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Letters to a Young Catholic

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Thankfully, the title of the book "Letters to a Young Catholic" by George Weigel didn't persuade me from picking it up. It is a great and easy read. It is a good book to read and then share.

Some materials that I read are what I call “bedroom reading.” These are books that can be read in short bursts and do not call on us to fire up all our mental capacities, these books are intended for the heart.

With that in mind, George Weigel is a scholar on many fronts. He is the recipient of eighteen honorary doctorates in fields including divinity, philosophy, law, and social science. He is best known for his biography on Saint John Paul II.

I had the opportunity to hear him speak a couple several years ago. You would think with this intellect he would be dry and analytical… but you would be wrong. He is one of the most passionate supporters of the joys of Catholicism.

"Letters to a Young Catholic" offers an interesting approach. Instead of offering theological arguments, or experience of the saints, the author takes us to the places that offered him transformative experiences. In this format, we are taken around the world, starting and finishing in Professor Weigel’s home town of Baltimore.

Through these journeys and the stories of people, the book wonderfully reveals truths of the Catholic church and how God reveals himself through humanity. This book embodies our faith and seals it in the world. As you read each “letter,” you will hear yourself saying, “that’s right…that’s how I feel.” George Weigel has the gift of expressing the core of our love for God. The title is "Letters to a Young Catholic" and it is meant to inspire those searching, but aren’t we all?

Following Christ in a Consumer Society

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In his book, "Following Christ in a Consumer Society," Fr. John Kavanaugh elaborates on what he refers to as “The Commodity Form” wherein he examines the extremes that our society has been drawn into without slaking our thirst for products and services of every conceivable type.

Then he focuses on “The Personal Form” which concentrates on the Gospel message of Jesus requiring Christians to love and help each other vs. loving “things.”

Fr. Kavanaugh (1941 - 2012) was an acclaimed professor of philosophy at St. Louis University.  The depth of his intellect makes reading some pages of the book a definite challenge. But there are many sections that shine with facts and smooth logic encouraging the reader to live the Gospel message with stepped up commitment and more enthusiasm.

This Jesuit’s knowledge of the virtual overwhelming lure of our culture is made clear with the 27 page bibliography at the end of the book. That section is entitled, “Reading About Culture and Faith.”

His comments related to the many books that he has studied on our culture is a worthy reading all by itself.

Who Do He Say You Are?

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Who Does He Say You Are? Women Transformed by Christ in the Gospels by Colleen C. Mitchell

This book speaks to the heart of every woman. Sometimes we struggle with our identity, or acceptance of who we are. Christ elevates us to a new level once we discover His love, and our uniqueness and charisms in the light of who we are in HIS EYES. Each chapter contains a scriptural account about a woman in the Bible such as: Mary, the Mother of Jesus, Elizabeth, Mother of John the Baptist, Anna, the Prophetess, The Woman of Samaria, The Hemorrhaging Woman, The Woman Caught in Adultery, Mary Magdalen. The author highlights the characteristics of the woman in scripture, the challenges that can be applied to our own lives, her message to us today, and a beautiful prayer summarizing the chapter.

Each chapter closes with reflection questions. This book will deepen your spiritual life, challenge you to come closer to Jesus and above all, to share the message of God’s love in your life with others. Take this book with you on retreat, your Lenten Journey, or even as a part of your personal prayer life. The closing words of her book sums it perfectly: “May you discover yourself in the learning and drawing near, deeper and deeper still, to the God who made you – continuing to learn to embrace who it is He says that you are.  And may his Word ever guide you to know more of who you are in Him.”

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