If my choices are between eating food or books for dinner, the latter has always won. I find reviewing books a part of God’s calling on my own life, helping people steer an often times confusing ship. I am not one for fluff, or the easy road or using big words because they make you sound smarter. That’s why I was so impressed by Father Albert’s book, “Saying Yes.” He is a real person who struggles with the same issues we struggle with, and takes us on a journey in exploring the struggle of discernment and calling in his latest book.
Now I have read many books on calling and God’s purpose. Most of them I have put away by page 2 or so. I have found them for the most part to be completely commercial and prosperity gospel. I am not a fan of labels, but the whole “you’ll be healthy and happy and rich if you just follow these simple guidelines” does not sit well with me, nor the price of the book that I may have just paid to read it.
But this book is different. Father Albert, a Franciscan priest, does not only speak from that role. He is also a preacher, conducts parish missions, was a missionary in mainland China, a teacher and also has worked as an HR Director (along with many other titles). I found his tips on discernment and calling to be fascinating, almost as if He was your own personal spiritual tour guide! One thing I loved about this book was the reflection questions at the end of each chapter. In my own spiritual life, I find it important to put aside time to reflect and ask those deeper questions, but sometimes I struggle with what questions to even ask. Father Albert makes it easy by providing those questions in order to provoke thought. It really made me sit back and think, and helped ease and guide me in the places I have been questioning my own calling.
Another thing I really loved about this book is this idea that there is not one big calling on our lives. I think this is an unfair characterization of God’s will for us and leads many people to question themselves. I imagine sometimes like me, all of you at some point have walked around thinking there is this ONE thing God called me to do and I don’t know what it is! That is just absurd! Like Father Albert, I believe that it is fluid and in every moment, and that God has so many different things that He wants us to do, big and small.
This book provides a wonderful tool and parameter for understanding discernment and really helped me to refocus. It is so neatly organized and such a quick read that everything He suggests can be deployed right away in our own lives! I love something he says in the book that really sets the tone,
God’s dream for us, our yes is not static, it is evolving
This is easily the best book I have ever read on the subject of calling and discernment. I am looking forward in my own life to using Father Albert’s guide on discernment. I love that it freed me so much from placing a label on myself and knowing that everyday and in every way God is calling me. And as Father Albert says, we need to keep our ear to the ground to hear the divine invitation.
Paraclete Press has provided me with a complimentary copy of the book