Book Reviews

July 24, 2015
What do we need to be truly happy?
By Chris Gilbert

Who among us does not long for lasting happiness?  This universal desire is ever present, yet so many today are not happy.  Fr. Robert Spitzer’s brilliant exploration of true happiness is an incredible gift for anyone looking for something more satisfying than the next short-lived physical stimulation.  With his book, “Finding True Happiness: Satisfying Our Restless Hearts”, Fr. Spitzer takes a refreshingly comprehensive approach to the human person as a physical and spiritual being with...

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Can you sum up the life of a great saint who changed the world?  Can you adequately convey the impact of a man who preached, wrote, and taught for most of his eighty-five years?  What can be said about a young man who became a priest, a bishop, and then a pope, that hasn’t already been said?  You cannot reduce this man to a book, but you can explore his life by looking at what he loved.  The man is Karol Wojtyla – now immortalized as St. John Paul II - and the author who presents a...

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August 23, 2013
Elizabeth: A Holy Land Pilgrimage
By Lisa Hendey

Beth Gantry, Liz, Elizabeth...the main character of Elizabeth: A Holy Land Pilgrimage is many things to many people.

In the opening pages of this engrossing story, we meet Elizabeth and depart with her on the journey of a lifetime: her solo trip to Israel. She has dreamed of this pilgrimage for many years, but in the end it appears to be her discontent with her life that drives her to finally embark on her voyage. Beth has given her life to serving others and has come to feel...

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August 20, 2013
Evangelical Catholicism
By Chris Gilbert

For a tree to thrive, it must be pruned.  Jesus himself said that the Father will prune the living branches of the vine (the Church) so they can produce more fruit.  He also promised that this same Church would contain wheat and weeds – saints and sinners – in every age.  Today we find old and new problems, which bring ancient and fresh challenges for a Church that desires to set the world on fire with the love of Christ.

George Weigel’s Evangelical Catholicism: Deep Reform in the...

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How does Islam impact Western culture? William Kilpatrick challenges the typical perspective in Christianity, Islam, and Atheism: The Struggle for the Soul of the West. He looks at the essence of Islam, the life of Muhammad, and the teaching of the Koran. In doing so, he shows that Islam threatens the Western way of life, and Christianity in particular. But what is this threat and why don’t more people recognize it?

Some say Islam is a moderate religion of peace that condemns Islamic...

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December 20, 2012
The Marvelous Mind of G.K. Chesterton
By Chris Gilbert

G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936) is an artist of common sense and his medium is the English language. His words flow like beautiful music. They catch you, hold you, and satisfy you. Dale Ahlquist allows one to tour the magnitude of Chesterton’s works while keeping both feet on the ground in The Complete Thinker: The Marvelous Mind of G.K. Chesterton. The reader will hear Chesterton skillfully proclaim the truth that resonates in mind and heart.  Ahlquist reveals this brilliant, pithy, and...

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A myth, like a gun, can be deadly. But myths are unloaded guns. Exposing the empty barrel removes the threat to bystanders and the one taking aim. Everyone benefits from the truth, but not everyone takes it well. Even blanks can backfire. Thus, truth always requires the company of charity.

Catholic myths can lead people astray, prevent some from entering the Church, and embarrass the faithful. Thus, we need guys like Christopher Kaczor and his latest work, The Seven Big Myths about the...

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September 20, 2012
In secret service of the Sacred Heart
By Craig Bowman

Born sometime between 1833 and 1848 in Hannibal, Missouri, Julia Greeley was freed during the Civil War although we don’t know if she was freed by the Emancipation Proclamation or if her master set her free of his own accord. All we know of her parents is their first names, George and Cerilda. As for her own name, it is “most likely that Julia took the name Greeley from Horace Greeley, who endeared himself to many black strongly urging Lincoln to emancipate the...

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August 22, 2012
For Greater Glory
By Chris Gilbert

What’s the cost of religious liberty?  Perhaps your life. 

In a short companion to the epic film, For Greater Glory: The True Story of Christida, Ruben Quezada tells how he first learned about the forgotten story of Mexico’s struggle for religious freedom.  When a young Ruben picked up a worn holy card, an elderly priest said, “Fr. Pro! He’s Mexican, like you. Don’t you know about him? He was killed in Mexico for being a priest.”  Ruben recounts, “Then, to my surprise, he...

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August 10, 2012
The sophomoric imagination
By Msgr. Richard Antall

R. Jay Magill’s book Sincerity (W.W. Norton: 2012) was reviewed in the Wall Street Journal and that tricked me into thinking that it was a serious book. It is an extraordinary exercise in pseudo-intellectual hyperbolism. What is shocking is that it would be published by a “legitimate” publishing house and presumably read as a philosophic essay.

I should have known from the subtitle that something was seriously wrong with the book. How a moral idea born five hundred years ago inspired...

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