Table of Contents:

1. Start your day with a task completed
2. You cannot go it alone
3. Only the size of your heart matters
4. Life is not fair --- drive on
5. Failure can make you stronger
6. You must dare greatly
7. Stand up to the bullies
8. Rise to the occasion
9. Give people hope
10. Never ever quit

Book: Make Your Bed
Author: Admiral William H. McRaven, (U.S. Navy Retired)
Grand Central Publishing, New York

An Excerpt from the jacket:
If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your be will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter. If you cannot do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.
Book: Busy Lives & Restless Souls
Author: Becky Eldredge
Loyola Press, Chicago

An Excerpt from the jacket:
If you have already figured out your life and feel totally complete, then this book may not be for you. But if you are like the rest of us, every day presents a mountain of to-do items, jobs to go to, errands to run, projects to complete, meals to cook, children to raise . . . . You forge ahead and get it done, but you know that things are not as they should be. Even when you check ever item off your daily list, you still feel as though something meaningful and essential is missing from the very center of your life.

Spiritual director and writer Becky Eldredge has felt that same longing, and she knows what people are missing --- a relationship with God through prayer. In Busy Lives & Restless Souls, Eldredge interprets principles of Ignatian spirituality in a fresh way to equip us with prayer tools that are accessible and practical within the relentless realities of our daily routines. Just as important, she shows us how we can bring our relationship with God to life by becoming what St. Ignatius called “contemplatives in action.”
An excerpt from the book:
The five steps of the examin to practice each morning
1. Ask for the help of the Holy Spirit
2. Be thankful
3. Notice the presence of God
4. Notice the lack of the presence of God
5. Look to the future

Table of Contents:

1. Acknowledging the restlessness
2. Creating space
3. Beginning of a new identity
4. Living awake
5. Awaking to the love of God
6. Re-situate your life
7. Prayer within the reality of life
8. Through touch spots
9. Sent forth
10. Embracing the railways
Book: The Founders Bible: The Origin of the Dream of Freedom
Author: Signature Historian David Barton
Shiloh Road Publishers
Features in book include:
Over 40 major articles, some 330 pages, covering such themes as “Our Most Sacred Treasure: The Bible, Is America a Christian Nation? Original intent and the separation of Church and State, and Escape from Tyranny

Trusted Updated New American Standard Bible Edition

2208 two-color Bible pages, 64 full-color insert pages

Articles written by noted Signature Historian David Barton

Original artwork from master illustrator and oil painter C. Michael Dudash throughout the Bible as well as hundreds of historical paintings and sketches

Over 450 pages of embedded commentary highlighting Biblical insight and wisdom from the Founders on a wide range of topics

