Book Notes: Stocking Stuffers from Pauline Books & Media

"Book Notes: Stocking Stuffers" by Barb Szyszkiewicz (

Image created in Canva; stockings via (2018), CC0 Public Domain


Just right to tuck into a Christmas stocking, the small books in the “Just a Minute” series from Pauline Books & Media make a big impact.

These books, each about 100 little pages (they measure 4×6 inches), offer around 50 short reflections designed to provide meditations on Scripture and advice for daily struggles. You don’t need to read these meditations in any particular order; you can choose them at random, based on the headline or the Scripture verses that accompany the reflections.

You also don’t need a great deal of reading or prayer time to benefit from these books. They’re made to be used in whatever time you have available.

  • when you’ve arrived 5 minutes early
  • when you’re in the waiting room
  • when you’re waiting to pick up the kids after school or from activities
  • while you feed the baby (these books are small and light enough to be used with one hand)
  • while the water boils for the mac-n-cheese

I peeked into three of these “Just a Minute” books and found them all encouraging.

Meditations for Deeper Trust by Sr. Kathryn J. Hermes, FSP: Described by the author as “my go-to scripture meditations and prayers when I’m overwhelmed with life and the devil tries to make me believe I’m on my own,” these reflections gently lead the reader to surrender and cling to God during the tough times.

Meditations to Grow in Self-Esteem by Sr. Marie Paul Curley, FSP, invites readers to let go of competitiveness, comparison, and perfectionism. The author notes that “healthy self-esteem allows us to embrace God’s will for our lives and to live life with more joy.”

Meditations for Inner Peace by Sr. Kathryn J. Hermes, FSP, offers support and encouragement to rest in the love of God. As she did in her book on trust, the author shares a method of praying through these reflections to focus on God’s care.

These pretty little books would make excellent gifts: tuck them into a gift bag with a box of herbal tea or some elegant chocolates. Or let them peek out of the top of a Christmas stocking! Encouragement is always in season.

Visit our Book Notes archive.

Copyright 2018 Barb Szyszkiewicz, OFS
This article contains Amazon affiliate links; your purchases through these links benefit the author.


About Author

Barb Szyszkiewicz is a wife, mom of 3 young adults, and a Secular Franciscan. She is managing editor for Today's Catholic Teacher magazine and editor at Barb enjoys writing, cooking, and reading, and is a music minister at her parish and an avid Notre Dame football and basketball fan. Find her blog at FranciscanMom and her family’s favorite recipes with nutrition information for diabetics at Cook and Count.

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