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Arriving at Amen

Arriving at Amen

Seven Catholic Prayers That Even I Can Offer 

Author: Leah Libresco

Foreword by: Mark P. Shea

Price: $16.95

Format: Paperback

Pages: 192

Trim size: 5.5 x 8.5 inches

ISBN: 978-1-59471-587-7

Imprint: Ave Maria Press

On-sale date: May 7, 2015

More Prayer and Meditation, Spirituality


In 2012, media outlets from CNN to EWTN announced that Leah Libresco, a gifted young intellectual, columnist, and prolific blogger on the Atheist channel on Patheos, was converting to Catholicism. In Arriving at Amen, Libresco uses the rigorous rationality that defined her Atheism to tell the story behind that very personal journey and to describe the seven forms of Catholic prayer that guided her to embrace a joyful life of faith.

As a Yale graduate, Libresco launched her writing career by blogging about science, literature, mathematics, and morality from a distinctively secular perspective. Over time, encounters with friends and associates caused her to concede the reasonableness of belief in God in theory, though not yet in practice.

In Arriving at Amen, Libresco uniquely describes the second part of her spiritual journey, in which she encountered God through seven classic Catholic forms of prayer—Liturgy of the Hours, lectio divina, examen, intercessory prayer, the Rosary, confession, and the Mass. Examining each practice through the intellectual lens of literature, math, and art, Libresco reveals unexpected glimpses of beauty and truth in the Catholic Church that will be appreciated by the curious and convinced alike.

Features & Benefits:

  • This is a first book by Leah Libresco, a popular blogger on Patheos (“Unequally Yoked: A Geeky Convert Picks Fights in Good Faith”) and other venues.
  • Her engrossing, cerebral interpretation of traditional Catholic prayer practices (Liturgy of the Hours, lectio divina, examen, intercessory prayer, the Rosary, confession, and the Mass) connects faith and reason in unexpected ways through literary, mathematical, and scientific comparisons.
  • Libresco’s story will appeal to many people who believe in God and pray regularly but do not affiliate with any faith tradition. This is the fastest growing religious group in the United States.


"One of the premier young, Catholic writers today."

“Atheist convert Leah Libresco is well-known for her sharp mind, dogged curiosity, and fresh perspective on faith. Arriving at Amen puts those gifts on full display. Her reflections on prayer and the spiritual journey are brilliant, unique, and utterly refreshing. With this book, Leah hasn't just arrived at Amen; she's arrived as one of the premier young, Catholic writers today.”

Brandon Vogt
Author of Saints and Social Justice

"A surprising little gem."

“At once a conversion story and a practical treatise of the exploration of prayer, Arriving at Amen is a surprising little gem of a book, so fresh and insightful it belies Leah Libresco's status as a recent convert to Catholicism. Arriving at Amen literally made me gasp, because I suddenly realized I was holding a diamond; the most intellectually stimulating, humbling, and entertaining Catholic book I have read in a very, very long time.” 

Elizabeth Scalia
Catholic blogger and author of Strange Gods

"Direct, uncluttered, and full of spiritual insight."

"Direct, uncluttered, and full of spiritual insight, Leah Libresco's singularly helpful book is for anyone seeking a deeper and richer and more reflective life of faith."

R. R. Reno
Editor of First Things

"A wonderful gift."

"Leah Libresco’s account of her journey of faith is a wonderful gift. Whether it’s music or math, dancing or pottery, she uses personal experiences to show us how to develop a daily life of ever-deepening prayer. This book is a delight to read."

Scott Hahn
Bestselling author of Angels and Saints

"A delightfully refreshing read."

"Reading Leah Libresco's book is like being taken on a tour of your home town by a brilliant, quirky guide who helps you see everything anew. Arriving at Amen is a delightfully refreshing read that will help any Catholic see the Faith through new eyes."

Jennifer Fulwiler
Author of Something Other Than God

"A new perspective on faith."

"Arriving at Amen is weird and winsome: a thoughtful and humble exploration of Catholic practice and prayer. . . . This book will give you a new perspective on the faith."

Eve Tushnet
Author of Gay and Catholic

"A wonderful and lucid preaching in geek tongues."

"Arriving at Amen is a wonderful and lucid preaching in geek tongues—a vivid journey through and toward Catholic faith guided by musicals, topology, Kant, mellified mummies, friends, and the Year's Best SF."

Max Gladstone
Author of Full Fathom Five

Leah Libresco's Arriving at Amen Theology on Tap Talk in Sydney, Australia
Arriving at Amen Q&A with Leah Libresco

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  • "Metanoia" Part 1 on KBVM Radio
  • "Metanoia" Part 2 on KBVM Radio

Leah Libresco's Arriving at Amen Theology on Tap Talk in Sydney, Australia