Maria Nolita M. Banda Explores the Mojo of Piety for Peace in New Book

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PAYAK showcases a wholesome understanding of humility, mitzvot, tithing and sacraments that makes piety an elegant way of life for a peaceable world.

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From a highly skilled author Maria Nolita M. Banda, MD comes a collection of engaging and at times poetic narratives and reflections by a pious Christian that evolved from attending an ultra Orthodox Jewish wedding in Chareidi Country, in PAYAK. This book proposes that if we hold each other in reverence, believing that the next person is created in the image of God just as we are, unification of spirit can triumph over religious literalism even amongst disparate groups. Communication will be fluent even without words, appreciation of the dignity of fellow human beings in their own contexts will make cognizant similar needs and longings, good deeds will become the currency of piety, and every healthy goal will be possible with the audacity of faith.

Under the aegis of an exquisite friendship with an American-Jewish family, the invitation to the marriage ceremony culminated into an eye-opening pilgrimage. While in the thick of devotedly observing the strict Charedi rituals, the author, a pious Catholic Christian, found herself delving deeper into her own faith and discovered an all-inclusive God. She came to recognize the incarnational spirituality in certain mitzvot, i.e., careful choice of a lifetime mate, a secure home, educated children, importance of friendships for communal life and spiritual welfare, a just economy, a culture of robust living for all ages, a clean ecology. These are simply the basic elements that make for a peaceful world.

PAYAK is humility, the mojo of piety, which enlarges the heart to as big as is required of it to accommodate a world of equal rights and freedoms for all. Banda’s claim that piety is the key to settling people’s differences will certainly attract the fancy of cynics because it is contrary to popular belief. The beautiful illustrations with epigraphs will attract aesthetes and invite meditation, but may be resisted by those who are sentimentally religious. However, the truly pious might find that they resonate with the author’s style of tithing, a practical manifest of the perfect power of humility. Her universal sacraments, which make hallow even the most mundane of encounters, will certainly appeal to postmodern minds.

Today’s society of global origins and rampant moral relativism needs to recollect itself to piety and humility, the way Banda expounds on them in her book, in order to quench its thirst for peace, health, prosperity and harmony. In a world that is beleaguered by so much unrest and unresolved conflicts, the author espouses that it is cool to be pious, it is cool to be humble, it is cool to tithe, it is cool to care -- in short, it is cool to be peaceable. Peace, after all, is what everyone wants everywhere in the world.

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About the Author
Maria Nolita M. Banda, MD is ecstatic to offer her first book as it is the fulfillment of one of her goals in her list of necessary accomplishments. She has always lived her life in unlabeled and uncategorized ways. She was formed and shaped by a cauldron of differences, from the time she was conceived in the Philippines to her adulthood in the United States; which has been further enriched by her acquaintances of different peoples in their local cultures in her extensive travels half the world over. She has also lived part of her age of discretion in New York, where she was exponentially nurtured in the thoughts, emotions, sights, smells, sounds and textures of a veritable melting pot of races, religions, social strata, sexual orientations, and cultural mores. Her profession as an obstetrician-gynecologist, first as a house officer in-training in Manila and then as a hospitalist in Syracuse, has given her intimate occasions into diverse family dynamics and other remarkably challenging human relationships in both Third World and First World settings. She has learned that people can peaceably overcome the demands of each other’s differences if they could but savor the beauty of humanity in all its grit and glory. She welcomes further discussion, including critique and questions at where readers/bloggers comments can be posted.

PAYAK* by Maria Nolita M. Banda, MD
The Mojo of Piety
Publication Date: November 15, 2013
Trade Paperback; $15.99; 95 pages; 978-1-4836-9239-5
Trade Hardback; $24.99; 95 pages; 978-1-4836-9240-1
eBook; $3.99; 978-1-4836-9241-8

Members of the media who wish to review this book may request a complimentary paperback copy by contacting the publisher at (888) 795-4274 x. 7879. To purchase copies of the book for resale, please fax Xlibris at (812) 355-4079 or call (888) 795-4274 x. 7879.

For more information on self-publishing or marketing with Xlibris, visit To receive a free publishing guide, please call (888) 795-4274.

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