Reform Yourself! How to Pray, Find Peace, and Grow in Faith with the Saints of the Counter Reformation
The sixteenth-century Catholic Church was definitely in need of reform. Too many of its leaders were worldly and corrupt; too many of the faithful were living in laxity or ignorance. Unfortunately, Protestantism brought revolution rather than reform, but the saints who rose up in response to it helped renew and transform the Church for generations to come.
Our own souls, too, are in constant need of reform, of re-conversion to God and his will for us. We struggle with sin, we become distracted in prayer, we find it hard to be loving and easy to be selfish. In Reform Yourself!, Shaun McAfee (founder of Epic Pew and author of Filling Our Father’s House) shows you how these magnificent saints can be guides in your own personal transformation.
Drawing upon the saints’ writings, works, and life events, Reform Yourself! reveals in each of them a model of a particular virtue or grace that we all need—along with practical tips for imitating them in our own lives. For example:
Francis de Sales: sharing the Faith with gentleness and patience
Teresa of Avila: the courage to persevere in prayer
Philip Neri: joyful humility and a sense of humor even during trials
Jane de Chantal: loving God with simplicity of heart and childlike trust
Aloysius Gonzaga: mastery of the flesh through self-sacrifice
Through the lessons of these saints and others, Reform Yourself! shows you a time-tested path to a richer spiritual life, deeper knowledge of God’s revealed truths, and a more fruitful living-out of your vocation. We all need to reform our souls—let the saints who reformed the Church show you how!
“In all the theological discussion surrounding the Catholic response to the Reformation, what often gets lost is its true goal; daily conversion to Christ. Shaun McAfee explores the lives of loyal sons and daughters of the sixteenth century Church and invites us to look at them as models of true Christian reform.”
Matt Swain – Host of Son Rise Morning Show
“Now these are the kinds of saints’ lives I relish! Shaun McAfee brings the stories of great saints of the Reformation era alive for us to enjoy and embrace their living lessons for our own lives today. Replete with fascinating anecdotes and practical advice for growth in holiness, read this entertaining, well-crafted book, and with the inspiration and intercession of these ten glorious men and women of our Church, you will refresh, renew, and Reform Yourself!”
Kevin Vost, Psy.D. – Author of books including Memorize the Reasons! Defending the Faith with the Catholic Art of Memory and Hounds of the Lord: Great Dominican Saints Every Catholic Should Know
Available in eBook and Paperback.
Surprised by Life: 10 Converts Explain How Catholic Teachings on Life Led Them to the Church
I am grateful to be part of such a special book. In this latest “Surprised by” title from Patrick Madrid my wife and I were able to tell our story of kicking around the moral issue of abortion before and after being married, and the pain and struggle we endured while using several different forms of contraception. In the pages you’ll find many more wonderful stories of others who were “surprised by life” and were able to triumph over their prior ignorance.
“Surprised by Life is a powerful group of testimonies of men and women who, by embracing the truth that all life is sacred, encountered the Truth, Jesus Christ Himself, and His Church. I enthusiastically recommend these personal stories to all who seek to proclaim and promote the Gospel of Life.”
Most Rev. James S. Wall
Bishop of Gallup, New Mexico
“Surprised by Life is powerful collection of deeply personal stories that address what is arguably the most important issue of our time. These unforgettable stories will change how you see the world.”
Author of Something Other Than God and SiriusXM radio host
Available in eBook and Paperback.
St. Robert Bellarmine
St. Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) was a prolific author of the Counter Reformation and great defender of the Catholic Church. This book tells the story of the great saint who went from obscure title to become one of the most famous saints of his time.
I wrote this book while deployed to Afghanistan in 2015. It’s a donation to my parish as a celebration of our 50th anniversary. The book has four general parts:
- A short testimonial off my conversion to the Catholic faith and involvement in St. Robert Bellarmine parish.
- The parish timeline and history.
- Biography of this most special saint of the Counter-Reformation and Doctor of the Church.
- Paraphrase of his famous work, The Art of Dying Well.
“Everyone who would like to learn more about Robert Bellarmine, the saint, will also be pleased reading this book. It is a wonderful celebration of the life of St. Robert and has inspired me to read the writings of St. Robert Bellarmine.” – John, Amazon Reviewer
“McAfee’s book on St. Bellarmine, who was a contemporary with St Francis DeSalles, St. Phillip Neri and St. Aloysius Gonzaga, is an wonderful and accessible read on this important saint who lived in the Post Reformation era of the Church.” – Laura Hensley, Amazon Reviewer
Available in eBook and Paperback.
Filling Our Father’s House: What Converts Can Teach Us About Evangelization
(Sophia Institute Press, 2015)
Converts often bring to the Catholic Church an evangelical zeal that can renew and energize even the most tired and battle weary among us.
The Church is hurting for enthusiastic voices to proclaim her teachings on truth and morals. In these pages, Shaun McAfee, a convert from Evangelical Protestantism shows how we can take the best tools of evangelization and use them to reach countless souls with the fullness of the Christian Faith.
With Shaun’s help, you’ll learn simple ways you can make the visitor in your parish more at home, how to speak compellingly about the Faith, simple ways to integrate daily Scripture reading into your life, why small groups are important for spiritual enrichment, and how to communicate with souls who have never considered joining the Catholic Church.
The simple steps Shaun outlines in these pages will also show priests and lay leaders how to more effectively engage modern society with our Catholic Faith.
Our society is awash in secularism. It’s eating away at the sense of God, and the emptying of the pews in our own parishes is its natural effects. What we need is a renewal of enthusiasm for the battle against secularism and this book is a beginner’s guide to getting us back on track.
Reviews and Endorsements:
“The suggestions laid out in this book are the sort that will empower faithful Catholics with a more vibrant outlook on evangelism, aid them in sharing their Faith with others, and create more hospitable parish community that is, as Pope Francis has recently stated, more attractive.”
“The advice in Filling Our Father’s House is clear and practical. Any Catholic who wants to live a more fruitful spiritual life will follow Shaun McAfee’s direction.”
“Shaun McAfee has done us a great service in compiling the things we can learn from converts, all with a hope that we will be better Catholics.”
“Read this book and be grateful to the Holy Spirit for the Great Regathering he is doing in our time!”
-Mark P. Shea