brought to you by the Adult Faith Formation Education Commission
Christian, Yes - But Why Catholic? By Fr. Joseph Esper
Have you ever been asked a question about our Catholic faith by an inquisitive child, a non-Catholic friend or family member, or fellow parishioner and felt unsure of how to answer it? Are you interested in the basics of our faith, or could use a refresher? Are you curious about what distinguishes Catholic Christianity from other Christian faiths?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, take a look at Christian, Yes – But Why Catholic? By Fr. Joseph Esper. In this short book, Father Esper, describes Catholic teachings in easy to understand language, with each supported by biblical references. Sample topics include: Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist; Authority to Forgive Sins through Reconciliation; Purgatory; Papal Authority; and Mary and the Saints. Fr. Esper also describes some Protestant Christian beliefs: Sola Scriptura (the Bible alone), Sola Fide (Salvation through Faith alone), and Being “Born Again.”
Consider reading this book and keeping it as a Catholic reference. You can buy it online at Christian bookstores and Amazon for under $15. Submitted by Denise Muir
"Life of the Beloved", Spiritual Living in a Secular World, by Henri J.M. Nouwen
Henri Nouwen is considered one of the great spiritual writers of our day. In addition to his writing he taught at Notre Dame, Harvard, Lake and worked in the L'Arche Daybreak community in Toronto.
I've read a few of Henri Nouwen's books because, for me, they communicate some things about God's love. This particular book has to do with a request from one of Nouwen's friends, Fred Bateman. Fred, a secular journalist and writer, asked Henri Nouwen to write something that would inspire him and his friends in their quest to live a spiritual life. The result of that request is this book, “Life of the Beloved” which, in turn, has inspired me. If you take the time to read this book you may be inspired as well! Kathy Jackson.
“blessed are the bored in spirit” Mark Hart
Many young Adults and Teenagers are looking for meaning in their lives; they are bored with their lives, especially their religious or spiritual lives. Bored with religious worship like the Mass – and do not really want to have anything to do with so-called organized religion. Mark Hart discusses various topics typically important to teens and young adults, Church attendance, sexuality, a relationship with God, alcohol and drugs, body image, self- esteem and morality. He discusses these topics in a language young people can relate to.
For those that are looking for a reason NOT to be bored. Mark Hart gives an insight to how we can overcome boredom in our spiritual life!
Excellent read to put Catholic beliefs into perspective, thought provoking. Coleen Lasecki
Amazing Grace for the Catholic Heart by Jeff Cavins, Matthew Pinto & Patti Armstrong
Have you ever felt in a bit of a spiritual “slump” where you wanted to read something that would lift your spirits and provide encouragement? Or have you been in a place where your “hope tank” was drifting a little further away from FULL and closer to EMPTY than you were comfortable with? I recently read a book that I think is perfect for spiritual slumps and I recommend it for your reading consideration. The book is written along the lines of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series of books but this book is specifically for Catholic Christians and is called Amazing Grace for the Catholic Heart/101 Stories of Faith, Hope, Inspiration & Humor by Jeff Cavins ,Matthew Pinto & Patti Armstrong There are stories of miraculous events, stories that took me back to practices of faith from my childhood, stories that make me proud to be a Catholic Christian. There are funny stories, poignant stories and stories that you will want to read several times over, they are THAT heartwarming.
If you are looking for a spiritually uplifting book about your Catholic faith that might inspire you to take baby steps in increasing your faith in practical ways, I recommend you take a look at this book.
. Harper Collins Publishers, 2014
Father James Martin, SJ, a Jesuit priest, and editor at large of America magazine brings to us a fascinating, inspiring book about the life of Jesus. The basis for the book is that Jesus Christ is both fully human and fully divine, and Father Martin organizes his book to constantly stress both. To illustrate the humanity of Jesus, he has written each chapter to follow the chronological order of some of the major events in the life of Jesus, designing each chapter with the same pattern. He begins the chapter with descriptions and insights from his own visit to the Holy Land, using scholars, theologians, and archeologists as additional sources. Each chapter continues with accounts from Scripture and tradition that place Jesus in the setting, offering suggestions for interpretation. From these accounts, Father Martin shows us how we can use the events and lessons in Jesus’ life journey in our own journeys of faith. Each chapter concludes with the reading from Scripture that describes the events. From beginning to end, “Jesus: A Pilgrimage” is readable, educational, thought provoking, and inspirational. Father Martin introduces his book by saying, “I would like to invite you to meet the Jesus you already may know, but in a new way. Or, if you don’t know much about Jesus, I would like to introduce him to you.” Feel confident that in reading “Jesus: A Pilgrimage” you will experience this for yourself.
“Jesus: A Pilgrimage” is available for Kindle and Nook for e-reading, and can be purchased online at Amazon and the Catholic Bookstore. It is also available at the Dexter Library.