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Rediscover Catholicism Hardcover – January 1, 2011
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*Spiritual Reading, and
Kelly calls the reader to rediscover the spiritual, mystical and mystery of the Church through practice and perseverence. Using the example of several sains, Kelly demonstrates that our goal needs to be self-improvement and becoming our best-self, and that the Church provides a spiritual vehicle for that journey. A good read and a reminder that regardless of the temporal failings and human nature of the institution, the mystery and deep traditions of the Church hold much transformative spiritual and mystical power and all should not be tarred with the same brush.
His words encourage us to take back our spiritual heritage, to live our faith richly.
His point that Protestants have taken sole claim to Christian evangelization is painfully true. His comment that the Mass can be seen as uninviting is important. As Kelly explains, the Holy Mass is not designed to be an outreach program. It is designed to be an intimate worship of our Holy God.
Protestants have mastered the art of outreach, and that is why ex-Catholics are flooding into Protestant churches. The Protestant community is meeting people where they are--by providing coffee bars, hosting seminars, and having live worship bands rock outdoor picnics. These events are appealing and in comparison make our beautiful Catholic parishes seem out of touch. Like Kelly, by no means do I believe this makes the Mass irrelevant. I simply think it means we need to take note of what brings people in, and then provide solutions to people's mental, physical, emotional and spiritual needs outside the Mass.
The Christian trend away from the Mass is sad and ironic, because the Catholic Church is responsible for the evangelization of nearly the entire world and the spread of modern medicine, public education, the preservation of Holy Scripture, and the promotion of human rights.
But despite this spiritual legacy, Kelly's description of today's generation as disengaged and un-disciplined is dead on. Society at large is driven by consumption.Read more ›
The overarching theme is that to revitalize our faith, the Church and the world, we must strive to become the "best versions of ourselves." It is a a worthy theme, but it took a long time to make every point; the book could have been cut by a third and still had the same impact.
However, it is a worthwhile read for the chapters on the Pillars of Catholicism: confession, daily prayer, the Mass, the Bible, fasting, spiritual reading, and the rosary. Here, at last, he really delves into the rationale behind each of these practices. For instance, in the fasting chaper, he outlines the idea that true freedom can only be found when we are not slaves to the body. We would like to think our mind and soul is in charge, but the truth is that the body's desires are the driving force behind many of our actions. Many of the most self-destructive behaviors in our society are possible because the body is behind the wheel instead of the mind and will. Fasting teaches you discipline and frees you from the slavery to the body's desires.
Once I got there, I understood his reticence to hit specifics. Every person's calling is different, as unique as the individual, and his goal is to show us a path to finding out for ourselves what that is. A valid point, I think.
Overall: Well worth reading, but be aware that you'll have to wade through a lot of words to get to the point.
Matthew Kelly's "become the best version of yourself" mantra evokes memories of the US Army' s old recruiting pitch: Be All You Can Be. A dated advertising slogan isn't the best backdrop for a discussion of Catholicism.
There's much that solid in this book, particularly in the Part Three, The Seven Pillars of Catholic Spirituality. But there's also much that's banal, e.g., "The will of God is not as mysterious as many make it out to be. You come home from work and you have a choice: You can sit on the couch in front of the TV with a large bag of potato chips and some beer, or you can go for a run. Which will help you become the-best-version-of-yourself? Every situation can be approached with this question." So which will it be Mr. Tired Ditch Digger - go for a run or sit on the couch in front of the TV and eat chips with your ailing wife? There's also much that falls flat: "Read George Weigel's biography of John Paul II and you'll have a life changing experience." I've read it, and it didn't change my life. Nor did I buy, for example, Weigel's neocon criticism of the Pope's opposition to Bush era wars. If you do read Weigel's bio of JPII, I predict you'll be impressed by the Pope's early life but may be so bored by the latter part of the book that you may put it down permanently.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A must for every Catholic or those who want to be CatholicPublished 5 days ago by Victor J. Albertazzi
Matthew Kelly writes with a clear and positive presentation...great directions for those who are deepening their relationship to God.Published 17 days ago by njf
First two chapters dry/not interesting
Better for practicing Catholic rather than catechumen
I wouldn't recommend this book. I couldn't get passed his 'best-version-of-yourself' slogan. It sounded more like a self help book rather than a book on how Christ can change... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Bridgette Gilchrist