I always appreciate an inspiring saint story. The witness of the saints remind us to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and to love Him and our neighbor with all our heart, mind, and will. Saint stories remind of us of our ultimate destiny: union with the Holy Trinity in heaven.

Yet sometimes I find myself wondering what a saint would do if he or she lived in today’s world with its unique problems and needs. I wonder how the lessons we learn from their lives might inform the practical decisions we make in our families and apostolates.

We not only need models of past holiness, but models of people striving after holiness today. Randy Hain’s book Joyful Witness: How to Be an Extraordinary Catholic provides just that.

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In Joyful Witness, Hain tells the stories of American Catholics who are living out their faith in a myriad of ways. From young to old, from converts and reverts and lifelong faithful Catholics, from movers-and-shakers to those working behind the scenes, Joyful Witness provides us with examples of Christian life lived in the here and now.

As an author, evangelist, and business leader who also happens to have his finger on the pulse of Cool Catholic Stuff happening nationwide, Hain has many opportunities to meet Catholics across the country, many of whom figure in Joyful Witness. Hain also includes stories of those close to him and his family, people who have impressed him with their abundant love and quiet service. The variety of people depicted in Joyful Witness reminds us that, no matter the size or flashiness of the work God has laid before us, we are all called to live out love and mercy, however that figures in each of our lives.

Each chapter includes the story of a person, practical takeaways, and questions for reflection or discussion.

If you or someone you know is looking for encouragement and practical ways to be a Catholic today, look no further than Joyful Witness. It's a good one for rekindling the life of faith!

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Copyright 2016 Rhonda Ortiz