Thursday, March 30, 2006

bookshelf: Catholic Matters by Fr. Richard Neuhaus

This is going to be a quick bookshlef b/c I'm tired (looong week at work) and it's Emily's bedtime. But the masses (re: friend in Germany :)) have been clamoring for something new, so here it is.

Just finished Catholic Matters Fr. Neuhaus' (aka the Corner's unofficial chaplain) new book. It's basically a review of Catholicism post Vatican II and an evaluation of certain Church positions, politics, his conversion story from Lutheranism to Catholicism and then to the priesthood, some of the theological arguments between Catholicism and 'old line' Protestantism...things like that. It also includes his "Rome diary" from last year's conclave and other events during the Death of JP II and election of B XVI. So that's very interesting.

Fr. Neuhaus writes in a clear, engaging style as he covers all these various and sundry poitns, and each chapter could very well stand on its own as a short essay. very engaging and though-provoking, he looks at the Church today and sees promise, not just the endless defeatism so many others have expressed. As he calls JP II "John Paul The Great" throughout the book, you can guess why I like him. But it's a well-written, engaging, and intelligent work about what it means to be a "Catholic American." Be sure to get your hands on a copy--makes good 'end of Lent' reading.

I'm also working on St. Therese's Story of a Soul . I bought the "study copy", which includes all three manuscripts (the one she wrote to her sister, Pauline (Mother Agnes), which is more of a true autobiography; the second, to her sister Marie, also a Carmelite, focusing on her "Little Way", and the third to Mother Mary Gonzaga, which is more theological reflection). Very good, very emotional (lots of italics--reminds me a lot of the writings of Queen Victoria) and a fantastic window into the mind of this very popular saint. As she was my Confirmation saint, I thought it was very odd that I hadn't read more about her other than the two books I had. So I've started (almost finished) this one, and then I'm reading Fr. Bro's St. Therese , from my favorite, Ignatius Press, which looks really interesting. Anne Catherine Emmerich's book is also almost completed.

All right, that's it for now. More coming when I've caught up on my sleep...promise!


andrea said...

lol yea! update :-)

Though I've clearly never read this book, it sounds interesting, esp because he converted from Lutheranism. Makes me almost want to read the book from this crazy guy! ;-)

Emily said...

you should because it's good. And he was LCMS, too! Grew up in Canada, Dad was a's a good story. He's very into authentic ecumenism, so it's all good...he loves Lutherans :)