Pam Spano reviews a daily devotional by Kathryn Lopez: a beautiful book, inside and out.
There’s an old saying that says, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” I’ve heard that saying since I was a little girl, but I have never abided by it, at least when it came to books.
When I was in grammar school and our class would go to the public library, I would immediately go to the new arrival section and scan the covers. The brightest colors were the books that attracted my attention. Once the book was in my hand, I would scrutinize the front and back cover in order to make my decision.
Nowadays, and of course since the pandemic, most of my book choices are made online. The cover is still a part of my decision making (it does draw me in!), but I do read the synopsis and a couple of reviews.
Kathryn Jean Lopez’s A Year With the Mystics: Visionary Wisdom for Daily Living has been on my wish list for some time. Of course, I was drawn in by the photo of its cover. One day, as I was loading my cart with “essentials” from my wishlist, I nonchalantly added the book.
The day it arrived, it was at the bottom of the box of my essentials. As I opened the cellophane, I gasped just a little. The leatherette cover is beautifully done with stitching that joins the rich brown and blue cover. The pages are edged in gold and are thick. It’s gorgeous! The best part? The content is just as beautiful!
Some of the inside pages are blank with a marble-like parchment look. You could use those for notes, but this is a book I would not write in. Each page is marked Day 1 through 365 with a short thought, a quote from a mystic/saint, a small blank space (again, possibly to write in), a section entitled “In God’s Presence …” that asks a question and then a final prayer.
Day 1 can be any day you start. On the page “How to Use this Book,” Kathryn states, “Start with the first page or dig in as you see fit. Consider how God wants to guide you.” I started with Day 1 and stayed on that page for two days. It was just so beautifully written and spoke to me so deeply, I didn’t want to let it go. As I read each day, I sometimes stay on a particular page for a couple of days just to soak it in.
Life didn’t stop during the pandemic, and my sisters in Christ were all going through difficulties. I knew I had to get this book for them. We were united by this lovely book. They all loved it!
Whether you gift this book or keep it for yourself, A Year with the Mystics is a lovely addition to any Catholic’s library.
I pray you gasp just a little when you open it.
Copyright 2020 Pam Spano
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About the Author
Pam Spano converted to the Catholic faith as an adult over 30 years ago. Her conversion story started when she sarcastically said to her Catholic boyfriend at the time, "I suppose if we were to get married, you would want me to convert." He thought for a moment and said, "Well, I am worried about your soul." And so the journey began ...