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Walking with Mary: A Biblical Journey from Nazareth to the Cross
Walking with Mary: A Biblical Journey from Nazareth to the Cross
by Edward P. Sri
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.11
55 used & new from $8.32

5.0 out of 5 stars Walking with Mary: A Geeky Review, May 21, 2014
If you consider faith a journey, then I really recommend Edward Sri’s Walking with Mary: A Biblical Journey from Nazareth to the Cross. It provides you with a path that will allow you to explore the sights that many people (myself included) typically pass by without a notice. In this book, we see the path of Mary, the mother of God. The subject of Mary is one that is typically avoided by most Christian denominations. We may see her in the nativity set during Christmas, but she typically disappears for the rest of the year. She is certainly more present in Catholicism, but even Catholics tend to overlook many of the details of Mary’s life that are present in the Bible. As a result, we lose a very valuable series of lessons that we could learn if we were to walk the path that Mary walked from the annunciation to her queenship in heaven.

In this book Sri offers a richer understanding of the moments in Mary’s life that played such a central role in the history of salvation. He incorporates the writings of saints like Pope Saint John Paul II to draw us deeper into the life of Mary so that we can use her as an example of how Christians are to embrace God’s will and live our lives with humility and steadfast faith. Sri takes these writings and weaves them together with tradition and history to give us a personal introduction to Mary, an introduction that allows us to familiarize ourselves with Mary, putting us in her shoes and allowing us to view her as a role model that we can relate to.

Sure, the world was a lot different two thousand years ago, when most of the events in the New Testament took place…but there are feelings, experiences, and lessons that transcend time and culture. In essence, you can read this book and get to know Mary and learn how you can follow her footsteps toward holiness. Each chapter introduces you to a moment in scripture in which Mary serves as an example for all Christians, it draws you deeper into life as Mary saw it, as she experienced it. You find yourself relating to moments in her life, moments of sorrow as well as moments of grace. By helping you identify with Mary in these moments, Sri makes it easier for you to look to Mary as an example of how to confront difficult trials as well as joyful things like motherhood.

All in all, this book was a very delightful and inspirational read that is sure to help you on your path to holiness. I would highly recommend this book to all women, especially those who have come across difficult, trying times and those who are at a stage in their life where they feel they are at some kind of crossroads. The structure of this book makes it a wonderful book to read prayerfully as each chapter provides excellent material for meditation on Mary’s life.

Disclaimer: I was offered a free copy of this book for review by Blogging for Books. All words and views expressed in this review are entirely my own. This review was originally published on the Catholic Science Geek blog.


Camerado, I Give You My Hand: How a Powerful Lawyer-Turned-Priest Is Changing the Lives of Men Behind Bars
Camerado, I Give You My Hand: How a Powerful Lawyer-Turned-Priest Is Changing the Lives of Men Behind Bars
Offered by Random House LLC
Price: $9.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Camerado, I give you my hand: A Geeky Review, December 28, 2013
I finished reading Camerado, I Give You My Hand by Maura Poston Zagrans a week or so ago and I am still talking about it. This book tells the story of Father David Link, a saint-in-training who proves that there are no limits to what we can do in the name of compassion and God's grace. We are often told that faith can move mountains and Father Link's life is proof that this is possible. Though a high profile lawyer and dean of Notre Dame Law School, he always found the time and energy to help the poorest of the poor and the most marginalized of society.

Camerado is one of those books that shows you just how much is possible for those who seek to live out Christ's command to love one another. Before entering the priesthood, Father Link had everything a man in his standing could want. He had married his high school sweetheart, been a loving father, worked for a prestigious law firm, served his country, and made quite a name for himself as dean to one of the most prestigious law schools. All of these things were good in and of themselves, but Father Link demonstrated that more is needed and possible for people willing to serve God and his neighbors.

While reading this book, I grew acquainted with Father Link and the people he has helped in his prison ministry. I'm a big fan of The Shawshank Redemption, so the only way I can describe him is to compare him to Andy Dufresne. Unlike Dufresne, however, he is a priest whose retirement plan consists of seeking out convicted murderers, drug dealers, thieves, etc. and turning their lives around. He understands the needs of these prisoners and seeks to fill the voids that led these men to a life of crime. He acts as a priest, a mentor, counselor, teacher, and even as a family member to so many people who are simply in need of a powerful and positive role model in their lives. In this book, you get to see the kinds of changes Father Link creates by simply serving God behind prison walls.

