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May Crowning, Mass, and Merton: And Other Reasons I Love Being Catholic [Paperback]

By Elizabeth M. Kelly (Author)
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Item description for May Crowning, Mass, and Merton: And Other Reasons I Love Being Catholic by Elizabeth M. Kelly...

A devout Catholic who loves her faith eagerly shares its beauties with others in this exuberant and lively look at Catholicism, penned by a woman who embodies the hopes and promises of today's spiritual seekers. (Catholic)

Publishers Description
"Liz Kelly's love of her Catholic faith is an inspiration. I highly recommend her wonderful book."
--Matthew Kelly, "New York Times "best-selling author of
"The Rhythm of Life" In "May Crowning, Mass, and Merton," Liz Kelly, a thirty-something writer and jazz singer, eagerly shares her ardent love for the Catholic faith. While the beliefs of the church are important to Kelly, her passion is really ignited by the holy people and places, the beloved rituals, and the rich spiritual traditions of this living faith. She celebrates them here, with wit, affection, and candor.
Kelly has realized that "the litany of reasons to love being Catholic is extraordinary." These include every-thing from the crucifix, kneelers, and Ash Wednesday to Flannery O'Connor, the Swiss Guard, and Tenebrae. Though she writes that, "Mine is not an extraordinary faith, so much as a faith growing a little messy, a little rough and subversive around the edges," it is a rich, inspiring faith, celebrated by a fresh, young Catholic voice.

Citations And Professional Reviews
May Crowning, Mass, and Merton: And Other Reasons I Love Being Catholic by Elizabeth M. Kelly has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Publishers Weekly - 11/28/2005 page 47

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Loyola Press
Pages   270
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.8" Width: 6.38" Height: 0.81"
Weight:   0.7 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 8, 2006
Publisher   Loyola Press
ISBN  0829420258  
ISBN13  9780829420258  

Availability  0 units.

More About Elizabeth M. Kelly

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! ELIZABETH M. KELLY is an award-winning speaker and the author of six books, including Reasons I Love Being Catholic, which won the Catholic Press Association award in 2007 for Best Popular Presentation of the Faith. Her written works frequently appear in the Magnificat's Lenten and Advent Companions and in other Catholic venues, such as the Catholic Spirit. Kelly received her certification as a spiritual director from the Cenacle of our Lady of Divine Providence School of Spirituality in association with the Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2015. She works with the Ignatian exercises and leads retreats. Kelly has appeared on Public Radio, Boston Catholic Television, EWTN and Salt and Light Television. She teaches in the Catholic Studies program at the University of St. Thomas (MN) and serves as managing editor of Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture.. Her schedule along with sample podcasts of her retreat speaking may be found on her website:

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > Inspirational
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > Roman Catholicism
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Apologetics
7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > Inspirational

Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Roman Catholic

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Reviews - What do customers think about May Crowning, Mass, and Merton and Other Reasons I Love Being Catholic?

Nice Devotional Book  Mar 28, 2007
If you're looking for an apologetics book, you will be disappointed. But if you want a personal statement on the great things about being Catholic, this is just the book for you.

Liz Kelly, the author of "Rosary: A Path Into Prayer," gives the readers a series of short reflections on the things that she loves about her faith. The book is divided into 5 parts: Objects With Meaning- Focuses on objects and sacramentels (The Crucifix, Holy Water, Kneelers); Those Who Journey With Us- Focuses on saints and great teachers and writers of the faith (Mary, John Paul II, Thomas Merton); Devotion in Practice- Focuses on the many devotions and practices of the Catholic faith (May Crowning, Fasting, Silence); Truths That Bring Us Grace- Focuses on teachings, explicit and implied, of the Catholic Church (Celibacy, Heavenly Humor, God Comes to Meet Us); and Rhythms of Faith- Focuses on practices relating to the liturgy (Daily Mass, Ash Wednesday, Easter). The short chapters are not didactic explanation of the subjects, but rather personal reflections on them. For example, in her chapter on kneelers, Kelly says that she loves kneelers because they remind her that there is a God who is bigger than all of us who we need to kneel before. In addition, Kelly intersperses her reflections with good-natured humor. For example, on her chapter on "Belonging to the Universal Church" she notes that God loves and forgives everyone, even Yankees fans (she's a Red Sox fan). My only caveat is that Kelly sometimes meanders and goes off on tangents, particularly on the last part of the book. But this is not so bad as to negatively affect the impact of the book as a whole.

In conclusion, this is a nice devotional book that will make a fine addition to any Catholic library. 4 stars out of 5.
Simple reflections that open up deep spiritual treasures  Mar 22, 2007
Through simple, short reflections on a wide array of Catholic life Liz Kelley helps to shed a light on the faith and traditions of the Church. Some of the things she reflects such as confession are of deep importance to the whole Church, others such as some of her favorite saints may be more important to her than to others, but even then her insights provoke interest in learning about these saints. Throughout the book she brings a down-to-earth and "from the depths of the heart" approach to the subjects of her reflections which really helps to break them open for the reader.
A Great Reflection on Some of the Trademarks of Catholic Christianity!  Oct 4, 2006
Kelly does a very nice job at sharing some of her reflections on what are the tenets of Catholicism that strike her as both most inspiring and most significant. While not an exhaustive list by any means, Kelly - a young Catholic writer and musician - presents those aspects of her faith that are closest to her heart.