Over 150 biographies or insightful quotes from various Founders and other influential people of history and the Founding Era
An Excerpt from the jacket:
President John Quincy wrote in his diary, “This morning, I attended public worship in the Hall of the House of Representatives . . .[The] sermon was from 1 john 2:15: ‘Love not the world; neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.’ “It was a discourse quite appropriate to the place in which it was delivered and to the supposed auditor [audience] consisting as it should, chiefly of Members of Congress.”
Excerpt from Jacket:
Explore a dimension of Washington, D.C., most tourists never see with this unique guide to the religious imagery and art contained in our most famous public monuments and buildings.
With beautiful pictures and descriptive text, One Nation Under God is more than a guidebook ---it’s a lesson in the all-to-often ignored heritage that makes our nation
Discover the fundamental Christian principles literally carved in stone cone by our Founding Fathers.
Trace the conjoined history of our nation and our salvation.
Uncover the heroes of the Catholic Faith immortalized in the U.S. Capitol.
Examine some of the finest religious art in the world.
Book: One Nation Under God:  Religious Symbols, Quotes, and Images in Our Nation’s Capital
Author: Eugene F. Hemrick
Our Sunday Visitor, Huntington, IN
An Excerpt from the book:
On a Wall Frieze in the Supreme Court are engraved allegorical figures who represent the struggle between the powers of good and evil. Standing on the left side of Justice are Wisdom, Evil, Slander, Deception and Despotic Power. On the right side of Divine Inspiration are Truth, Defender of Virtue, Charity, Peace, Harmony and Security.
Book: The Book of Joy
Authors’: Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu with Douglas Abrams
Penguin Random House
Excerpt from Jacket:
Nobel Peace Prize Laureates His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu have survived more than fifty years of exile and the soul-crushing violence of oppression. Despite their hardships ---or, as they put it, because of them --- they are two of the most joyful people on the planet.
In April 2015, Archbishop Tutu traveled to the Dalai Llama’s home in Dharamsala, India to celebrate His Holiness’s eightieth birthday and to create what they hoped would be a gift for others. They looked back on their long lives to answer a single burning question: How do we find joy in the face of life’s inevitable suffering?
They traded intimate stories, teased each other continually, and shared their spiritual practices. By the end of a week filled with laughter and punctuated with tears, these two global heroes had stared into the abyss and despair of our times and revealed how to live a life brimming with joy.
We get to listen in as the explore the Nature of True Joy and confront each of the Obstacles to joy ---from fear, stress, and anger to grief, illness, and death. They then offer us the Eight Pillars of joy, which provided the foundation for lasting happiness. Finally, they share the daily joy Practices that anchor their own emotional and spiritual lives.
An Excerpt from the book:
As our dialogue progressed, we converged on eight pillars of joy. Four were qualities of the mind: perspective, humility, humor and acceptance. Four were qualities of the heart: forgiveness, gratitude, compassion and generosity.
Book: Mysteries of the Middle Ages: The Rise of Feminism, Science, and Art from the Cults of Catholic Europe
Author: Thomas Cahill
Double Day, NY
Excerpt from Jacket:
After the long period of cultural decline known as the Dark Ages, Europe experienced a rebirth of scholarship, art, literature, philosophy, and science and began to develop a vision of Western society that remains at the heart of the Western civilization today.
By placing the image of the Virgin Mary at the center of their churches and their lives, medieval people exalted womanhood to a level unknown in any previous society. For the first time, men began to treat women with dignity, and women took up professions that had always been closed to them.
The communion bread, believed to be the body of Jesus, encouraged the formulation of new questions of philosophy. Could reality be so fluid that one substance could be transformed in to another? Could mud become gold, as alchemists believed? These new questions pushed the minds of medieval thinkers toward what would become modern science.
Artists began to ask themselves similar questions: How can we depict the human anatomy so that it looks real to the viewer? How can we depict motion in a composition that never moves? How can two dimensions appear to be three? Medieval artists (and writers, too) invented the Western tradition of realism?
Rome, the intellectually explosive Paris of Peter Abelard and Thomas Aquinas, the hotbed of scientific study that was Oxford, and the incomparable Florence of Dante and Giotto --- Cahill brilliantly captures the spirit of experimentation, the colorful pageantry, and passionate pursuit of knowledge that built the foundations for the modern world.
An Excerpt from the book:
Like Thomas Aquinas, Roger Bacon studied under Albert the Great and taught for a while at Paris (when Aquinas was there), but it is with Oxford and its heralded spirit on no-nonsense practicality and experimental positivism that he will ever be associated. Bacon took the great Dominican enshrinement of reason and brought it a step further. Reasoning he wrote draws a conclusion and makes us grant the conclusion, but does not make the conclusion certain, nor does it remove doubt so that the mind may rest on the intuition of truth --- unless the mind discovers it by the path of experience.
Bacon then imagines a man coming upon the phenomenon of fire for the first time. The man might by reason arrive at the conclusion that fire burns, injures, and destroys. But this reasoning would not in itself tell him all we know about fire. He would need to put his hand in it, or, if not his hand, some combustible substance,  and prove by experience what reasoning teaches. But when he has had the actual experience of combustion, his mind is made certain and rests in the full light of truth.  Therefore, concludes Bacon axiomatically, reasoning does not suffice, but experience does.
Experience, by way of observation and experiment, beats unaided reason every time. Reason is necessary; we cannot function without it.  But only experience can confirm what reason proposes. Albert had already taken a turn in this direction, declaring that in many matters Experimentum solum certificate. (Experiment ---or experience --- alone gives certainty). But though, Albert was for his time a great botanist, cataloguing and accurately describing a staggering profusion of trees, plants, and herbs, it would fall to his English pupil to embark upon seas of experience previously uncharted.
Book: The Promise of Virtue
Author: Eugene Hemrick
Ave Marie Press, Notre Dame, IN
Excerpt from Jacket:
Everyone looks for an edge in this complex world --- some specific knowledge, skill, or possession that will bring us success. It motivates our pursuit of wealth, acceptance, and prestige. It encourages us to take up with gurus or engage the latest health fad.

In author Gene Hemrick’s view, however, to search for this special something “out there” is futile.

“What we seek,” he explains, “is a spirit that already exists within in us and its name is virtue.”

Yes, virtue. But not virtue as we usually think of it. The Promise of Virtue is a wonderful meditation in which the author identifies and introduces us to such virtues as humor, kindness, and silence. The result say Scott Appleby in his Foreword is “an utterly practical resource for personal spiritual formation.

But The Promise of Virtue is much more than simply a meditation. Hemrick not only puts a recognizable face on virtue, he argues persuasively that our faces must reflect virtue for the common good. The result is a powerful and eloquent antidote to the fragmedentation of our churches and communities.
An Excerpt from the book:
Kindness simply defined means being well disposed toward life --- we are thankful for it, welcome it, look forward to living it, and see mostly beauty in it. When we look it up in the thesaurus, other words that describe it are: benevolence, compassion, good will, generosity, altruism, and goodness. In the scriptures it translates into unconditional love, civility, promoting others, tough love, and giving without counting the cost.

