These ‘Dear God’ Books Belong in Every Catholic Family’s Home
Patti Maguire Armstrong’s series brings kids closer to the heart of God through fun and inspiration
Shhh … they’re at it again. Don’t move, don’t say anything, don’t ask them to do chores. Just breathe, savor and thank the good God for great Catholic authors.
“Hey Mom, listen to this. The kid in the book prays, ‘Dear God, you can’t be serious! We can’t be homeschoolers. I’m sure you don’t want this!’ That’s hilarious. He makes it sound like it is some kind of disease or something!”
This is a wonderful Catholic Mom Moment to treasure, for sure. My precious homeschooled kiddos, cuddling up on the couch, reading inspiring Catholic material and giggling away. This is truly one of my little dreams.
I confess: I’m one of those “holy-roller” Moms who wants it all for her kids. I love my children and I go nuts giving them as many “holy helps” as I can. I didn’t grow up in a Catholic home; I grew up in a nominally Calvinist home, so we didn’t have any holy images or sacramentals around, let alone Catholic books or saint stories. Immersed in an environment without the love, peace and joy of Christ, I recall the empty, awful, depressing and eerie feeling. Something vital was missing.
Now, as a Catholic homeschooling mother of six beautiful children (and two infants in Heaven), I want the opposite for my children. I want them to know their Heavenly Father intimately and be close to the Creator who fashioned them out of his undying Love. I want them to call on their Mother Mary when they need that sweet touch of heavenly love. I want them to want to be Catholic — to be passionate about seeking and sharing the truth that surpasses all understanding. As a homeschooling mother, I hope to look back someday and know that I nourished my children’s spirits with the best authentically Catholic materials possible.
Having books around the house like Patti Maguire Armstrong’s Dear God series helps me accomplish my mission. With a good dose of humor, inspiration and adventure, the second edition of this well-loved book series recently hit the press. There have been added discussion questions at the end of each chapter. The two-book series (a third is in the works) — Dear God, I Don’t Get It and Dear God, You Can’t Be Serious! — is fast-paced with true-to-life challenges of Aaron and Luke Ajax, making Catholicism come to life in an intriguing way with lots of humor and profound truths.
The themes of the book include: Making sense of prayer when you don’t get what you asked for; pushing for your own way can interfere with something better; being kind isn’t always easy; and whether or not being a ‘hero’ makes you a saint. The kids keep laughing while the story gently draws their hearts up to a greater purpose — loving Christ and others.
The Dear God series has been created by best-selling author Patti Maguire Armstrong, mother of 10 children, journalist for the National Catholic Register, contributor to numerous Catholic publications and a TV talk show host with BEK News’ Ladies of Another View. In a recent interview with Holy Heroes, Patti explained:
The books are fiction, but the characters are based on our three oldest children and inspired by true events. It was fun hearing them laugh out loud reading the stories. A couple of local Catholic schools have used them for reading and religion class. I’ve been invited into the classrooms to visit with the students so witnessing their enthusiasm has been very rewarding. As a matter of fact, the repeated request for more is what originally inspired the second book and now a third one that will continue the adventures.
In days where our children are bombarded by anti-Christian or at best, secular attitudes and messages, good Catholic books are an indispensable S.O.S. for their faith. The bonus is that these books are entertaining even older kids and parents who Patti keeps being told, “couldn’t put them down.”