Six years ago, I stumbled on a book by Matthew Kelly in a Christian bookstore and fell in love with his message “become the best-version-of-yourself.” Since that time, I am reading my way through his dozen bestselling books and spending time on the website for his foundation at MatthewKelly.org.
Matthew Kelly’s first book, Call to Joy, is a wonderful study of how God speaks to each of us in our lives and how we respond to him. Inspired by his own personal story of hearing God’s Call to Joy, the author takes us through a spiritual journey that shares God’s message in a straightforward way.
I read this book entirely while sitting in my car during soccer practice, carpool, etc. Knowing the book was sitting in the car waiting for me encouraged me to leave early just so I could sit in the car and read for a longer period of time. Matthew’s writing is beautifully comforting, peaceful, uplifting and encouraging. We can all learn to listen to God’s call for our lives. If we make prayer a priority in our lives and put God first, we will hear the message of Joy that He wants all of us to hear.
I’m notorious for talking a lot and constantly surround myself with noise throughout the day, so Chapter 6 – Silence & the Presence of God - really struck home. Matthew points out that silence is necessary to be close to God. “Silence increases our receptivity of God’s grace.” Silence is something I struggle with.
In addition to silence, we are called to put God first in our lives and use prayer to find joy. Prayer needs to be a priority every morning that sets our day in perspective, and every evening to reflect God’s influence throughout the day.
This is one of those books I want to reread every few years, because A Call to Joy is a spiritual exercise to enrich our prayer lives and bring us closer to God. Through his writing, Matthew Kelly teaches us how to recognize God’s presence within us.