Monday, June 21, 2010

The Four Teresas

When I saw that a friend was reading The Four Teresas, I immediately asked if I could borrow it when he finished, not yet knowing it was available to review from Catholic Company. I’ve read several books about and/or by three of the Teresa’s covered in this book (St. Teresa of Avila, Blessed Mother Teresa, and St. Thérèse of Lisieux), so naturally I was interested in one that ties these three and a lesser-known St. Teresa Benedicta together.
Author Gina Loehr does an exceptional job covering the most significant aspects of these four women’s lives and their ministries.
This book would be a great introduction to these amazing women, or as it was for me, a well-done summary of longer works I’ve read about and by them over the years.
This is a wonderful study guide, with great questions for meditation and reflection, as well as practical suggestions for how we can become more like each of these holy women. There is a chapter devoted to each woman. Each of the four sections ends with two reflection questions and ten suggestions for how we can incorporate the tenets and devotions of each woman’s faith. These lists include short, manageable practices anyone can adopt, such as: “Look for God in nature” (pg. 22); “Go to confession monthly” (pg. 44); “Attend lectures on religious topics” (pg. 70); and “Spend time praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament” (pg. 103).
The lists of Ten More Ways to be More Like…are followed by Points of Consideration in which the author describes various aspects of each woman’s ministry and lifestyle then ends with a question that invites the reader to examine how well he or she lives out the virtue depicted. These questions would be great for a book club discussion, prayer group, or for personal reflection and/or spiritual journal writing.
I highly recommend this book to the neophyte dabbling for the first time in the lives of the saints as well as for the well-read cradle Catholic who is ready for specific steps for putting faith into action by imitating the holy women who have gone before us.

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, pray for us.
Saint Teresa of Avila, pray for us.
Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, pray for us.
Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us.
Saint Mary Mother of God, pray for us
All you holy women, pray for us.

This review was written as part of the Catholic books reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on The Four Teresas.  I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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