Best-selling author and theologian George Weigel will be releasing his latest book, “Letters to a Young Catholic”, in March.
“These letters are written to and for, young Catholics — and not-so-young Catholics and indeed curious souls of any religious persuasion or none — who wonder what it means to be a Catholic today, at the beginning of the twenty-first century and the third millennium,” wrote Weigel in the introduction of his book.
Rather than exploring the meaning of Catholicism through documents and dogma, Weigel decided to provide readers with an epistolary tour of those parts of the Catholic world that have shaped his understanding of the Church, its people and its teachings.
His tour takes readers to Catholic landmarks as diverse as Chartres Cathedral, the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, G.K. Chesterton’s favorite pub, the grave of a modern martyr in Warsaw, the Sistine Chapel and St. Mary’s Church in Greenville, S.C.
Through these Catholic landmarks, the 208-page book offers an examination of the foundations of Catholic faith and explores the topics of grace, prayer, vocation, sin and forgiveness, suffering and love. The author also uses insights from history, literature, theology, and music to illuminate the beliefs that have shaped Catholicism for 2,000 years.
“Catholicism is a very tangible business,” said Weigel in his introduction. “It’s about seeing and hearing, touching, tasting and smelling as much as it’s about texts and arguments and ideas. Visiting some of the more intriguing parts of the Catholic world will I hope, be an experience of the mystery of the Church, which is crucial to understanding it,” he said.
“And by the ‘mystery’ of the Church, I don’t mean the documents long filed away in the Vatican Secret Archives,” he continued. “I mean those dimensions of the Catholic experience that are matters of intuition and empathy and insight — experiences that can never-be-fully-captured discursively.”
Weigel is also the author of “The Courage to be Catholic”, “Witness to Hope: The Biography of John Paul II”, “The Truth of Catholicism” and “The Final Revolution”.
“Letters to a Young Catholic” is published by Basic Books. It will be available in March. The hardcover edition is $22 ($34.95 Canada).