I can't tell you how many times I teared up when reading this book or how many times I got the chills. I can tell you, however, that it was a very good read. I had a tough time putting it down and I have been inspired by Father Link's example. I lack Father Link's people skills, but this book demonstrates that there is so much we can do for our fellow man regardless of how busy we may be and what skills we may or may not possess. In short, this book has the potential to change your life if you feel that you are stuck in the doldrums. It may prove to be a great catalyst if you have ever been called to serve your fellow man and been unsure of where to start or what you could do.

I was offered a free copy of Camerado, I Give You My Hand for review. The opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are my own. This review was originally published on the Catholic Science Geek Blog


The Mass: The Glory, the Mystery, the Tradition
The Mass: The Glory, the Mystery, the Tradition
by Mike Aquilina
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.35
62 used & new from $3.49

5.0 out of 5 stars The Mass- A Geeky Review, November 24, 2013
The Mass, by Cardinal Wuerl of Washington, DC and author Mike Aquilina, is a book that I would highly recommend to anyone who is new the Catholic Church or any Catholic who would like to learn the significance of the kneeling, the signing, the greetings, the prayers, the hymns, and the vestments of priests celebrating mass. The history of the mass is discussed, with descriptions of the mass as it was celebrated in the early years of Christianity. Quotes from the early church fathers, along with a few interesting historical facts help explain the reasons behind the traditions of mass that we tend to overlook.

One example of this that stands out is the mixing of water with the wine that is to be consecrated. I had never given this part of mass much thought. However, this book explained the practical as well as symbolic significance of this action. In Christ's time, wine was stored in a concentrated state and then diluted at mealtimes. I had learned about the mixing of water with wine when learning about ancient Rome, but had never associated it with the earliest days of the Catholic Church. I also appreciated how the authors made it a point to mention how priests in concentration camps used to ferment raisins to create the wine that is such a necessary component of the mass. Until reading this book, I had not truly appreciated just how important the wine and bread are when it comes to celebrating the mass.

This book explores each part of mass in order from the introductory rite to the dismissal. I have never studied theology, but had some understanding of what each part of mass was all about. At least, that is what I thought until I started really getting into this book. As I read each section explaining the parts of mass, I had many "lightbulb" moments when I finally started understanding the significance and beauty that I had witnessed, but not understood before. God's grace had, perhaps, allowed me to appreciate the significance and beauty of the "Sanctus" (or the "Holy, Holy, Holy") from time to time. There are times when this part of mass fills me with so much emotion that I am either getting chills or beginning to cry. This Sunday was the first time I went to mass since I finished reading this book and it was a POWERFUL experience. I found myself in awe throughout most of the mass and hanging on every word and action of the priest as he celebrated mass.

This book was an easy read and would be a great addition to the libraries of any children (or adults) celebrating their first Communion as well as those who simply want to learn more about that great event to which they devote one hour of every Sunday. There are facts and histories here that are sometimes lost in a generation when parents either do not know enough about sign of the cross, communion, etc. to answer the questions of their children. I would highly recommend this book as a supplement to first communion classes and for families who want to continue passing down a richer understanding of the mass that is so central to their faith. This book will certainly help you become less of a spectator and more of a participant in mass.

I was offered a copy of this book for review, but all opinions and statements expressed in this review are my own.This review was originally published on the Catholic Science Geek blog.


Pray for Me: The Life and Spiritual Vision of Pope Francis, First Pope from the Americas
Pray for Me: The Life and Spiritual Vision of Pope Francis, First Pope from the Americas
by Robert Moynihan
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $14.54
94 used & new from $3.91

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pray for Me: A Geeky Review, October 27, 2013
After Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio became Pope Francis, I am sure that many individuals sought to learn more about this new Vicar of Christ. I was certainly one of these individuals. I scoured the internet to find out what I could about Pope Francis and the more I learned about him, the more I wanted to know about his background, his words, and the manner in which he would lead the Church. Robert Moynihan's 'Pray for Me' is a great introduction to Pope Francis. Moynihan explores the upbringing of young Jorge Bergoglio, as an Argentinian born to immigrants that were neither extremely wealthy nor extremely poor. He shares tidbits of Bergoglio's childhood that help piece together the story of the man who continues to capture the hearts of Catholics and non-Catholics alike. He writes about Bergoglio's love of soccer, a childhood crush on a girl (apparently he one day said he'd either marry her or become a priest), his upbringing, and his calling to the priesthood. Quoting friends, family, parishioners, and some pretty unlikely indivuals (like Lord of the Rings star Viggo Mortensen), Moynihan brings to light many of the moments in Bergoglio's life that helped define the Pope that continues to surprise us.

