Sarah Reinhard is a Catholic wife, mom, writer, editor, marketing professional, and coffee drinker. You’re just as likely to find her hiding out back with a book as you are to discover her playing in the yard with a few farm animals (or wait — are those her kids?) She is the author of many books, the most recent of which she co-edited with Lisa Hendey: The Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion: A Book of Daily Reflections. She blogs at SnoringScholar.com and writes online regularly at CatholicMom.com and Integrated Catholic Life. Reinhard holds a master’s degree in marketing and communications and has worked for many years in corporate and nonprofit organizations. She lives in central Ohio with her husband and children.
When I first discovered the Catholic internet, it was thanks in part to Happy Catholic, the blog that, over almost a decade-and-a-half later, Julie Davis still maintains with the cheerful orthodoxy-meets-pop-culture that has always been a hallmark of her writing for me.
It’s no surprise, then, that when Davis buckles down to pull a prayer book together, that it involves more than just the popular saints and scripture quotes (though you will also find those!).
“Everything,” Davis writes at the beginning of Seeking Jesus in Everyday Life (2017, Niggle Publishing), “is aimed at leading you to encounter Christ in your own way.”
Davis is an avid reader and an ongoing learner, so she’s styled Seeking Jesus to tap into her love of quotes and excerpts and the wisdom that comes from others.
The brilliant part of this prayer book is that you can use it cover to cover, going from topic to topic, ranging from Beginning to Pray and Daily Life with Jesus, to Battling Evil and Jesus in the Holy Trinity, to more than a half-dozen others. Within each topic, there are sets of facing pages, designed to work together…or to stand alone.
But wait, if going cover to cover seems imposing to you (or something in the back catches your eye), everything stands alone, too.
On each of the pages, there is a scripture or inspirational quote, a brief commentary, and a prayer. The idea isn’t that you’re reading a lot, but rather that you’re turning to God and spending time with him.
Years ago, I had the brief joy of staying in Davis’s home. I even saw one of the quote journals she kept. It makes me smile to think that some of the quotes she used to build this prayer guide were there in her journal.
Here’s a sample, from a section I particularly enjoyed, “Daily Life with Christ”:
Living in a Transparent World
Life is this simple: we are living in a world that is absolutely transparent and the divine is shining through it all the time. This is not just a nice story or a fable, it is true.
Thomas Merton, final address as novice master, 1965
You mean that the whole world—the whole world with the sea, the sky, with the rain, the clouds—the whole world is a metaphor for something else?
Mario, Il Postino film
If life is really as simple as Thomas Merton says then why do I lose my way so often?
I get caught up in the details of life, forgetting that Jesus is shining through them if I slow down, open my eyes, take time to let God’s small still voice sound in my ears. I must remember to keep watch on the ramparts.
You are always there, dear Lord. Help me to remember to listen.
"This is about forming a friendship that will last through eternity," Davis writes. And that's exactly the foundation she's set for each reader of this volume.