What to Get Your Priest for Christmas...

There are a number of books I have read that have filled me with a strong sense of the joy and privilege that I have in my femininity; that have given me a new understanding of the great gift I have been given in my mothering vocation and made me want to shout it from the rooftops. I just finished reading a book that made me feel a similar way...

...about all the men in my life.

The book, written by Dr. Scott Hahn, is Many are Called: Rediscovering the Glory of the Priesthood ; and I would love to buy one for every fellow I meet.

It's not a long book, structured simply and wonderfully like many of Hahn's previous blockbusters . Short chapters and engaging stories make it the perfect way to draw those of us with limited attention or theological interest into the depths and details of the beauty of our faith. Scripture and tradition are expounded in a way that teaches effectively but doesn't leave the reader feeling left behind.

Each time I set the book aside while reading, I was left with a sense of awe and gratitude for the gift that God has given to us in all men, all fathers, and most specifically, all priests. Deadbeat dads and scandalous priests are an unfortunate reality; but the ideal to which God calls all mankind is breathtakingly beautiful.  I have said to myself many times during the reading of this book: "If I were a man, I would be so grateful for the incredible privilege that God has given in my manhood!"

Dr. Hahn opens the book by outlining the parallels of biological fatherhood and ordained fatherhood and maintains the thread throughout. He does this while demonstrating the singular call of the priest that sets him apart and makes his vocation one of particular necessity and unique joy. The vocation of the layman is elevated by the priesthood. The higher calling of the priesthood is defined and understood in the vocation of every man.

Dr. Hahn describes fatherhood the fulfillment of a man's creation; and the priesthood as the "supernatural fulfillment" of manhood, masculinity and fatherhood.

This is what we need to hear. This is what men need to hear to grow in confidence and joy in their vocations. This is what women need to hear to better appreciate and honor the men (lay and ordained) we love and serve. This is what priests need to hear to be encouraged, renewed and strengthened in in faith and devotion.

Many are Called is a relatively new book (published in June, 2010) so odds are your priest (husband, brother, son) don't have a copy yet. Might I suggest an absolutely perfect Christmas gift wrapped up and delivered to the rectory? I would also recommend this book for those non-Catholics who would appreciate a better understanding of the Catholic priesthood and young men and teens who are discerning a vocation to the priesthood.

You can find this book for sale at The Catholic Company and I am grateful to them for giving me the opportunity to review it as part of their book reviewer program. You won't be disappointed by a visit to their very complete selection of Catholic books and gifts .