Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy

In Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy, Anne Lamott proclaims, “Mercy is radical kindness.” It is “not deserved,” she notes. “Mercy, grace, forgiveness, and compassion are synonyms, and approaches we might consider taking when facing a great big mess, especially the great big mess of ourselves––our arrogance, greed, poverty, disease, prejudice.”  Lamott is a favorite of many priests. Her words are woven throughout with Scriptural passages and images. She knows the imperfect world well. The title comes from Candi Staton’s gospel song, “halluljah anyway.” ”Hallelujah that in spite of it all, there is love, singing, nature laughing, mercy.” Available for $20.00 from Riverhead Books, a division of Penguin Random House Publishers. Click here to order book from the publisher.

Hurting in the Church: A Way Forward for Wounded Catholics

In Hurting in the Church: A Way Forward for Wounded Catholics, Father Thomas Berg examines how the church has wittingly or unwittingly hurt its members. Fr. Berg begins with his own story of joining the Legionaires of Christ and then finding out the chilling revelations of its founder, Marcial Maciel Degollado’s abuse of seminarians and his leading a double life. Fr. Berg’s experience with the Legionaires sets the tone for the entire book. He was hurt and his faith shaken to the core. With this, Fr. Berg provides a psychologically wise and spiritually profound path forward for Catholics who have been abused, traumatized, or wounded by other Catholics — especially those in leadership. Chapter 10 on how to recover one’s belief in and love for the Church is worth the price of the book alone, write Sherry Weddell, author of Forming Intentional Disciples. Available for $15.95 from Our Sunday Visitor Publishing, 200 Noll Plaza, Huntington, IN. 46750. Tel: (800) 348-2440.  Fax: (800) 498-6709. E-mail: [email protected]. Web site: www.osv.com

The Joy of Religious Pluralism: A Personal Journey

The Joy of Religious Pluralism: A Personal Journey, by Peter C. Phan is basically his response to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s investigation of his book Being Religious Interreligiously begun in 2005. What is important in this volume is that while Phan gives a spirited affirmation of methods of Asian theology, which is rooted in the gospel and the deposit of faith, he acknowledges it differs in many respects from the assumptions and categories of traditional European theology. The book is divided into six chapters:

  1. How It All Began
  2. Different Ways of Doing Theology
  3. Divine Spirit
  4. Jesus Christ, the Unique and Universal Savior
  5. Holy Pagans in Other Holy Religions
  6. Church and Mission.

Available for $35.00 from Orbis Books, P.O. Box 302, Maryknoll, NY 10545. Tel: (800) 258-5838. Fax: (914) 941-7005. E-mail: [email protected]. Web site: www.orbisbooks.com.

Protecting God’s children

April is National Child Abuse Awareness Month. Catholic News Service has a blog dedicated to protecting children. Currently, their blog site has ten articles dedicated to different facets of protecting the most vulnerable. Some of the topics include:

  • Taking stock of stereotypes
  • Being our brother’s keeper
  • Healing needs listening, respect, justice
  • Overcoming resistance to usher in positive change
  • How loving families, strong social support can help
  • Warning signs of potential abusers
  • and more

Consider “bookmarking” this site.

For the CNS blog, go to:
https://cnsblog.wordpress.com/category/protecting-children-blog/

James Martin: Essential Writings

James Martin: Essential Writings, Selected with an Introduction by James T. Keane is from the Modern Spiritual Masters Series of Orbis Books. Sources from Father Martin’s collection include those from his best-selling books, his articles for America, and his essays from sources as diverse as the Huffington Post and Portland Magazine. His reflections and insights touch on everything from prayer to depression to sexuality to finding one’s individual path to holiness. Along the way he introduces the reader to saints and sages ranging from Thomas Merton to Mother Teresa to his wise nephew Charles.  The volume is divided into an Introduction: The Call of the King, and four parts:

  1. Motions of the Soul: Spirituality and Prayer
  2. God in All Things: The Divine in Daily Life
  3. The Care of Souls: Solidarity with the Suffering and the Wounded
  4. More by Deeds than Words: Models of Holiness

Available for $22.00 from Orbis Books, P.O. Box 302, Maryknoll, NY 10545. Tel: (800) 258-5838. Fax: (914) 941-7005. E-mail: [email protected]. Web site: www.orbisbooks.com.