We learn of his grandmother's simple faith and how this faith continues to move him now (he still quotes his grandmother in his homilies). We learn about the poverty he confronted as a priest and bishop and how he called parishioners and priests alike to action so that the poorest of the poor could receive communion, be fed, and be reintegrated into the community. We learn more about that moment in his young adult life when God's grace and mercy touched him in a way that solidified his vocation and ultimately inspired the papal motto "miserando atque eligendo."

At the time of this book's publication, we were only just beginning to know Pope Francis (and we still are getting to know him). However, this book has turned out to be somewhat prophetic. At least, it has helped explain some of the words and actions of Pope Francis since its publication. While writing this book, Moynihan did not follow in the footsteps of various media outlets by speculating about Pope Francis's intentions for the Church and inventing secret agendas for every word and action of Pope Francis. Instead, he gives readers an inside look into the people and things that have shaped Pope Francis and lets them make their own conclusions. There are some instances where Moynihan gets a bit sentimental, but he still seems to understand Pope Francis's mission (a good example is when he explains to a journalist friend about the manner in which Pope Francis gave a silent, private blessing to a group of journalists versus the traditional spoken prayer). Moynihan seems to understand Pope Francis quite well...partly because he is Catholic (and thus, actually understands the Pope in a way that secular media may not) and partly because he writes and analyzes situations as a journalist. With that being said, is is quite obvious that Moynihan really did his homework collecting homilies, eyewitness accounts, and interviews to piece together Pope Francis's biography and mission.

One of my favorite parts about this book was that Moynihan dedicated a section to the words of Pope Francis himself. Moynihan breaks down these homilies into sections such as "The Future," "Suffering," "Culture," "Sin," "Loneliness," "Death," and various other topics. I can picture readers dog-earing sections as they become relevant to their lives....because the lessons present in each second are beautiful.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to get a good idea of who Pope Francis really is and not what the media wants him to be. There are plenty of misunderstandings and misinformation when it comes to Pope Francis, so it was quite nice reading a book that remains centered and attempts to stick to the facts rather than assumptions. I found myself falling in love with Pope Francis over and over again as Moynihan quoted some of the homilies he had given over the years preceding his papacy. I fell in love after reading some of the stories from his childhood and early adulthood...especially when I began to realize just how much I have in common with him in terms of upbringing, family ties, jokes, etc. This book was a quick, refreshing read and will certainly help you get to know Pope Francis a little bit better.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed herein are my own. I was not paid for my review. I was given a free copy of "Pray for Me" by Blogging for Books for review. This review was originally published on the Catholic Science Geek blog.


Catholic Dictionary: An Abridged and Updated Edition of Modern Catholic Dictionary
Catholic Dictionary: An Abridged and Updated Edition of Modern Catholic Dictionary
by John Hardon
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.76
61 used & new from $9.71

5.0 out of 5 stars Catholic Dictionary: A Geeky Review, September 11, 2013
I have never taken a theology course, so I may not be the best go-to person when it comes to Catholic terminology. I suppose my background as a first generation American may have also been a bit of an impediment when it came to learning the difference between words like "transubstantiation" and "transfiguration." Much to my embarrassment, I have gotten these mixed up before. Still, I am always seeking new ways to expand my knowledge of Catholicism through reading, listening to programs, and engaging in conversation with some of my Catholic brethren.

I didn't know what to expect when I first got the chance to review Hardon's "Catholic Dictionary." I had a vague idea what a book like this would be about and how useful it may be. At worst, I imagined that it would be the Catholic version of a standard dictionary. I pictured a book full of words and their definitions that could be referenced whenever I needed to recheck my spelling or reference a word that I had half-forgotten. However, I found myself pleasantly surprised by the manner in which this book was written and compiled.

Yes it is a dictionary, but it is far more than a list of words and dry definitions. It is, in a sense, a very condensed version of a theology book specializing in the Catholic faith. Hardon does more than provide simple definitions, he introduces us to different topics and expands upon them. I would liken the "definitions" provided in this book to the kind of explanations you would get from a parish priest or theology teacher if you were to approach them and ask them what a "consecration to Mary" meant. In this book, Hardon introduces readers to this act of devotion by first talking about its origins and then explaining what it means to be consecrated to Mary. The act of consecration (in part) is also included in the definition.

