Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Reintroducing Logic and Reason to the Age of Sentimentalism

Book Review

All of the posts under the "Book Review" category.

Book Review: Jesus of Nazareth

A little over a month ago, I finished reading Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s book Jesus of Nazareth Volume One. I did a minor post about a small little blurb on what then Pope Benedict said on asking God for Signs and Revelations.

The book is a tough read. It definitely takes an advanced mindset to understand it, although, if you are not at that advanced stage yet in your faith, you can read smaller pieces and digest it a bit better.

I really did enjoy this, even though I could only read about fifteen minutes at a time. For me, it took a while to realize this, mainly because I’m used to sitting down for an hour at a time with a book and understanding what I read. However, this is a fault of pride, so it was humbling to have to take my time with it.

Benedict spends much time debunking the falsity that has occurred over the last few decades building Jesus up as a “happy go-lucky kind of a guy” and really diving deep into understanding Jesus’ Divinity and Humanity and restoring this image of Christ.

For too long, Jesus has had His identity stripped from Him, and is not seen in the right light these days. Benedict is able to really understand this, and sheds original light on who Jesus really is.

I recommend this book, as it is such a crucial read if you want to understand Jesus more. Using theology, philosophy, tradition and scripture, Benedict does a wonderful job revealing the Christ that we should know and love, and tearing down the strawman that is the “Hippy Jesus” that we have been exposed to for far longer than we should have.

Again, take your time with the book. Do not try to rush through it, as you will miss a lot. Even taking your time, there will be much you might miss. You will feel accomplished after reading this. I am looking forward to getting the second volume and reading that soon.

Pope Benedict on Demanding Signs and Revelation

For the past couple of months, I’ve been slowly working on Pope Benedict XVI’s Jesus of Nazareth Volume 1 (yes, I know, I’m 5 years behind).

So far, it is proving to be quite the excellent piece. Pope Benedict is such a solid thinker and is able to articulate many of his points in digestible nuggets of knowledge, wisdom and biblical support. Depending on your level of understanding and your faith journey, I would suggest breaking it apart in smaller sessions (I for one find that if I spend more than 5-15 minutes on it, it becomes complicated). Some may be able to spend more time on it, others less.

I will probably do a more thorough analysis after I have completed it. However, this paragraph really struck me, as I am now trying my best to work on evangelizing. Pope Benedict is analyzing Jesus’ parable of the beggar Lazarus, who dies and goes to Heaven, meanwhile the rich man who ignored him went to Hell. The rich man in Hell sees Lazarus in Heaven next to Abraham, and asks Abraham to allow him (the rich man) to go back to earth to warn his brothers (who are also rich). This is a similar argument we hear today…”if only you will do this God…then I will believe”.

“The rich man, looking up to Abraham from Hades, says what so many people, both then and now, say or would like to say to God: ‘If you really want us to believe in you and organize our lives in accord with the revealed word of the Bible, you’ll have to make yourself clearer. Send us someone from the next world who can tell us that it is really so.’ The demand for signs, the demand for more evidence of Revelation, is an issue that runs through the entire Gospel. Abraham’s answer – like Jesus’ answer to his contemporaries’ demand for signs in other contexts – is clear: If people do not believe the word of Scripture, then they will not believe someone coming from the next world either. The highest truths cannot be forced into the type of empirical evidence that only applies to material reality.” -Pope Benedict XVI “Jesus of Nazareth Volume 1” (p.216)

How often do we hear of people demanding signs, yet don’t believe Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of (insert favorite Marian Apparition here).

Jeff December 6, 2012 1 Comment Permalink

Book Review: Rediscovering Catholicism

UPDATE: I have since read many other books and have come to realize that Matthew Kelly’s version of Catholicism is not the solution and is barely even Catholic. While I do not believe in removing posts that I have published unless absolutely necessary, I will leave this here so you can see what I thought at this point in my life. I will have the record show that I no longer agree with this review, so keep that in mind when you read it.

I just finished reading Rediscovering Catholicism the other day. So, I thought I’d give my thoughts on it.

The book is quite possibly one of the best books that I have read on Catholicism (UPDATE: No it isn’t, I hadn’t read many good Catholic books at this point in my life, and in hindsight, this book isn’t the best. Not even close.). Matthew Kelly gives a very simple, yet highly informative look on the traditions of our faith, as well as the importance of it. He doesn’t get highly technical, which is fine, because the purpose of the book is for those who have drifted away from the faith, or who haven’t really been that active in the faith, to understand it, and take off with it.

The simplicity of this book gives it incredible power, seeing as it doesn’t matter where you are at in your faith journey, you will be able to readily and easily pick it up. I almost wish that my first Catholic book was this easy, but, who knows if I would have converted.

Matthew Kelly picks up all the important parts of the Catholic prayer life: Mass, Confession, the Rosary, just to name a few. He discusses the importance of each one of these Sacraments or sacramentals and gives reasons for embracing them. As always, he uses good examples to go along with it.

There is a section on talking about his favorite Saints. He gives a pretty decent length bio of each one and talks about why they are important to him. After this he mentions how we each need to pick up a few Saints that admire us and learn about them. After we have finished with this piece, it’s time for us to start praying to them as well as to begin allowing them to inspire us to become Saints or “the-best-version-of-ourselves” as he has coined the term.

I have a list of books that I believe are beneficial to me and help me to grow as a person. I have a “Read Every Year” list as well as a “Read Every 5 Years” list. This book will be going on the first list, but I have reason to believe that realistically I’ll probably get to it more every 5 years. I’ve never been inspired so much and a lot of the posts that I have been discussing lately are because of this.

This is a book for all Catholics, no matter where you are at in your faith journey or how much you practice or don’t practice. I believe you will be inspired regardless of where you fall in the spectrum. I do not think that this is a book you would give to your Protestant or Atheist friend. I say this because you sort of need to be Catholic in order to read it, but, as I always say, if they are willing to read it, then go ahead. I suppose it depends on the situation. I would recommend lending it to fallen-away Catholics if they are willing to read it.

What is nice about this book is that through Matthew Kelly’s Dynamic Catholic program, you can get this book relatively cheap through his website, You can even order additional copies for relatively cheap. I purchased about a dozen copies myself as a gift for my Religious Ed Confirmation students, only to find out that at their confirmation, the Archdiocese had decided to give them this book as well. Luckily for me, I have a few people in mind that I can give copies to.

Jeff July 2, 2012 4 Comments Permalink

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