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Faith Like Mary & a New Book: The Second Greatest Story Ever Told

February 9, 2016 by  
Filed under Book Club, Mercy, Sarah Reinhard

Note: This week, we are pulling double-duty with our book club post. This is the final week of “The Church of Mercy” AND the first week of the “Second Greatest Story Ever Told”.

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The Church of Mercy (Week 6 of 6)

Lately, I’ve been struggling to pray a rosary. It’s partially a time thing and partially a motivation thing: my standing excuse is that I lack both.

However, what I have kept myself to is praying at least one decade reflecting on the Annunciation as part of a Living Rosary.* I’ve been doing this, with moderate levels of “success”, for over eleven years, and I continue to be amazed at how much reflection there can be on this mystery.

Specifically, I’m challenged by the “Yes” of it all.

Thus, this section of today’s assignment caught my eye and has stayed with me:

Mary first conceived Jesus in faith and then in the flesh, when she said yes to the message God gave her through the angel. What does this mean? It means that God did not want to become human by bypassing our freedom; he wanted to pass through Mary’s free assent, through her “yes.” He asked her, “Are you prepared to do this?” And she replied, “Yes.”

But what took place most singularly in the Virgin Mary also takes place within us, spiritually, when we receive the word of God with a good and sincere heart and put it into practice. It is as if God takes flesh within us; he comes to dwell in us, for he dwells in all who love him and keep his word. It is not easy to understand this, but really, it is easy to feel it in our heart.

The Church of Mercy, Chapter 38, paragraph 5

I have an opportunity to live “Yes” often every day, but this reminds me that it starts at the beginning of the day. How will I continue to let my “Yes” grow, inspired by Mary’s faith?

*A Living Rosary is where each person commits to praying one decade of a rosary each day, reflecting on a specific mystery.

The Second Greatest Story Ever Told (Week 1 of 8)

If you’ve spent any time with any of Fr. Michael Gaitley’s work, you may know that you have a treat ahead of you. I’ve started reading The Second Greatest Story Ever Told and I’m finding it hard to put down.

Here’s a bit about it:

In The Second Greatest Story Ever Told bestselling author Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC, reveals St. John Paul II’s witness for our time. Building on the prophetic voices of Margaret Mary Alacoque, Thérèse of Lisieux, Maximilian Kolbe, and Faustina Kowalska, The Second Greatest Story Ever Told is more than a historical account of the Great Mercy Pope. This book expounds on the profound connection between Divine Mercy and Marian consecration. It serves as an inspiration for all those who desire to bear witness to the mercy of God, focused on Christ and formed by Mary. Now is the time of mercy. Now is the time to make John Paul’s story your own.

We’re looking forward to reading this together!

Reading Assignment:

Introduction and Chapters 1-2

Discussion Questions:

1. What was your favorite part of The Church of Mercy? How will you share its message with others in your life?

2. Do you have a special devotion to Divine Mercy or John Paul II? What are you most looking forward to with The Second Greatest Story Ever Told?

Feel free to comment on anything from our assignment this past week!

Read More:

For More Information on the Book Club:

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About Sarah Reinhard

Sarah Reinhard continues to delight ”and be challenged by” her vocations of Catholic wife and mother. She's online at and is the author of a number of books for families.

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  • Jeanette

    Just recently, on holiday, I read Fr. Gaitley’s “Second Greatest Story Ever Told” and loved it! I’m looking forward to going through it again with the book club as it’s definitely worth reading a second time and maybe discovering something more this time than last. Thanks.

    • LizEst

      Thanks for your endorsement, Jeanette! God bless you!

  • John

    I’m excited about the next book as well. I have had it on my shelf since it first came out. I’ve seen that all of Fr. Gaitley’s books are highly recommended too, so I may be buying some more of his if I like his style. Plus I saw that he has a new DVD series called Divine Mercy.

    In fact, this year I wasn’t sure which Catholic books to read, but the Holy Spirit must have been working because the next three books were all on my shelf waiting for me. Guess I’m reading those this year! 🙂

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