I found this book to be a welcomed change from the standard "Why am I Catholic" or "The Greatest Things of Catholicism" genre of publication. What makes this unique is that it is written from the perspective of her lived faith experience bearing no tone or sense of proselytizing. It is an approachable book that is divided into chapters, 49 in total in addition to a prologue and an epilogue, representing each of the "reasons she loves being catholic." Each chapter is short and to the point, allowing for someone with a hectic schedule or a limited attention span to digest this book in prescribes segments over time.

While one might presume that this book is primarily for a Catholic audience, Kelly explicitly invites non-Catholics, on a number of occasions throughout the book, to explore some her devotional interests and "see for your self." That said, this book is an interesting read to both the cradle Catholic, the convert, the person of another denomination or faith and the unbeliever - this book is for all.
A life and faith-affirming testimony by a fresh young voice  Sep 12, 2006
May Crowning, Mass, and Merton and Other Reasons I Love Being Catholic by jazz singer Liz Kelly is a testimony of love for the Catholic faith, particularly the beloved rituals, cherished spiritual expressions, and close bonds with holy people and places. A celebration of the extraordinary tradition of Catholicism, that reaches out to the fellow reader to partake in the joys of faith, love, and reverence for God, May Crowning, Mass, and Merton is a passionate and wonderful testimony of true belief. A life and faith-affirming testimony by a fresh young voice.
A Look at Amazing Traditions and practices  May 19, 2006
This is a fascinating little volume, part meditation, part, biography and part theology. Liz Kelly open's up to us her life and her faith and in doing so can help us to understanding our own faith and tradition better. She examines the things, traditions, places and people that are a source of encouragement, challenge and trial to her faith, and through these pense's and thoughts opens our eyes to see Catholicism in anew light. As she states in her prologue "One: It's hard. Being Catholic has taught me about balance and prudence and the deep joys of daily discipline and commitment...Two: It's Hard. Sometimes it is painful to be Catholic, not because of rules and regulations so often associated with being Catholic are so restrictive, but because the love of heaven leads us to fearless expansiveness..."(p.XIII, XIV) Yes being Catholic can be hard but as Kelly shows us it has much in the way of consolation and rewards to make the hardships worth the efforts.

Kelly has separated her book into five roughly equal parts that examine different aspects of the Catholic tradition:

1. Objects with Meaning

2. Those who Journey With Us

3. Devotion in Practice

4. Truths That Bring Grace

5. Rhythms of the Faith

In each of these area's she examines different elements and examples of peoples, places, things, beliefs and practices that are means of grace in our lives. She opens up each of these categories like a flower blooming in an ever progressive way to draw us deeper into understanding the faith she is explaining to us.

In the first section she examines such elements as the Crucifix, Holy Water, incense, the Rosary, kneelers ... and through them helps us to focus our faith on what matters most. She states "I don't think heaven needs my burning candle any more than it needs holy water or incense. Sacramentals are for us, because we are sensory beings, and symbolism and sacramentals help infuse the spiritual into other planes of our experience - physical, emotional, mental."(p.12) In exploring these items she opens us to the grace inherent in the use of them as tools to draw us closer to God. Not as an end in themselves, but as a means to an end.

In looking at the lives of some of those who journey with us in this quest for faith and a life in God, Kelly shares some of those examples of saints and people of faith who's stories can be a source of challenge, inspiration and encouragement in our own journey with God. In Writing about Pope John Paul II Kelly says: "This picture is famous now, Pope John Paul II and his would be assassin, sitting together in intimate conversation two years after the incident. The Holy Father leaning toward the man with gentle attention, ...He was unafraid of the vulnerability created by living in forgiveness, of sitting in total love with the enemy."(p.59) Later while reflecting on the Communion of Saints Kelly reminds us of our own call to be saints, "Most saints did not have easy lives. Many were persecuted and martyred. They were an odd lot, many of them outcasts who experiences every kind of human suffering and weakness. And many of them began as ordinary folks like you and me."(p.81) She also reminds as that our service is to be done for God "Like many of the saints of the church, Pier Giorgio seemed to lead two lives, not contradictory lives, but one that people observed and one that was hidden."(p.98) So too our lives should bear silent witness to the work of God in and through us.

Through these examples and the many more that Kelly presents she shows a faith that is rich, vibrant and challenging. This book's greatest strength is the devotion in which it was written and the sentiment of finding peace in the journey of life. Peace that ultimately can only come from God, but we have a gracious God who has given us many tools to help us along out part. This book is once such tool, for it reveals to us so many other tools that God has provided.

(First Published in St. Anthnoy Messenger June 2006 Book Review Section)

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