As I looked up different definitions to words I had heard before (but didn't understand completely), I found myself finding out more about my faith with each passage I read. This book is no substitute for proper religious education, but it would be quite a help to anyone who is interested in learning more about Catholicism. I know I certainly learned a lot of things just by reading up on any term that happened to catch my eye as I went through this book. This dictionary may also prove as an invaluable reference tool for anyone studying theology or someone who reads a lot of Catholic works, lives of Saints, doctrinal materials, etc.

Disclaimer: The ideas and opinions expressed in this review are my own. I was offered a free copy of this book for review by Blogging for Books. This review was originally published on The Catholic Science Geek blog.


On Heaven and Earth: Pope Francis on Faith, Family, and the Church in the Twenty-First Century
On Heaven and Earth: Pope Francis on Faith, Family, and the Church in the Twenty-First Century
by Abraham Skorka
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $13.00
91 used & new from $8.35

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On Heaven and Earth: A Geeky Review, August 5, 2013
If you want a sneak peak at what we are to expect out of Pope Francis's papacy, go no further than your local bookstore. On Heaven and Earth, a published dialogue between then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio and Rabbi Abraham Skorka, reveals a great deal about the Pope's thoughts on a wide variety of topics. Both men discuss their beliefs and views about many of the topics that concern people today. Yes, we all have a good idea of what Pope Francis is all about when it comes to his concern for the poor and jobless of today. We have seen the news stories and we have all found ourselves remarking at his humility, his gentleness, and his ability to still be the man he was and is before becoming Pope.

We are still in the beginning of his papacy and he has already captured our hearts with his endearing smiles, his jokes, and his constant care for the most marginalized in our society. The media has had a lot of fun either taking his quotes out of context or reading too much into his every action and word. This is where a book like "On Heaven and Earth" becomes quite useful. It is not a paraphrasing author that speaks on behalf of Pope Francis, but Pope Francis speaking for himself. And he sure has a lot to share regarding God, the Devil, atheists, religions, religious leaders, the disciples, prayer, guilt, fundamentalism, death, euthanasia, the elderly, women, abortion divorce, and quite a few other topics. He doesn't tip-toe around the hard issues either!

The premise of this book is simple enough. Pope Francis, a Catholic, and Rabbi Abraham Skorka, a Jew, have had many discussions together as leaders of two seemingly different religions. They seek dialogue in order to build bridges where walls had been built throughout history. They speak as both religious leaders and friends, as evidenced by the very personal nature in which they confide their beliefs and the experiences that helped shape as well as define their beliefs. Pope Francis, though he's been viewed as a radical of sorts, speaks as a Catholic who believes Catholic doctrine. Rabbi Skorka, likewise, speaks as a Jew. Yet, there are many areas in which they agree. Even when their views don't mesh completely, they leave a lot of room open for discussion, understanding, and respect.

One thing I noticed and appreciated, was the use of cultural, personal, and historical references used by Pope Francis. The biblical understanding is there and there is no evidence to suggest that Pope Francis hasn't studied religion extensively (he often cites the bible and other religious texts). However, he speaks in the same personable manner as any other Catholic evangelist would speak to their friends and neighbors about Christ. He uses personal experiences to paint pictures and even references comic strips when making points. I may not be Argentinian or know exactly what comic he is referring to, but I really appreciated his down-to-earth style of speaking. Fortunately, there are footnotes in this book and they did a wonderful job of putting things in context whenever I didn't understand a reference.

This book was a very profound look into the mind and faith of Pope Francis (and Rabbi Skorka) and will be of great use to anyone who wants to know Pope Francis as he is, not as the media portrays him to be. I think this book is worth a read if you want to know what the Catholic community and the world will expect during Pope Francis's papacy and I would not be surprised if people of other faiths find themselves enjoying this book. Much of what is shared is easily translatable across faiths and cultures. I am a Catholic, but I definitely found myself learning new things about Judaism. I also started seeing many similarities between Catholicism and Judaism with regards to important issues in our everyday lives.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone, regardless of their faith and world views. I found myself rethinking a lot of what I had learned about things like charity. As Pope Francis makes clear, there is more to charity than simply giving money to someone on the street. The contact with this person and acknowledgment of this person is intensely important. He advises people to look into the eyes of those they give alms to and he challenges us to rethink our ideas of what role we should play when seeking a better world. His words are stern at times, but always spoken out of love and concern for the poor and for the salvation of those who read his words. As down-to-earth Pope Francis may be, his words will certainly shake you and instill the beginnings of a grand metanoia in those who read this book with the intention of improving their lives and understanding how this Pope intends to change the world.

