Diego Velázquez [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Have you read the story of Martha and Mary lately? It’s in Luke 10:38-42.

So often, I relate with Martha. She’s juggling a thousand things, and, quite frankly, getting a little irritated with that sister of hers who has the nerve to just plop down and lounge.

The other night, though, I caught myself being Mary. There I was, in all my extraverted glory, talking with people, telling stories, being entertained, and, really, having myself a great time.

While I was having this social blast-o-la, a few friends of mine were in the background, making things happen.

Did I mention that I was supposed to be the “in-charge” person? That I had assured the other person in charge that yes, I could handle it?

It wasn’t until after I was home that I realized how often I slip into Mary Mode. It’s so easy, when I’m being Martha, to be resentful of that peaceful look I see on all the Mary faces that aren’t mine. And yet, when I’m in Mary Mode, I have noooooo problem just going with the flow and enjoying myself.

Which brings me to a book I read recently: Along the Way: Lessons for an Authentic Journey of Faith, by Randy Hain. He’s the man who brought us The Catholic Briefcase (which I enjoyed a lot).

He’s someone I’ve gotten to know a bit over the last couple of years, and he has earned my respect. I suspect he vaciliates between Martha and Mary himself, and I can’t help but relate as he writes about conversion and evangelization and his worst moments.

How often have you looked at yourself and wondered? Why? Why do I bother? What’s the point?

Conversion isn’t just a moment in time (which is why those of us who are “converts” aren’t really better Catholics). It’s a journey.

Randy has lassoed that journey into chapters and he takes his readers for a ride. It’s not a roller coaster, but it it’s far from boring.

If you find yourself struggling or tempted to give up, this is a book for you. If you just want to be D.O.N.E. with conversion already, this is a book for you. If you want a healthy dose of real life and practice advice (humor, no extra charge), this is a book for you.

Reading this book will not only be enjoyable, it will make you a better Catholic.