CatholicMatch has just published its first book, titled The Catholic Playbook: Lenten Reflections For Singles. The 118-page 5"x8" softcover book is being distributed through Catholic Word for $12.99 and is now available for order online.
The book began here on "Faith, Hope & Love" last spring, when we published 40 reflections on Lent and single life written by CatholicMatch members. Those moving accounts inspired the creation of this book, which includes a foreword by Bishop Kevin Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Ind., and 40 prayers written by Father Gary Caster, a college chaplain who writes for the Magnificat and has presided at two CatholicMatch weddings. The USCCB's Theresa Notare wrote a beautiful epilogue for the book.
With honesty, humor and hope, these singles examine the trials and rewards of single life, all folded into the Lenten season. Their stories will alternately comfort and challenge you.
Bishop Rhoades offered high praise for The Catholic Playbook: Lenten Reflections For Singles, writing:
"The reflections in this book have been written by single Catholics who are striving to love the Lord more deeply. Like the psalms, they are written from the heart and express the full range of human emotions: longing and loneliness, repentance and purification, periods of intense suffering and moments of deep joy. They bear poignant witness to the fact that whatever is in our hearts can be offered to Christ as part of our complete gift of self to Him."
Father Peter Laird, vicar general of the Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis, also endorsed the book, writing:
"Lent is a season which is meant to render us ever more available to the Lord. These reflections by single Catholics is an ample reminder that the Paschal Mystery is about learning to pray, fast and give even when what we most want seems to be taken or delayed. Beyond the single adult discerning a "Match," there is spiritual insight and good humor in these pages to nourish all who want to live more readily in the Lord."
"Single life can be a lonely place. In a sea of married friends and relatives, I often feel isolated and filled with doubts that God truly has a plan for my future. If you share this struggle, I invite you to journey through the season with Lenten Reflections for Single Catholics. Written by single Catholics from all walks of life, these 40 insightful meditations hit upon the core questions of our souls. Each story is followed by a beautiful prayer that offers practical ways to persevere and echoes God's perfect love for each of us."
And Father Sebastien Bakatu, a formator and spiritual director at St. John Vianney College Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., offered this endorsement:
"This book is a beautiful meditation for Lent that speaks not only to singles but to all of us in that journey of solitude and transformation during which we long to have Jesus, the only one who can change our loneliness into companionship and togetherness."
When Lent begins on Feb. 22, thousands of Catholics across the country will journey with CatholicMatch. Join them by ordering your copy today!