Simply Divine Mercy

"As often as you want to make Me happy, speak to the world about my great and unfathomable Mercy." -Jesus to St. Faustina

Category: Mary

The Case for Catholicism: Answers to Classic and Contemporary Protestant Objections

Jesus prayed that Christians might be one..png

I am grateful to Ignatius Press for the opportunity to share this book with you today!

To call this book comprehensive would be an understatement.  Right out of the gate in The Case for Catholicism, Trent Horn begins a clear, concise, and extremely thorough explanation of our Faith.  The book truly delivers on its promise to provide us with answers to Protestant objections.

Read the rest of this entry »


Mary’s Vital Role in the “Pro-Life” Movement

Mary's Vital Role2

As Catholics and Christians, we are not just pro-life.  We cannot just be pro-life.  To say we are such indicates that we are simply in favor of promoting life, that we “indicate favor for some party, system, or idea” (, in this case, that we indicate favor for life.

We do not merely wish to promote life.  No, our primary responsibility, the task we have been entrusted with as Christians, is to love every life.

And if we’re going to do this effectively, if we’re truly going to love every single life, we absolutely cannot omit Mary from the equation.  Mary is vital to creating a culture of life.  Why?

Read the rest of this entry »

When We Were Eve Blog Tour Stop #4


What if we could remember who we were when we were Eve?  What if we could recall that pure innocence, that beauty, that freedom of who we were created to be?

Colleen C. Mitchell’s latest book When We Were Eve calls out to the heart of each woman, inviting her to rediscover herself and to grow in intimacy with God in the process.

Read the rest of this entry »

Praying the Rosary Like Never Before

An Ex.jpg

I have found much comfort and peace in praying the rosary in times of joy, in times of anxiety, and in times of sorrow.  Along with my Catholic faith, the rosary is perhaps the best gift my family has passed on to me.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mother Mary: Inspiring Words from Pope Francis


*This book, like many on this site, was given to me by the publisher in exchange for my honest review. 

Here is a collection of some of the most profound and beautiful words from Pope Francis speaking about our Mother Mary.  If you love listening to Pope Francis speak, you will love this book.

Whether you’ve devoted to Mary, or just starting to learn more about her, there’s something in this book to challenge you and to help you grow in your faith.

Mother Mary: Inspiring Words from Pope Francis makes for a quick read because the excerpts are fairly short in length, and they can be read altogether one after the other.  Or you could choose to read it like a devotional.  Opening this book at random is a beautiful thing to do, too.

Excerpts are taken from homilies, writings, papal addresses, and even social media accounts of Pope Francis.  They are full of prayers, messages of hope, notes of spiritual direction, and reflections.  Embedded in all of this is a golden thread that runs throughout the book, that is call to action for the Faithful, that we might pray with renewed fervor and zeal to our God, and that we might place ourselves more fully under the spiritual guidance and protection of the loving Mother Jesus gave to all of us on the Cross.

I don’t usually scribble in the margins of books, but my copy of this book is covered in additional thoughts, little arrows and underlined sections, and ideas about where these excerpts can be used or referred to in my own personal life and ministry work.  In short, this book has proved to be a very useful companion for my own life, and it is one I will keep handy on my bookshelf so that I can turn back to it as needed.

I’m grateful to the editor Alicia von Stamwitz for compiling these thought-provoking quotes from our Pope into six small, concise, easily accessible chapters you’ll be turning to again and again.

Purchase Mother Mary: Inspiring Words from Pope Francis from Franciscan Media or Amazon.

P.S. God is merciful & He loves you!  Pass it on…

Our Lady of Fatima: 100 years of stories, prayers, and devotions


Have you heard the message of Fatima?  Even if you are familiar with Mary’s apparitions at Fatima, I guarantee you haven’t heard the story told quite like this before.  And if you’re skeptical about the whole thing, all the more reason to pick up this book.

Mary wants to lead us to her Son, Jesus Christ.  She wants peace for the world, and she wants us to repent of our sins so we can all make it to Heaven!

There’s no better time to pick up this book than right now, as we are about to celebrate the 100th anniversary of these apparitions.  In fact, the Church will celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima on May 13, which is right around the corner.  On this day, Pope Francis will also canonize Jacinta and Francisco, two of the Fatima visionaries, as Saints for the whole world to celebrate!

In this book, author Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle takes readers through a century of fascinating stories related to Fatima.  She recounts what occurred in this city back in 1916 and 1917, and the fulfillment of the Fatima prophecies that have taken place since that time.  She also shares things that Sr. Lucia experienced later in her life as she worked to ensure that Mary’s message spread throughout the Church, and that things were completed as Mary and Jesus requested.