Disclaimer: I was offered a free copy of this book for review by Blogging for Books. All words and views expressed in this review are entirely my own. This review was originally posted on The Catholic Science Geek blog.


Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives
Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives
Offered by Random House LLC
Price: $9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives...A Geeky Review, May 15, 2013
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is an eloquent and very knowledgeable scholar. Even so, he knows how to reach out to readers in a very sincere manner.

Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives, like the previous books in this series, is a work of love. It is a work that is designed to make Christ known to the world in a manner that is relevant to our present times. Without adding to the narrative, Pope Emeritus draws out many meaningful observations from the Bible and other historical texts and traditions. In doing so, he reveals and explains very significant details about Christ's life and mission that are often overlooked or hidden from those who read the biblical narratives of Christ's birth and youth. While we are familiar with many of the moments of Christ's life that are discussed in this book, we often take them for granted, not knowing just how important they are. This book seeks to enlighten us about Christ's life and help us appreciate even the smallest details.

Using rich descriptions of the world during Christ's time as well as tradition and Biblical text, Pope Emeritus Benedict expands upon familiar moments in Christ's life, such as the passage about the twelve- year-old Christ in the Temple. We are all familiar with this portion of the New Testament, where Christ is left behind in Jerusalem as his parents returned to Nazareth. However, as this book illustrates, there is much more that we can derive from the dialogue as well as the circumstances of this passage. For example, though Jesus was not required by custom to return to Jerusalem during the three great feasts (Passover, Pentecost, and the Feast of Tabernacles) until the age of 13, he was still brought along by his parents. This may not seem to be a big deal to us, but as Pope Emeritus explains, the fact that Christ came along is quite significant. It demonstrates the piety of the holy family. Neither Jesus nor Mary was required by custom or law to go to Jerusalem with Joseph, but they went anyway. They went because it was God's temple and their journey was a journey towards God.

Small and often underappreciated tidbits of information such as this shed light into a passage that almost seems too short and too early in Christ's life to be of much significance. They also shed light into how Christ can be encountered today. As the holy family sought God by making a pilgrimage to the Temple, we too must also go to mass to seek Christ. In illuminating the pious and faithful lives of Joseph, Mary, and Jesus, Pope Emeritus Benedict beautifully explains how we can implement this faith into our daily lives even if we are not called to be preachers, healers, or prophets. This passage, and many others in this book, will help any reader see how Christ's mission began far earlier than the years of his public ministry and how we can glean many lessons from his earliest years that we can then apply to our daily lives.

Altogether, this book is a good read if you intend to take your time reading it. Though Pope Emeritus is able to break down a lot of material in a way that can be easily understood by the average reader, this is one of the books you will need to take your time on. It is not a quick read and it is full of information. I would recommend this book to anyone who has ever wanted to know the back story to Christ's earlier years and to anyone who has ever been interested in exploring what life was like in Christ's time. As the bibliography will tell you, Pope Emeritus Benedict did his homework and somehow managed to incorporate the works and ideas of many great authors from around the world when writing this work. I highly recommend this work if you are willing to invest quite a bit of time in reading it. It will certainly help you look at Christ's earlier years in a new and very enriching light.

Disclosure: This review was originally published on The Catholic Science Geek Blog. All opinions expressed in this review are my own. I was offered a free eBook copy of this book for review.


Exorcism
Exorcism
by Jeremy Davies
Edition: Paperback
9 used & new from $6.76

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Concise but Good, April 27, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Exorcism (Paperback)
Let me just get to the point...

There are a lot of books out there about exorcism and VERY FEW of them are actually worth the paper they are printed on. Some of them are based on more sensationalism or opinion rather than history, sound theology, or first-hand experience.

When looking for a book on exorcism, I tend to play it safe by reading only materials that are either written by Catholic priests in good standing or experts on exorcism in good standing (who have sound theology degrees and cite reputable sources). With that said, once you have a strict set of criteria such as this...there aren't that many books that are easily available for purchase.

