Several years ago, the postulator for the sainthood cause of Mother Teresa - now Blessed Teresa of Calcutta - caused something of a stir in the media when he revealed that the beloved and revered nun had periods of doubt and weakness in her faith life.

Such a crisis of faith is not unusual. St. John of the Cross, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Vincent de Paul and many, many other holy men and women have experienced struggle, doubt, despair, a spiritual dryness.

In his book, "When Faith Feels Fragile," Father R. Scott Hurd, a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington and a best-selling author, has tackled that problem when, he writes, in matters of faith "we're not exactly starving, but we're malnourished."

"If your faith feels fragile, don't despair," Father Hurd writes in his book. "Let's face it: it's not always easy to have faith."

The subtitle of Father Hurd's book, "When Faith Feels Fragile," is "Help for the Wary, Weak and Wandering." It promises to help the reader "discover what faith is, and consider ways we can open ourselves to this gift and hold it close to our hearts." It delivers on that promise.

Written in a conversational manner that is easily understood by the non-theologians among us, Father Hurd presents a plan of action, insights and guidance for those times when we have stalled or have gotten misdirected on our journey of faith.

"Feeling that our faith is fragile is not necessarily a bad thing," the priest assures us. "In fact, to accept our faith's weakness is a good step toward our faith becoming stronger."

Divided into four sections - All About Faith, Churchy Things To Do, Practical Things To Do and Fun Things To Do - the book is chock-full of practical tips to restore, replenish and revitalize our fragile faith.

Through it all, Father Hurd assures us that such fragility and our various efforts to overcome it, are all part of the Lord's plan "to lead us to the one faith by any number of means."

In the first section, "All About Faith," Father Hurd helps us tend a fragile faith when life throws at us despair, pain, confusion, moments of weakness. He helps us understand that without such moments, if Jesus took away our doubt, "we would be compelled to believe. We wouldn't have any choice... True love is never forced. It's always a decision."

"Keep praying even if you're not sure anyone is listening. We can maintain our faith simply by making acts of faith," Father Hurd writes.

In the second section, "Churchy Things To Do," Father Hurd invites the reader to remain close to the Catholic Church and to participate in the sacraments and life of the Church.

In explaining the Eucharist, Confession, Bible reading, prayer and other acts of faith, Father Hurd likens the Church to a "hospital for sinners," and when we remove ourselves from the healing it offers, "we're only cheating ourselves. Of love. Of forgiveness. Of faith."

The third section, "Practical Things To Do," helps us see that we can nourish and tend our "fragile faith" through our everyday living and navigating "our noisy culture." Finding joy and fulfillment in our work, friendships, gratitude, and carrying out the necessities of life, Father Hurd reminds us, can aid our faith life.

"Mowing the lawn, cooking dinner, folding the laundry, cleaning the floors, waiting in line (and) commuting to work become grace-filled moments," Father Hurd writes, "if done in the right spirit. They're a way we can imitate Jesus, who came 'not to be served, but to serve.' Anything we do with love can be a blessing to those around us."

In "Fun Things To Do" - the fourth part of "When Faith Feels Fragile" - Father Hurd shows how our diversions can lead to a greater sense of God's presence in our lives. Good food, good company, humor, music, athletics, visits to museums and other such activities and enjoyments help feed our faith, the priest contends.

"Celebration is good for the soul," Father Hurd assures us. "A faith life without celebration can grow stale and lifeless, focused more on doing one's duty than responding to grace and love."

In an easy-to-read manner with its references to pop culture and employing real-life examples of real people, "When Faith Feels Fragile" is never heavy-handed or too spiritually dense as it provides a road map to successfully navigate our faith journey.

Father Hurd often cites his own experiences in the book. A former Episcopal priest who entered the Catholic Church almost 20 years ago, he assists in parishes in the Archdiocese of Washington and is the vicar general of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. He is married and the father of three children.

"When Faith Feels Fragile" was recently honored by the Catholic Press Association with a "Popular Presentation of the Catholic Faith" award. It was also named a finalist in Association of Catholic Publisher's "Excellence in Publishing" award competition in the "inspirational" category.

Father Hurd's newest book, "The Living Gospel: Daily Devotions for Advent 2014," will be published in August by Ave Maria Press.

"When Faith Feels Fragile" is a book that one can pick up and read a chapter or two at a time or skip back and forth between the different sections. Father Hurd writes that the book is intended "to highlight some of the avenues through which we can awaken ourselves to God presence all around us and open ourselves more and more to the gift of faith."

And in spending time within the pages of this book, the reader will realize, as Father Hurd points out, that "every person who comes to faith does so for different reasons ... At the end of the day, the faith all Catholics profess is the same; there is but 'one Lord, one faith, one Baptism.'"

(To purchase a copy of "When Faith Feels Fragile," visit; visit Pauline Books & Media at their store in Alexandria; or call 703-549-3806.)