In these pages, you will hear remarkable stories you’ve never heard before, and details that you won’t find in other places.  Did you know that Saint Mother Teresa planned a top secret mission in Russia specifically to occur just as Saint John Paul II consecrated Russia to Mary’s Immaculate Heart?  Did you know she pulled it off?  Do you know about the devotion of the Five First Saturdays?  Do you know why Mary specifically requested five and not six or seven?  Have you heard the Fatima prayers?  Do you know how you can incorporate these prayers into your daily life to make atonement for the sins of the world?  All of this and more is shared in this fascinating book.

Perhaps as astounding as the Fatima miracles themselves, are the personal experiences of the author that she shares at the end of the book.  I don’t want to spoil the ending, but it’s unbelievable what this woman endured for the sake of this writing, and the timing of her injuries is absolutely astounding.

In short, I had a hard time putting this book down!  You won’t want to miss this exciting read, especially as we celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Fatima apparitions this year.

We all must now do our part to make reparation for the sins of this world.  Find out what you can do to live the Fatima message today!

And a note to any skeptics:  With Mary, you have nothing to fear except fear itself.  Fear of Mary will only keep you from Mary, which will only keep you from a deeper intimacy with Christ.  Our Mother Mary who is Our Lady of Fatima, is the Mother of Jesus Christ who is our brother.  Hence, she is our Mother, too, and Jesus also gave her to us on the Cross.  Mary is truly amazing.  She also only wants to do the will of her Son.  She wants to support Jesus as much as possible in the work of bringing all souls to Heaven.  Perhaps you will be able to get to know her just a little better through the words in this book.

This book is available on Amazon and from Franciscan Media.

Mother Mary, pray for us!  God bless you!

Pray with Your Senses – Color & Sound Sets Make Great Gifts!

I recently had the privilege of working with these two “Color & Sound” sets for Paraclete Press.  They have paired completely unique, fun, and inspirational, Marian themed coloring books with high quality Gregorian Chant CD compilations.

Set aside your electronic devices and games, and do something with your hands that will free your mind up for prayer.

I wanted to share these with you today just in time for Mother’s Day, but they would also make a perfect gift for a graduating senior!  These books are a gentle way to instill or rejuvenate our Catholic Faith.

You could also use them for prayer time in Adoration, or as a teaching tool for children to help them learn the Rosary and how to meditate on Mary’s many beautiful names.  Children love to color, so teach them also that they can turn their coloring into prayers!  It’s fun to actually pray the rosary as you’re coloring each decade page, too.  I think these also work beautifully as side-by-side adult coloring books for those times you are coloring with young children.

In fact, my daughters love to see my finished coloring pieces, and I enjoy coloring with a picture that stretches me beyond the super familiar shapes of Winnie the Pooh and Hello Kitty.

So here are two excellent Color & Sound sets for you to consider!  May they enhance your own prayer life, and the prayers of the ones you love.

  1.  Mother Mary – Color & Sound:  An Imaginative Pathway to Stillness and Beauty


This coloring book has a page for many of the beautiful names we give to Mary the Mother of God.  Each page contains a title for Mary, a powerful prayer or quote related to this title, and a little more info to peak your curiosity about where this title came from, or who Mary appeared to under this title.  The pictures are fun and simple enough for coloring, and the end result is a beautiful picture that might even be suitable for displaying in your home!



This set includes “The Chants of Mary,” a Gregorian Chant CD sung by the Gloriae Dei Cantores Men’s Schola.  I love having this CD on in the background of my day.  It puts children to sleep like a light switch when we play it in the car.  It keeps me calm in the inevitable challenging moments that arise at home with three toddlers.  It is 65 minutes of Heaven on earth.  Brush up on your Latin with the accompanying CD booklet that contains English & Latin lyrics as side-by-side text, along with beautiful full color pictures and images.

  1. The Rosary – Contemplation with Color and Sound: Color and Music to Inspire your Prayers9781612619194_p0_v1_s192x300

This coloring book takes you all the way through your rosary, with a page for each decade of the Glorious, Sorrowful, Luminous, and Joyful Mysteries!  There’s also a page for the Apostle’s Creed & Hail, Holy Queen.  The pictures are whimsical and leave much room for contemplation as you pray along with your coloring.  Enter into each mystery of the rosary a little deeper, and then go back and remember your prayers when you see a beautiful, completed picture in their place.



This book is paired with “Feasts of Our Lady,” a Gregorian Chant CD by the Monastic Choir of St. Peter’s Abbey, Solesmes.  It also contains a booklet with side-by-side Latin & English text.  This CD is one of my favorite Gregorian Chant compilations.  The music is very vibrant and rich.  The harmonies are solid.  The sweeping melodies lift one’s thoughts to Heaven.  You will not be disappointed!

