Now I know God works in our lives even before we believe. He sets his plan in motion and fulfills it in his time." - Phoebe Valerian in Francine Rivers' An Echo in the Darkness

4. My Sisters the Saints: A Spiritual Memoir by Colleen Carroll Campbell

I can't for the life of me remember who recommended this, but I recently realized my library had it so I checked it out right away. I love memoirs and hearing other people's stories, and I especially love when people's difficult experiences play a major part in their faith journey. Colleen came to love many of our awesome saints through situations in her life, including her dad's diagnosis of Alzheimer's.
"I marveled at how stealthily God works in the soul, one day and one trial at a time. He softens your edges so slowly and subtly that you can fail to notice how far you have come until you have moved on to the next problem." - Colleen Carroll Campbell

5. Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul

I started reading this in college and was totally inspired by it. The fact that this simple nun, St. Faustina, was given the task of spreading the important message of God's mercy to the world is proof that God uses everything and everyone.
"Although exteriorly a thing may be quite ordinary, it is the different manner [in which it is carried out] that only the eye of God catches." - St. Faustina
Here are some a few others in case you want more:

  • Something Other Than God by Jennifer Fulwiler - Jennifer's journey from atheism to Catholicism was a really good read (another memoir! love them).  Her natural inclination to ask thought-provoking questions about the meaning of life and her diagnosis of a blood condition were just a couple factors that led her to discover the truth. 
  • Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard - I haven't read this one yet but a good friend recommended it. The Kindle version is $1.99 on Amazon! Good reviews too.
  • The Story of a Soul by St. Therese of Liseux - Her "Little Way" is the perfect example of how God uses everything.

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