Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Book Review—The Grace of Yes: Eight Virtues for Generous Living

I just finished reading Lisa M. Hendey’s book, The Grace of Yes: Eight Virtues for Generous Living. This book is truly amazing. I have to admit that I have not read Lisa’s previous books, but do read her posts on Patheos and New Evangelizers, which I consistently find very appealing.

Hendey is a wonderful writer. She writes clearly, articulately, honestly, with much encouragement and optimism. I met Lisa at a conference and was impressed by how friendly, natural, and open she was, unconcerned about making an impression, but very confident in her own skin. After reading this book, I understand why – she is a woman of faith and humility.

In The Grace of Yes, Lisa discusses eight virtues each one of us needs to acquire in order to say "Yes!" to God and His will in our life. I am not exactly sure of the origin of each of these virtues, as some appear to be more psychological than theological. The virtues consist of: belief (faith), generativity, creativity, integrity, humility, vulnerability, saying no, and rebirth.  She describes each of the virtues as a grace, elaborating on how she was blessed with each grace, how she has used that grace in the past, continues to use it in the present, and how she plans to use it in the future. She makes herself vulnerable by candidly describing her shortcomings with each one.

Throughout the book, she supports her ideas with Scripture quotes and occasional saint quotes. More often, she gives us relevant examples from her own life and those of friends’ lives. At the end of each chapter, the reader is given questions to ponder and reflect on, as well as a lovely prayer to attain each virtue.

The Grace of Yes is a book that encourages the reader to examine these virtues in his/her own life and desire to acquire them. Living in union with God’s will and spreading the gospel message is not a new missive, but the way in which Hendey presents it is fresh, at times, funny, and very enthusiastic. This book is filled with a passionate desire to spread the Faith and does so in a challenging, uplifting and inspiring manner. It is a beautifully written heartfelt book that you will want to read over and over again and will treasure for years to come.

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