The Catholic Bookshelf

A solid Catholic education and fruitful spiritual life requires constant growth and development. Reading good Catholic books is one way to make progress. Reflecting on this reading and sharing with fellow Catholics increases our understanding and helps us stay on track. Come join in the discussion.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Session 2 (pages 27-66) Discussion Questions

Here are some questions from the Study Guide to consider as you read the pages for Session 2:

1. When you consider where we are today as a society, do you think the world needs Christianity more or less than it did a hundred years ago? What are the signs that support your view?

2. How are you influenced by the philosophies of individualism, hedonism, and minimalism? Give examples.

3. In Chapter Three the author quotes, “The desire for God is written on the human heart . . .” (Catechism of the Catholic Church). In what ways do you yearn for God?

4. How would you describe your relationship with Jesus? Is he friend, mentor, coach, savior, spiritual director, role model, distant God, or historical figure? Where do you see opportunities for this relationship to grow?

5. How does embracing Catholicism as a way of life make you a-better-version-of-yourself?

6. In Chapter Five the author discusses the identity crisis that we are struggling with as a Church. If your life were put under a microscope, would there be sufficient evidence to convince a jury of your peers that you were truly Catholic? What would that evidence be?

Session 1 (pages 13-25) Discussion Questions

Here are some questions from the Study Guide to consider as you read the pages for Session 1:

1. Describe the moment in your life when you most enjoyed
being Catholic.

2. How did the story about the epidemic and the little boy
change the way you think about Mass? What else did the story
challenge you to reflect upon?

3. In the Introduction of Rediscover Catholicism the author shares
many ideas about where we are as a Church and possibilities for
the future. Which idea most struck you from that section? Why?

4. This is a very hopeful book, and yet the author is not afraid
to confront the very real challenges we face as a Church at this
moment in history. As you reflect on the future of Catholicism:
a) What are you most concerned about?
b) What are you most hopeful about?

5. It seems the first Christians lived differently, loved differently,
and worked differently, and in the process captured the imagina-
tion of the people of their time. How can you live, love, and work
so as to intrigue the people in your own place and time?

6. In what ways is God calling you to a bigger future at this time
in your life?

7. What makes you proud to be a Catholic today?

The Study Guide

It's been a while since I've posted here.  My apologies for that but an unexpected business trip to the west coast followed by my daughter's drama production left me with little time for anything else.

The in-person discussion groups in the parish are using a study guide to help focus their discussion.  It's available here and in the links on the right side.  I will also post each section separately week-by-week to invite further comments.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Yearning for a role model?

Do you know anyone who lives an "authentic life"?  I think Kelly is right that we are all put off by hypocrisy but let's not confuse it with human failure.  I think sometimes it's a little too easy to speak of Christians as Gandhi did, "If I had ever met one, I would have become one."  I've met many Christians and they all had one thing in common - they were both saint and sinner.  Just like me.  Perhaps Gandhi's standards were too high.  Was he looking for the perfect Christian?

Our Church is filled with saints who lived an "authentic life".  How many of us know the lives of these heroes of the Church?  Maybe we think they had some special grace that allowed them to live lives of heroic virtue but the truth is we are all given the grace to know and love God.  Here's a few role models from just the last century:

Mother Teresa
Maria Goretti
Maximilian Kolbe
Josephine Bakhita
Joseph Moscati
Gianna Beretta Molla
Andre Bessette
Richard Pampuri

What do you think?  Is it possible for you and me in the 21st century to be a saint?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Are you proud to be Catholic

Matthew Kelly says, "There is genius in Catholicism."  Do you believe that?  Are you proud to tell people that you are Catholic?  Do you defend the Church when detractors criticize it or are you silent hoping no one realizes that you are Catholic?

Kelly says it's time to rediscover Catholicism.  Are you ready for a re-awakening of your Faith?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Welcome to the Catholic Bookshelf

As part of our attempts to invigorate and engage the parishioners of Our Lady of Grace, we are giving away copies of Rediscover Catholicism by Matthew Kelly.  Each family at our Easter liturgy will receive the book with an invitation to participate in small discussion groups over the five weeks after Easter.  Recognizing that it can be difficult for people to schedule time for a group, we are also holding discussions on-line here.

The title of the blog is The Catholic Bookshelf.  It is my hope that Rediscover Catholicism is only the first of many books that are read and discussed here and in the small groups.  Please come back here often to see what we are reading and talking about and share your own thoughts on the material.