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All In: Why Belonging to the Catholic Church Matters Paperback – March 3, 2017
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"We humans acknowledge that we are 'body, mind, and spirit' and, as such, when we're nourishing our bodies, we seek out what is 'all natural.' When we pursue wisdom, philosophy and healing we look for what is 'whole' and 'wholistic.' When we tend to our spirit, we search for what is 'sacred' and 'holy.' With All In, Pat Gohn has managed, through simple personal stories and the application of her fine reasoning skills, to prove that the Catholic Church perfectly answers the modern quest for the natural, the whole, and the holy. All In is a book full of warmth and clarity that, to a mind that is open, can be a true revelation and a great assist in the journey toward the fullness of Truth." --Elizabeth Scalia, Editor-in-chief of Aleteia and author of Strange Gods
"More than a spiritual guidebook, All In tells a great love story--and the lovers at the heart of it are God and his people. With clarity, wisdom, candor, and joy, Pat Gohn reminds us that to fall in love with the Lord is to be 'all in' love. Count me as someone who was won over by this wise book's tender charms and penetrating good sense. I'm all in for All In, and I think a lot of people will be, too!" --Deacon Greg Kandra, Catholic blogger and journalist at Aleteia
"Pat Gohn quotes scripture and cites the Catechism in the intimate way a good friend shares happy news over a cup of coffee. When she shares why staying in the Church and actively participating in the faith is essential for all of us, I am--as her title suggests--all in." --Maria Morera Johnson, Author of My Badass Book of Saints
"Pat Gohn knocks it out of the park with this honest and compelling treatment of our disappointments with the Church. She offers encouragement for staying Catholic and engaging in an active faith life for our sake and the sake of Christ's Bride, the Church." --Kelly Wahlquist, Founder of WINE: Women In the New Evangelization and editor of Walk in Her Sandals
About the Author
Pat Gohn is a Catholic writer, retreat leader, conference speaker, catechist, and author of the award-winning book Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious.
Host of the Among Womenpodcast, she also is a frequent guest on Catholic radio and television. Her writing has appeared in a number of Catholic publications and blogs, including Catholic Digest, Catechist, CatholicMom.com, Patheos, and Amazing Catechists. Gohn also has contributed to eight books in recent years, including Walk in Her Sandals, The Catholic Mom's Prayer Companion, and Word by Word. She is the editor of Catechist magazine.
Gohn earned a master's degree in theology and certificates in adult faith leadership, theology of the body, and spiritual direction. She and her husband, Bob, are empty nesters in Massachusetts.
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As a Church we are very good at teaching the doctrines and dogmas, but not so much why these things should matter to the Catholic Christian. Pat Gohn, through her amazing personal story-telling, is able to give us some serious adult catechesis, pulling in material from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Fathers of the Church and some heavy-weight theologians (St. John Paul II, anyone?) without making you feel like you are sitting in a boring classroom lecture. This is her story introducing us to her friend Jesus and how, in him, everything and everyone is connected: God, Church, Holy Trinity, friends and enemies, theology and personal experience, Saints, sinners, and those who have gone before. While reading her story, you will be challenged to reflect on your own relationships and faith and what you can do to strengthen and deepen your connection with Jesus and in him, with all the people in your life.
Each chapter of the book, ends with prayer, suggestions for prayer, study and engaging the material. The book would be a wonderful book to spark discussion in a book club.
Honest discussions of sin, mercy, grace, the Sacraments, and human dignity fill out this book. Each chapter concludes with a 3-part reflection: pray, learn and engage. This last section includes concrete action steps readers can take to heal or deepen their relationship with God and with the Church.
All In, answers many of the questions, concerns and even criticisms of the Catholic Church with clarity and love. As an RCIA coordinator, I find this book a valuable resource for my adult students learning about the Catholic Faith!
Gohn is a cradle Catholic, but truly fell in love with the faith in her teen years after being around joyful Catholics. As she states, her “one thing” is the Catholic faith. “I’m all in. When God came first in my life, the rest eventually fell into place and made more sense.”
What convinces her to make her faith such an integral part of her life? Why does she put her faith in the Catholic Church, an institution which she admits has had its scandals and imperfections? She begins with a relationship with Jesus, rooted in love, encountered in both personal experience and in Scripture. She then explores the image of the Church as the bride of Christ. “Christ will never be separated from his Bride . . . Jesus will never divorce the Church. Jesus is permanently wedded to the Church. What is Christ’s is the Church’s, and all that the Church has comes from his merits, glory, power, and magnificent love.”
We are all connected to God and the Church through our Baptism. “What God has joined together, we must not divide. . . Being a beloved child of God is our single greatest identity, which sheds light on everything we are and all that we do.” God is our Father. He “will never disown or divorce us. We may choose to leave him, but he will never leave us.”
Gohn also explores the image of the Church as mother. “Jesus’ great love for his Bride, the Church, makes the Church a fruitful mother of many spiritual children, born through Baptism. . . The family of God is born of the fatherhood of God and the motherhood of the Church.”
The concept of Church as the Mystical Body of Christ, the importance of love of neighbor, and respect for the dignity of the human person are also discussed.
Gohn invites us to “view each day with an eternal perspective.” Being part of the Church matters, not only in this world, but also the next. Gohn, who has a master’s degree in theology and certificates in adult faith leadership, theology of the body, and spiritual direction, offers solid theological reasons for making our faith and the Catholic Church the main priorities in our lives. In addition, each chapter concludes with an invitation to deeper prayer, suggestions for further reading, and activities to deepen one’s faith.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.