This book was a good find. The author explained the theology of exorcism in a concise, but informative manner. I even ended up learning a few new things. There weren't many exorcism stories (for exorcism stories, please refer to Fr. Gabriel Amorth's books), but I thought this book did a good job of tying in the phenomena of possession with biblical text and Church tradition.

Fr. Davies discusses the types, causes, and degrees of demonic influence. He also goes into how you can discern demonic influence from a spiritual as well as medical perspective...and talks about different types of exorcism. Overall, it is a good introduction to understanding the role of exorcism in the Church.


Dawnseeker
Dawnseeker
27 used & new from $3.94

5.0 out of 5 stars Phenomenal Collection of Talent, April 27, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Dawnseeker (Audio CD)
There is a reason why the CD version of this music costs an arm and a leg from various sellers here. The music in this album is simply that good. Each track is distinct, but beautiful overall. I am a fan of some tracks by Delerium, Era, Enigma, and various other new age/electronic/soundscape/etc music....but do not tend to enjoy every track in their albums. Some of the songs are either too strange or creepy....or just plain awful. However, I LOVE Dawnseeker as a whole. Many different talents, voices, sounds, etc. in this album come together to produce an ethereal collection of songs that will either get you relaxing, painting, or writing your next magnum opus. I have several CD's that I tend to play nonstop while I relax, read, type, or paint...and this one will certainly make a great addition.

I found Sleepthief and Dawnseeker through Pandora (as many others have) one or two years ago and have been going back and forth about just buying the mp3 version of the album through the artist's site because, good music or no, there is no reason why anyone should have to pay ~$30-50 for this album from another seller on amazon's marketplace. Thankfully, Amazon finally has the mp3 version ready for purchase and download. HUZZAH!


Catholics Come Home: God's Extraordinary Plan for Your Life
Catholics Come Home: God's Extraordinary Plan for Your Life
by Tom Peterson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $15.66
53 used & new from $8.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Catholics Come Home...A Geeky Review, March 14, 2013
Tom Peterson, founder and president of Catholics Come Home will certainly be (if he is not already) a legend among those taking part in the New Evangelization. When I first the very beautiful and extremely moving Catholic Come Home commercials, I was filled with a sense of awe for the religion that I already loved. I was hoping for more of that when I had the opportunity to read "Catholics Come Home: God's Extraordinary Plan for Your Life." Well, I may have set the bar too high with regards to expectations because I expected more than what this book's 158 pages contained. Don't get me wrong, the book is still worth a read. I will warn you, however, that most of the meat is found in the second half of the book (at least for readers who want to learn how to help catalyze the conversion of another individual).

The first portion of the book is dedicated to some of Peterson's history and conversion from a business-minded casual Catholic to the evangelizing genius he is today. He also explains some of the history to Catholics Come Home and the series of events that started it all. I was hoping for a conversion like that of Saint Paul or, at least, a chance meeting with someone as awesome as Mother Theresa that ultimately led to a conversion of someone as cool as huge as Peterson. What I got, however, was something far more ordinary. The series of events that led to his conversion simply sounded too simple and ordinary to be true...and yet I found that my own road toward an authentic Catholic life had a lot in common with Peterson's road. Even more spectacular is the fact that this kind of conversion is at our fingertips if we know where to start and where to turn to whenever we hit a road block.

With that said, the second portion of this book is a survival guide for Catholics who feel the call to evangelize their faith and welcome sheep back into the fold. Peterson lays out various tactics in a manner that will help anyone, from any background to not only help others swim the Tiber but also defend Catholicism as well. Using various stories from his own experiences, Peterson demonstrates how even the smallest action can ultimately expand God's kingdom here on earth. This can be as simple as saying, "I'm blessed" instead of "fine" whenever someone asks you how you are doing. It can be as simple as praying for others. Peterson lays out a variety of strategies we can employ to help straying sheep come home, and one (or more) of these strategies will certainly appeal to you.

Overall, this book is a pretty good manual for individuals who need some inspiration before attempting to help others come home. It also contains plenty of easy -to-follow pointers for people wishing to strengthen their faith, pointers that can be implemented into even the busiest of lives. I would recommend this book to Catholics whose faith has grown lukewarm and to anyone out there who not only wishes to strengthen their faith, but the faith of others as well.

I was offered a free copy of Peterson's "Catholics Come Home: God's Extraordinary Plan for Your Life" for review. The opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are my own. This review was originally posted on the Catholic Science Geek blog.


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