4 Stars Out Of 5
Nice addition to a Catholic's shelf
March 22, 2013
This was the "other" book I should've picked when I picked the one I'd just as soon forget. I'm glad this one was still available - it's a winner by comparison.
It's a breezy read that one can finish in a matter of hours, easy. I couldn't get this review to you fast enough, but Blogging for Books has a waiting period! I understand, but the waiting period's over: I requested the book on the 13th, not the 18th as my own recent e-mail from them states. Read on to clear up (some) confusion...
So you know I like to see who wrote blurbs for the books I read. In this case? Peter Kreeft, for one! And in the afterword, Peterson cites Kreeft's book Jesus Shock - one of the books available for "free" (not counting shipping) from the same source that gave me Holiness Revolution and my parish Rediscover Catholicism.
Remember how Sister told me the day of the parish council meeting that she wanted me to address "the new evangelization"? I got another taste of it in the foreword of this book, written by Scott Hahn. In fact the phrase is in the first sentence of it. He describes "the new evangelization" but forgive me; I still don't feel the need to go into it here.
But I do feel the need to relate this Pope Benedict XVI quote from the book, that is so similar to one I've shared with you from Pope John Paul II. It's such a great reminder:
"If we let Christ into our lives, we lose nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing of what makes life free, beautiful, and great. No! Only in this friendship are the doors of life opened wide. Only in this friendship is the greatest potential of human existence truly revealed."
When I opened the book for the first time I'd planned to watch American Idol live about an hour from then. I changed my mind pretty quickly. I did however, a little later in the evening, watch the Dominican Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist represent the Faith on GSN's American Bible Challenge. What a treat! And you know what? I saw commercial for Catholics Come Home, Peterson's organization, during the show. I'm not kidding. Maybe you've seen the commercials too?
The subtitle of the book may be a little misleading, to get people to check it out. Doesn't the title indicate this will be a sort of self-help book? This book's start was remarkably similar to all of Embracing Obscurity, which, okay, I never did review. In Catholics Come Home, Peterson tells the story of his own conversion and subsequent opportunities to evangelize, then sort of pumps the reader up to do some evangelizing of his or her own.
I don't know about you but I feel like the situation's totally hopeless, that there are too many minds that won't change anyway from what would be feeble efforts to witness. It seems like no one is a friend to the Faith these days, and I'm just thinking about what I read on Twitter.
I do have an acquaintance I know personally who has no shame, knowing I'm Catholic, expressing her views on the Faith. One time, for example, she hit me with numerous bizarre events that she claims happened in the Church's history. I know these things never happened, but what kind of retort is that? I'd never even heard of anything she was talking about. Not that she could tell me (probably, anyway), where she'd seen or heard such strange things. I don't dare ask her again.
I thought of this friend (yes, she is a friend) when Peterson gave this suggestion in an end-of-chapter "Thoughts for Reflection." (A good reason for me not to skip these, as is always my impulse!) Says Peterson:
"Here's how it goes: 'With regard to Jesus's teachings on [the sanctity of life, contraception, traditional marriage, going to a priest for Confession], I know how you feel. In fact, I [many people I know] felt the same way at one time. But after studying the Catechism of the Catholic Church, I found that Jesus's teaching on that subject makes perfect sense. Here's why....'" (Brackets and italics are Peterson's.)
I like this script and how Peterson says "Jesus's teaching" as opposed to "Church teaching," which I know my friend would automatically dismiss. So now all you and I have to do is know the Faith. Ha.
What really got me jumping out of my skin in Peterson's book, though, was his Catholic Evangelization Tool Kit in the appendix.The "kit" includes books (naturally), quotes and prayers. The first prayer Peterson lists is my own favorite and go-to prayer: the Memorare.
I was happy to see I've read and/or owned many of the books listed. I've seen some of them at my parents', and some I recognize as being on the parish library shelf. One of the books? Rediscover Catholicism! And some others? Published by - *gasp* - TAN Books?! (Reminder: It's not me but my pastor that questions the books from that publisher.)
Some of the books are so appealing I almost didn't want to read the list too carefully, for fear I'd feel overwhelmed with wanting to read them all. It makes me want to keep Catholics Come Home on my own shelf, for reference. And I might be able to: I got a second copy from Blogging for Books today. I made the UPS guy laugh when I stared at the package and said, "Thanks. I don't know what it is, but...thanks!" I've asked Blogging for Books what to do. I hope I'm told I can keep the second copy too, but in that case I'd want to give it to my dad or the acquaintance who devoured gods at war. (She's Catholic too.) I will at least lend it to her tonight, now that this review is written.
I suppose I could give one copy to each and just not donate any to the library. Or I could photocopy the list of books from the appendix, like my acquaintance did with gods at war.
In any case, you won't go wrong having this book on your own shelf.
Read Chapter One
I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.