Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Why Be Catholic? Ten Answers to a Very Important Question by Patrick Madrid

When I read the title of this book to my husband, he said: “Cause it’s good for you.”  I had to laugh and couldn’t argue.  Fortunately, others have put a bit more thought into their answer.  Why be Catholic is a question I’ve been asked in a myriad of different ways.  My answers have always been tailored to the person in front of me, though sometimes with limited success.  

Here’s a succinct answer for you by popular author and president of the Catholics Apologetics Academy Patrick Madrid to the question why be Catholic: “because in the Catholic Church you will receive everything in its fullness that God desires to give you to make you happy and free” (p.208). 
In Why Be Catholic? Madrid describes the fundamentals of the faith as well as the historical and Biblical accounts and proof for why the Catholic Church is the one true faith begun by Christ.  He devotes an entire chapter to clarify the doctrines on the Blessed Mother and another one solely to clean up the plethora of common misconceptions about papal infallibility and succession.  He explains why the Church is holy, though it always has and always will be made up of sinful people. 
The part I found the most fascinating was on which religious orders have seen vocations on the rise and why.  We’re reminded to pray for vocations all the time in our diocese, and rightly so; we certainly need them.  Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) “Vocations Report” indicates a significant rise “in vocations to religious orders in which the Catholic faith is proclaimed and lived out uncompromisingly and without ambiguity.” (p. 190)  This makes total sense.  It takes strong catechesis taught unwaveringly by priests, deacons, religious, and the lay faithful in order to bring people closer to Christ and to a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the basic tenets of the Catholic faith. 
What’s missing in many places?  A dynamic duo that can’t be subverted: prayer and proper catechesis for all ages.  If Catholics don’t know what the Church teaches and why, then it’s difficult, if not impossible for them to live it out much less explain it to others. 
There has been an unfortunate trend for a number of priests, deacons, and lay leaders to emphasize some Church teachings while completely neglecting others, especially those that are controversial and countercultural.  Something I once heard a priest say in a sermon has stuck with me: “A lie is never pastoral.”  He told us that one of his professors in seminary would often remind them that.  Lying about and/or purposefully refraining from informing people about what the Lord is asking them to do in order to live in the fullness of His love is a tremendous disservice.   
We are all called to grow closer to the Lord.  This is the crux of the New Evangelization.  So how do we begin?  By being open to ongoing personal conversion and lifelong faith formation.  It is even more necessary that the lay faithful remain committed to ongoing formation, because many aren’t getting the fullness of the Catholic teachings, not even from the priests, deacons, or lay leaders of their parishes.
Madrid also provides a good refresher on Catholic social teaching and doctrine—which is even more essential to have spelled out when the media keeps skewing what is part and parcel of the faith—not an optional side item from the Protestant buffet.
I highly recommend Why Be Catholic? for all who have been asked this question as well as for all those who have made such an inquiry.  Patrick Madrid uses humor and a wealth of wisdom to provide ten answers to a very important question. 
For more information about Why Be Catholic? or to order your copy, click here.  I received a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...