Sacred Fire: A Vision for a Deeper Human and Christian Maturity

Sacred Fire: A Vision for a Deeper Human and Christian Maturity, by Father Ronald Rolheiser, OMI is now available in paperback. A sequel to his highly acclaimed book, The Holy Longing, Sacred Fire is divided into three parts. Part One – a Vision of Discipleship, Part Two – Mature Discipleship: The Struggle to Give Our Lives Away, and Part Three – Radical Discipleship: The Struggle to Give Our Deaths Away. The Holy Longing helps readers  “get our lives together” and achieve an essential discipleship. In the Preface Fr. Rolheiser addresses the intent of this work: “How can we live less self-centered, more mature lives? What constitutes deep maturity and how do we reach that place? And, What constitutes a more adult Christian discipleship, a truly mature following of Jesus?”  Available for $15.00 from Image Books, a Division of Random House, Inc. 12264 Oracle Blvd. Suite 200, Colorado Springs, CO 80921. Tel: (800) 733-3000. E-mail: [email protected]. Web site: www.imagecatholicbooks.com.

Everyone Leads: How to Revitalize the Catholic Church

In Everyone Leads: How to Revitalize the Catholic Church, Chris Lowney considers five transformational principles to upend the “precipitous slide that will turn catastrophic unless reversed by fundamental changes in strategy, culture and leadership style.” He proposes an “EASTeR” strategy of five    transformational principles:

  • Be Entrepreneurial
  • Be Accountable
  • Serve
  • Transform, and
  • Reach out

Lowney offers real-life examples and outlines strategies that anyone can employ to strengthen the church. Available for the discounted price of $17.47 (30% off the regular price of $24.95) from Rowman & Littlefield. 15200 NBN Way, Bldg. C, Blue Ridge Summit, PA 17214. Tel: Toll free: (800) 462-6420 ext. 3023, Local: (717) 794-3800. Fax: (800) 338-4550. Local fax: (717) 794-3803. The Special Sales department can be reached at [email protected]. Web site: www.rowman.com.  For an order form in PDF, click here. Use Promo code: RLFANDF30.

The American Catholic Almanac

The American Catholic Almanac, by Brian Burch and Emily Stimpson is now available in paperback.  As we wrote when first reviewed in Sept. 2014, this volume could be considered a “must have” for interested Catholic readers. The book is subtitled: A Daily Reader of Patriots, Saints, Rouges and Ordinary People who Changed the United States. The volume in not your typical Catholic history book. The authors put together a day page-a-day account of various Catholic men and women, many rarely heard of before, who had a significant impact on the development of Catholicism in the US. There are three Appendices. Appendix A is a list of American Saints (listed by date of birth, death and feast day), Blesseds, and Venerables (listed by date of birth and death). Appendix B is a list of US dioceses and dates of their founding. Appendix C is a list of US minor basilicas, with dates of designation by the Holy See.  Available $16.00 (also available in e-book format) from Image Books, a Division of Random House, 12264 Oracle Blvd. Suite 200, Colorado Springs, CO 80921. Tel: (800) 733-3000. E-mail: [email protected]. Web site: www.imagecatholicbooks.com.

The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation

In The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation, writer Rod Dreher, a believing Christian and committed conservative, argues that others who believe as he does must “develop creative, communal solutions to help us hold on to our faith and our values in a world growing ever more hostile to them.” For readers who are unfamiliar with the term, the Benedict Option was created by philosopher Alasdair McIntyre in a book titled, After Virtue (University of Notre Dame Press, 3rd ed., March 2007). It is an umbrella term for Christians who accept McIntyre’s critique of modernity, and who also recognize that forming Christians who live out Christianity according to Great Tradition requires embedding within communities and institutions dedicated to that formation. It refers to Christians in the contemporary West who cease to identify the continuation of civility and moral community with the maintenance of American empire, and who therefore are keen to construct local forms of community as loci of Christian resistance against what the empire represents. Available for $25.00 from Sentinel Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC, 375 Hudson St., New York, NY 10014. To order online, click here. –

Station to Station: An Ignatian Journey through the Stations of the Cross

Station to Station: An Ignatian Journey through the Stations of the Cross, by Gary Jansen is a different kind of Station of the Cross book than one might expect. As Jansen writes in the Author’s Note, this 147-page volume, “focuses exclusively on events that are found in the Bible.” He goes on to note, “Encounters such as Jesus meeting his mother or meeting Veronica, who wipes his face along his way to Calvary, while traditionally rich in imagery and feeling, do not actually appear in the Bible. The focus here is on Scripture, because reading the Word of God, the Bible, brings us even closer to the Word of God, Jesus.” The book is divided into two parts: Part 1 – Why This Journey? And Part 2 – Now We Go, with Jesus. Available for $9.95 from Loyola Press, 3441 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago, IL 60657. Tel: (800) 621-1008. Fax: (773) 281-0555. E-mail: [email protected]. Web site: www.loyolapress.com.