Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Review: Theology for Beginners

Theology for Beginners
Theology for Beginners by Frank J. Sheed

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As Frank Sheed points out, many Catholics love and practice their religion, but most are illiterate when it comes to understanding some of the basic tenets of the Faith. Theology for Beginners addresses this problem.

Every Catholic should reacquaint themselves with the Faith: the Persons of the Trinity; the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception; Heaven, Hell and Purgatory; the Sacraments, etc. Everything relevant to being a Catholic is mentioned in this short book.

What I enjoyed most about Theology for Beginners was the informal style, the dry British wit, and the hope that Mr. Sheed has for each and every serious reader to pursue these issues at a deeper level.

This book is a wonderful introduction to Catholic dogma, and it should be read by everyone, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, interested in learning what the Catholic Church truly believes and teaches.

Although the book does not claim to be about Catholic apologetics (arguing against other religious doctrines with the aim of convincing non-Catholics to join our religion), Mr. Sheed sees the twofold need for a proper understanding of the doctrines of the Faith as a necessary component of practicing our faith more devoutly, as well as being part of the apostolic mission we have been called to live.

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Friday, December 27, 2013

Review: The Joy of the Gospel: Evangelii Gaudium

The Joy of the Gospel: Evangelii Gaudium
The Joy of the Gospel: Evangelii Gaudium by Pope Francis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Compared to Pope Francis' first encyclical, the 25 page Lumen Fideii, this Apostolic Exhortation was much longer, coming in at 225 pages. But there are treasures to be found on every page!

In Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis calls for a rebirth of the New Evangelization. He wants Catholics to take seriously their baptismal missionary promise to be apostles and to go out and proclaim the news that Christ died for us and that He is alive in our modern world.

Pope Francis explains the new direction for his vision of the Church's laity and pastors as they go about the business of being Catholics. There is much to discuss in this lengthy document, but the important thing to notice is how Pope Francis continues to place the poor and the disenfranchised at the center of the Catholic Church's concerns.

Pope Francis exhorts all of us to treat each other (Catholics, non-Catholics, and non-Christians) with love and respect for personal dignity, to learn from our cultural differences, and to be pastoral leaders.

This is an amazing Papal entreaty. Well worth taking the time to read.

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Blessed Advent, Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

May you all have a Blessed Advent, a Merry Christmas, and
a Happy New Year!

I look forward to connecting with you in 2014!


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