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Catholicism: Journey to the Heart of the Faith complements Fr. Barron's popular DVD series and study program. The book is based on the scripts for the series but digs a little deeper and features more than ten photos of religious art, including many of Europe's great cathedrals and basilicas. He seeks to capture the body, heart and mind of the Catholic faith. Starting from the essential foundation of Jesus Christ's incarnation, life, and teaching, Father Barron moves through the defining elements of Catholicism - from sacraments, worship, and prayer, to Mary, the Apostles, and Saints, to grace, salvation, heaven, and hell - using his distinct and dynamic grasp of art, literature, architecture, personal stories, Scripture, theology, philosophy, and history to present the Church to the world. eBook version.
"What I propose to do in this book is to take you on a guided exploration of the Catholic world, but not in the manner of a docent, for I am not interested in showing you the artifacts of Catholicism as though they were dusty objets dart in a museum of culture. I want to function rather as a mystagogue, conducting you ever deeper into the mystery of the incarnation in the hopes that you might be transformed by its power." Father Robert Barron What is Catholicism? A 2,000-year-old living tradition? A worldview? A way of life? A relationship? A mystery? In Catholicism Father Robert Barron examines all these questions and more, seeking to capture the body, heart and mind of the Catholic faith.
Starting from the essential foundation of Jesus Christs incarnation, life, and teaching, Father Barron moves through the defining elements of Catholicism from sacraments, worship, and prayer, to Mary, the Apostles, and Saints, to grace, salvation, heaven, and hell using his distinct and dynamic grasp of art, literature, architecture, personal stories, Scripture, theology, philosophy, and history to present the Church to the world.
Paired with his documentary film series of the same title, Catholicism is an intimate journey, capturing "The Catholic Thing" in all its depth and beauty. Eclectic, unique, and inspiring, Father Barron brings the faith to life for a new generation, in a style that is both faithful to timeless truths, while simultaneously speaking in the language of contemporary life.
Includes over 100 black and white and color photos.
Father Robert Barron is the founder of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries, the Rector of Mundelein Seminary, and the host of CATHOLICISM, a groundbreaking, award winning documentary about the Catholic Faith. He received a Master's Degree in Philosophy from the Catholic University of America (1982) and a doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Institut Catholique de Paris (1992).
He has published numerous books, essays, and articles on theology and the spiritual life. He has also appeared on several media outlets including NBC, PBS, FOX News, CNN, and EWTN. His website, WordOnFire.org, has reached over 3.8 million people and his weekly YouTube videos have been viewed over nine million times. His pioneering work in evangelizing through the new media led Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago, to describe him as "one of the Church's best messengers."
The Catholic Church has certainly faced some difficult challenges in recent years. Sex scandals, bishops who looked the other way, and a shortage of priests are seared into the consciousness of many within and outside this faith tradition. Barron, a Catholic priest and professor of theology at Mundelein Seminary near Chicago, draws attention back to the beautiful and rich tradition of this two-millennia-old religion. The author is able to set politics aside and examine the true heart of the Catholic faithGod, Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and the numerous devotional practices and dogmas that have developed over the centuries. He casts a spotlight on some of the holy people who have helped build up the church, such as Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton, Katharine Drexel, and Mother Teresa. Barrons engaging stories help to dissect and explain complex theological tenets. One comes to understand that Catholicism transcends religious practice; it is a lifestyle. Those who would like a concise but substantive introduction to the Catholic faith need look no further. (Sept. 6) Copyright 2011 Reed Business Information.
"Clarity, intelligence, passion and elegance these are the marks of a writer in top form, and Father Barron brings all these gifts to bear in this extraordinary reflection on the Catholic faith. If you read one book this year on what Catholics believe and why, this is the book to read and to share with others." Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap, Archbishop of Philadelphia
"Father Robert Barrons Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith takes a path less traveled in leading us to explore the faith through stories, biographies, and images. In these pages, we meet the "Word made Flesh" not only in theological formulations, but also in saints and poets, cathedrals and chants, priests and prophets. What makes Catholicism so compelling are the ways in which Father Barron shows how the Incarnation goes on in the true, the good, and the beautiful." Timothy M. Dolan, Archbishop of New York
"Catholicism is one of the most significant efforts ever to advance what Pope John Paul II called The New Evangelization." George Weigel, author of Witness to Hope and The End and the Beginning
"Prepare yourself for an entrancing tour of the many facets of Catholicism. From Her art to Her architecture, Her theological riches, to the inspired personalities that have filled Her pews, the Catholic Church is laid bare by a priest who is more than up to the task. Like the Faith it seeks to capture, it is a journey that will leave you full and then hungering for more." Raymond Arroyo, New York Times Bestselling Author of Mother Angelica and host of EWTN's The World Over Live
"Father Robert Barron is a brilliant academic, a popular writer, a seeker and a seer. In Catholicism he illuminates truths that have the power to set us free. It will be a benchmark book for years to come." Michael Leach, author of Why Stay Catholic?
