Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Book Review: Rediscover Catholicism

After our son Rory gave us a copy of Matthew Kelly's latest book, entitled Rediscover Catholicism: A spiritual guide to living with passion & purpose, as part of our Christmas gift, Richard and I decided to give it a read.  I began reading a couple of weeks ago and am taking much more time to get through the 300+ pages than is usual for me. 

This book takes more time to absorb since it's such a powerful read. Kelly's theory is that anyone who is Catholic has the potential to find happiness and to live an authentic life. 

By this he means we can become "the best version of ourselves" by living the lives we were meant to live according to God's plan for us.    

I especially appreciate Kelly's direct, simple explanations of why we display statues of the saints in our churches: simply put they are reminders of a life of holiness.  We do not worship the saints, but by reading about their lives and work, we learn how to live our lives. 

Kelly goes on to give five examples of saints whose histories teach us about discipline and holiness and that holiness is possible for ordinary, everyday people.  To me this last part is especially important.  I tend to be ordinary and as such I sometimes forget that many of the saints were common, ordinary people. 

An earlier book by the same author
I have not finished the entire book, but I will quite soon.  I just didn't want to wait any longer to write about it.  While reading earlier today I began to worry that I'd forget something important, such as this one line that, to me at least, is extremely powerful: "I promise you, it is better to spend time with dead people  who bring you to life than with live people who lead you to death" (126). 

Of course, Kelly is not speaking literally here, he means that reading or studying the lives of the saints is a much better use of time since we learn to become the best version of ourselves and grow closer to God as a result than spending time with those people or doing those things that drive us from God.

Kelly shares many other truly powerful ideas.  I hope you spend some time discovering them for yourself. 

Although intended for Catholics, the book is right for many others as well.  If you are curious about some the "oddities" of Catholicism, this book will answer many questions.  If you are a Catholic who has left the church for any of various reasons, Kelly addresses them in a straightforward manner and will help you to come to terms with your disappointment, anger or disenchantment. 

There are many ways to pick up a copy including visiting the Dynamic Catholic website or author Matthew Kelly's site. I also found it at Amazon and Books a Million. 

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