Love in the Little Things, Mike Aquilina's collection of essays on family life, is written with humor and charity. Aquilina chronicles moments from his life as a husband and father of six, including little gems of spiritual insight along the way.
I liked that he shares with readers the joy he derives from his family without becoming too saccharine. Sometimes collections like these can make it seem like the writer's family is an idyll of devotion where never an unkind thought is had by anyone. Aquilina paints a more honest picture of family life that still focuses on grace.
The stories are diverse, whether he is recounting a conversation with a Muslim cab driver who noticed his prayer beads, or remembering how a monumental decision "had been ordained, if not from eternity, at least for a long time and by an authority that is great upon the earth—that is, my wife's." He talks about reading the lives of the saints and the temptation to assume that we could never join their ranks, because our lives are so ordinary in comparison - tying this to St. Thérèse's "Little Way."
This is a short book—127 pages—and I wish it had been a bit longer. On the flip side, this means that Aquilina doesn't belabor any of the points he's making, or repeat himself. I would like to have heard more stories of his relationship with his wife; "Just Say It!", the chapter on how his first inspired Valentine's Day gift to her as a newlywed morphed into a longtime tradition of poetry, was particularly strong and went in an unexpected direction. Reading this book is like spending a couple of hours scrolling through a great blog—lots of great content, parceled into small portions.