"When Father Barron is talking, I can't stop listening. Whatever he writes, I can't put down unfinished. He loves the people he addresses. He writes about what matters to us. To read him is to be loved in word after word. In these pages, heart speaks to heart." Mike Aquilina, co-author of The Mass: The Glory, the Mystery, the Tradition
"Father Robert Barrons great gift is to wed intellectual depth with clarity and vividness of expression. His Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith is a superb exploration of the Catholic vision that seamlessly unites theological reflection and masterpieces of architecture and art. The story he tells comes truly alive in his portraits of concrete men and women who, in every age, have lived the journey of faith to the full. "Rev. Robert Imbelli is Associate Professor of Theology at Boston College
Remember how I planned to more thoroughly investigate authors if I had any doubts? Well I found this, and called it all good. And look at these sparkling names of guys who wrote blurbs for the back: Archbishop Charles Chaput? Scott Hahn? Brant Pitre? George Weigel? Raymond Arroyo? Mike Aquilina? And on the inside front flap? Cardinal Timothy Dolan, still identified as an archbishop! Not a loser in the bunch. (At least not on a professional level!) Speaking of Dolan, not long after I chose this book I heard Barron speak on Sirius's The Catholic Channel. One does wonder, though, why Barron didn't identify himself as "Father" on the cover of the book.
So was this book as bland as its title? In a word, no. My first impression was that this book's a tough one. Stick with it. It gets much easier. And it's loaded with insight about subjects you thought you knew. You're going to feel like you're listening to a Jeff Cavins or Steve Ray talk, or Catholic Answers Live.
Near-identical message to gods at war in the chapter "Happy Are We: The Teachings of Jesus." And it hits just as hard. I love this quote from Barron:
"Once we envision our own existence - and indeed the being of the entire universe - as the gift of a gracious God, we gladly resolve to give our lives away as a gift in love. And when we do that, we find ourselves increased thirty-, sixty-, and a hundredfold, the divine life continuing to flood into us."
This next part's my favorite: "Once we see that God is love, we are no longer afraid to risk the path of love."
"Idolatry" is clearly a hot topic right now. (Or God's trying to tell me something. Or both.) I checked out from the public library Dee Brestin's incredible Idol Lies: Facing the Truth about Our Deepest Desires. It must be new because it is a 14-day loan. I've sort of told my acquaintance about it, but I still need to give her the title and author. And she did, by the way, return gods at war. I recently bought online Kyle Idleman's other book not a fan and also, after Brestin's endorsement in her book, Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken.
Back to Catholicism: Barron delivers a one-two punch near the end: lives of four saintly people (Mother Teresa and Saints Katharine Drexel, Therese of Lisieux and Edith Stein) followed by a chapter on prayer and those who were good at it! I ate those up. This is what an anthology of saints' lives should be!
As Weigel says in his blurb, "Catholicism is one of the most significant efforts ever to advance what Pope John Paul II called 'The New Evangelization.'"
Read Chapter One
I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
Catholicism by Father Robert Barron is a gorgeous and comprehensive tome detailing the intricacies and many layers of the Catholic faith. Having grown up Catholic, I am always fascinated that there is always more to learn about our faith. There is much I did not know about our faith traditions and history, and having read this complete resource, I feel much more knowledgeable about the special details of our faith.
This book was designed to accompany a film series of the same name. Fr. Barron compiled the book from scripts, and the topics are wide-ranging. I have not viewed the series, but from what I have read, it is a ten-part documentary, and it is likely that each of the ten chapters in the book correlates to a part of the series.
There are a mulititude of black-and-white photos of saints, statues, churches, stained glass, crucifixes, locations, and mosaics illustrating the text throughout. In addition, in the center of the book is a multi-page insert of full color photographs. The chapters investigate and elucidate everything from the teachings of Christ, to the role of Mary, to the significance of the Eucharist to Catholics, to the significance of eternity and heaven.
Each chapter is a mini-book that can stand on its own. It is clear that Fr. Barron is enthusiastically knowledgeable about the Catholic faith, and if you would like a deep and broad view into our church, cannot think of a better book to read and then place on your shelf, beautiful cover facing out, to refer to time and again.
Waterbrook Multnomah provided this book to me free of charge in exchange for an honest review.