If there is any one virtue that our culture needs at this time, it is kindness. If it were practiced to its fullest potential, most of our problems would be cut in half. It has the power to counter polarization that is tearing us apart, to heal festering wounds, and to stop us from shouting at each other from a distance, rather than talking with each other in a civilized manner. It encourages us to resist disappointments and frustrations that tend to sour our dispositions by whispering to us, “Don’t let that chin of yours drop to your chest; stand firm and nip in the bud that which threatens to taint your healthy disposition.”

Most important, kindness has the power to keep our dignity intact in often hurtful and cutthroat environments. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe best summarizes its human and spiritual worth: “Kindness is the golden chain by which society is bound.”

Table of contents:

1. Kindness
2. Humor
3. Understanding
4. Respect
5. Courage
6. Clear-sightedness
7. Silence

Book: The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States
Publisher: St. Vincent College, The Center for Political and Economic Thought
Latrobe, PA
Excerpt from Introduction:
The study of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution is central to the mission of the Center for Political and Economic Thought. In these documents we learn that all men are created equal and that government exists to defend citizens’ natural rights to life liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We learn the ways in which government ought to be structured to secure these rights. We have proof that good government can be established on the basis of “reflection and choice,” as Alexander Hamilton suggested in The Federalist Papers, and that mankind is not “forever destined to depend for their for political constitutions on accident and force.”
The Declaration announced American intolerance for the denial of natural rights, and the Constitution gave form to a government in which the law would be in the service of “the blessings of liberty.” As James Madison explained, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external or internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed: and in the next place oblige it to control itself.” Rooted in this sober understanding of human nature, the American solution to the enduring problem of self-government is among the greatest political accomplishments in human history.
An Excerpt from the book:
Calvin Coolidge
Three very definite propositions were set out in the preamble of the Declaration of Independence’s preamble regarding the nature of mankind and therefore of government. These were the doctrine that all men are created equal, that they are endowed with certain inalienable rights, and that therefore the source of the just powers of government must be derived from the consent of the governed.
If no one is to be accounted as born into a superior stations, if there is to be no ruling class, and if all possess rights which can neither be bartered away nor taken from them by earthly power, it follows as a matter of course that the practical authority of the Government has to rest on the consent of the governed. While these principles were not altogether new in political action, they had never been assembled before and declared in such a combination. But remarkable as this may be, it is not the chief distinction of the Declaration of Independence. The importance of political speculation is not to be underestimated, as I shall presently disclose. Until the idea is developed and the plan made there can be no action.
The Table of Contents:
The Declaration of Independence
The Constitution of the United States
American Statemen on the Principles of the Founding
Alexander Hamilton: Federalist
James Madison: Federalist
George Washington: Farewell Address
Thomas Jefferson: Letter to Roger C. Weightman
Abraham Lincoln: Address to the Young Men’s Lyceum of Springfield
Calvin Coolidge: Speech at Philadelphia
Book: Habits of a Priestly Heart
Author: Eugene Hemrick
World Library Publications
An Excerpt from the Jacket:
The word “resentment” denotes being at war within oneself or against another. Being resentful often raises malicious thoughts such as “I deserve better than what I am receiving” or “Don’t let them get away with that!” or “what do they think they are dealing with, a fool?” At other times resentment prompts us to think, “The world is against me, don’t ever forget it!” On this last statement, the French philosopher Voltaire would comment, “Never having been able to succeed in the world, he took revenge by speaking ill of it.”
Revenge doesn’t always follow resentment, but lifelong grudges can. As a  child I would sometimes voice my resentments repeatedly. The third time around my mother would say to me, “That’s an old canzone --- an old song. Turn over the record and let life begin anew!” Despite knowing that deep-seated resentments are wrong, it is difficult to turn over that record. The word “bitterness” comes from “bite.” When we are bitten we are injured, and like an injured beast, we retaliate.
… What might be a good lesson in combating resentment? The revered theologian Karl Rahner would remind us, “Remember we are less than perfect!” One of the major blocks to  curing resentments is self-righteousness, the feeling that we are above reproach and hence don’t deserve affliction. In these cases, Rahner would tell us to remember that as we have been injured by others, so too, have we injured others. Once we humbly admit this, it is easier to let go of resentments.
Table of Contents:
1.     Keeping our purpose updated
2.     Resisting resentment, careerism, and clericalism
3.     Refining the habit of contemplation
4.     Study is ministry
5.     What if we were healthier?
6.     Solidarity at its best