Purchase these CDs from Paraclete Press or Amazon!  And remember, God loves you & He is merciful!  Pass it on…

Unveiling a Masterpiece…


“Wouldn’t it be great if we could give each mother the same image of Mary & Jesus?” Serena asked, as we browsed through prints for sale at our local Catholic Corner booth.

The only problem was:  which one would we pick?  There are so many gorgeous paintings of our Blessed Mother and her Divine Son Jesus.

God took care of that for us.

When Mary Garden Showers opened a chapter at St. Patrick’s in Columbus, OH, we had no idea that a talented Catholic artist was sitting right in the pews of that very church.

Our chapter leaders knew.  They reached out to her about a painting project.

When artist Bernadette Carstensen was asked to paint an image for our ministry, she says:

“The idea for this painting came to me right away, inspired by the way my daughter sometimes plays with me.  So, I decided to pose Mary and Jesus in an affectionate moment, mother and baby playing together quietly.  Jesus is meant to look like He is crowning her with flowers playfully, but also representing what will come when they are both in heaven.  Mostly, I wanted to show Mary as a human mother in love with her child, awed by His beauty and innocence, hoping that a new mom who is feeling scared or worried could look at it and imagine the happiness she will have with her baby.”

A few months back, we shared a progress sketch of the painting that Bernadette graciously sent our way.  Now, we are thrilled to be able to unveil the finished painting that is such a gift and blessing to this ministry…

Purchase your copy here today!  All proceeds go to Mary Garden Showers.  Thanks for your support.



Amazing, right?  Ms. Bernadette, we are so grateful and humbled that you painted this for the mothers we serve.

P.S.  God is Merciful & He loves you… pass it on!

Mary’s Way: The Power of Entrusting Your Child to God


Mary’s way can be our way, too!  Judy Landrieu Klein opens her heart in this beautiful book of affirmation, hope, and encouragement for all mothers. 

Klein takes readers through her own personal journey of motherhood, with all of its sorrows and joys.  Just like Mary, we all must bring our children into the world, nurture them, love them, and then let them go into the world to hopefully become the adults God desires them to be!  This is no small feat.  And motherhood is certainly not for the faint of heart. 

Klein had a beautiful turning point in her life when Mary spoke to her heart.  From that moment on, Mary played a large role in Klein’s motherhood.  She encourages readers to trust in the Blessed Mother, and to turn to her for wisdom, guidance, and strength. 

Inside the book, you’ll find a beautiful prayer for consecrating your children and spouse to the care of the Blessed Mother.  Klein explains the significance of this consecration, and how sustaining these prayers have been in her life. 

I recommend this book for all mothers, but especially for any mothers who have adult children – particularly children who have fallen away from the church, or who have fallen into bad habits in their lives. 

Get ready for an awesome testimony to the power of a mother’s prayers! Don’t miss Mary’s Way: The Power of Entrusting Your Child to God. 

You can purchase this book from Amazon or Ave Maria Press.

P.S. God is merciful & He loves you… Pass it on! 

hush, hush, beautiful is the mother

hush, hush,beautifulis themother.png

Christ is born tell the folk of the village.  Jesus is sleeping in his cradle. Hush, hush, beautiful is the mother.  Hush, hush, beautiful is her Son.

In a few weeks, we too will be invited to peek into the stable to take a look at baby Jesus.  We will begin anew in our endeavors to tell the folk of the village – to tell the people of this world that Jesus is here!

What a gorgeous Christmas carol this truly is, as it invites us to hush.

Hush, hush, be still my soul.  Hush, hush, be still my heart.

And beautiful is the mother.  What a wonderful phrase.

If we truly were to peek into that long-ago and far-away stable, we would see Mary at Jesus’ side.  Perhaps baby Jesus would be in her arms when we arrived.

She truly is beautiful.  Can you see her?  Can you see how lovely she is and how her eyes are fixed on Christ?  Can you see her hair pulled back underneath an ivory veil?  Can you feel the warmth of her tender love?

You see, the beauty of the vocation of motherhood lies in its quiet service.

Mary is the epitome of this servitude.  She humbly, gently, ever so carefully, surrendered over her entire self to God.  She surrendered over her entire self to the process of pregnancy and birth, and she journeyed with her Son all the way to Calvary.

How contrary this is to our culture today that tells women who find themselves pregnant, “You don’t need to serve.  You can escape.”

How beautiful it is to see such virtue, such holiness, such gentleness, and such warmth in Jesus’ mother Mary.  May we bring these qualities to life more fully in our own vocations!

As we journey through these days of Advent, let us hush.  Let us escape from the clamor of the world in moments of quiet reflection.

Let us stand in awe of the beauty of Mary, the mother of Jesus.  Let us stand in awe of the gift that Jesus is to the world.  Let us stand in awe of the gift that Jesus gave us in his mother Mary.

For beautiful is the mother.