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A must-read for all Catholics,
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This review is from: Catholic Briefcase: Tools for Integrating Faith and Work (Paperback)
This book review can also be found at redrubyslippers.org:
Have you ever thought about how to make your faith integrated into your everyday life? Perhaps you've made that quest a part of your New Year's (or even Lenten resolution) but still haven't discovered the right guide to help you. Well, look no further! Randy Hain's first published book The Catholic Briefcase: Tools for Integrating Faith and Work (Liguori 2011) is a great resource! A must-read for all Catholics!
Several years ago my dear friend, Susan Parkin, suggested that Randy and I should meet knowing that we both had a passion for engaging young adults in their Catholic faith. I remember the first time I met Randy - and feeling a little intimidated. Who could blame me? I thought about Randy's credentials: Managing Partner with Bell Oaks Executive Search, a devoted husband and father with a successful new website, the brains behind the highly acclaimed Atlanta Business Leader's Conference, and a key player in the monthly speaker series at his parish ...just to name a few. At the end of our meeting I left thinking - as most people do when they first meet Randy - "How does he do it all?" The Catholic Briefcase is the blueprint for how Randy is able to do it all, a how-to guide if you will.
While underpinning the theological knowledge of the laity's role in spreading the Gospel involves studying various Church documents, it wasn't until now that I've found a book which puts practical resources into peoples' hands. The Catholic Briefcase: Tools for Integrating Faith and Work - already in its second print - is practical, insightful and inspiring.
The Catholic Briefcase is an action-oriented book which provides concrete ways to share one's faith in the workplace. Randy begins by listing five ideas to help with this integration. The action items don't merely illustrate faith in the workplace, but in every facet of life. These ideas include how to incorporate time to think and reflect, ways to grow in charity, aspects of discipleship that include stewardship beyond monetary giving, and tips on spending more time with family. Interwoven throughout the book these practical applications encompass a theme which focuses on the foundation of integrating faith and work which is prayer.
Randy doesn't just talk the talk, but he walks the walk! Case-in-point: during my first meeting with Randy, his 1pm appointment reminder popped up on his Blackberry and read "Find God in All Things". He went on to explain how the Jesuit Daily Examen is a method of prayer reflection on the events of the day to help us identify God's movement in our lives and discern his path for us. It's also one of the 'small steps' that Randy mentions in his book to help us find quiet reflection time. The practical aspect of this prayer tool is that you can 'put it on your calendar' scheduling these five minute blocks of prayer around travel, meals, and bedtimes. Thanks to Randy, I, and other professionals, have made the Jesuit Examen part of our own everyday prayer life.
In addition to the thoughtful ideas that Randy shares regarding the integration of faith and work, he also provides keen insights of several prominent Catholic business leaders and how their faith shapes their work lives. I found these insights inspiring, not only for the examples shared, but also because I've seen many of these business leaders live out their lives as authentic witnesses. They are active members of the Atlanta Business community and have poured out their time and energy to share their faith with others.
In my humble opinion, The Catholic Briefcase is the Best Catholic Book of 2011-2012, not just because it is practical, insightful, and inspiring, but because Randy's words are echoed through his everyday witness. Apparently About.com is in agreement with me, the site has selected The Catholic Briefcase as one of their top 5 finalist for the About.com Catholicism Reader's Choice Awards for Book of the for 2011. Buy the book today and find out why! Then go and cast your vote on About.com - voting is open until March 22nd: About.com Catholicism Reader's Choice Awards.