Friday 15 July 2016

How God Hauled Me Kicking and Screaming Into the Catholic Church - Kevin Lowry

How God Hauled Me Kicking and Screaming Into the Catholic Church
Kevin Lowry
Our Sunday Visitor
ISBN 9781612788401

This is the second book I have read by Kevin Lowry and I have read his contributions in other volumes also. And I must say the greatest strengths of his writings are threefold. First is his honesty and his transparency. Second is his engaging and entertaining writing style. And Third is his vulnerability is sharing his stories as they are faults and all. Over the last few years I have read a number of stories of how people have found the Catholic church or found their way back home. From the three volumes in the Surprised By Truth series edited by Patrick Madrid to Lorene Hanley Dunquin's Recovering Faith. But there is something very powerful in the whole story like Kevin Presents in this volume as opposed to shorter snapshots, even though I enjoy those also.

In this volume we have a story that spans many years, almost a decade. From a young 16 year old heading off to college to a man married with 2 children entering the Catholic Church. Kevin states in the introduction: "To undergo conversion is to become different, or perhaps it is more accurate to say that it is to be made different. It is the start of the process of becoming a saint, for that is the ultimate point of conversion and God's goal for each one of us." He goes on later to declare "I've grasped that I was not a failure but a human being. I have also grasped that the process of conversion - even for cradle Catholics - necessarily involves turning our hearts again and again toward Christ. It involves growing in our understanding and practice of the faith." And his book will inspire, challenge and at times even cause us to laugh. This book will help with our own turning, turning back, refocusing back on Christ. And if we are open to learning from Kevin's example it can help us grow.

The sections in this book are:
Foreword - Dr. Scott Hahn
Introduction - Transformed: Lessons of a Grateful Convert

Part I: Sprinting to the Starting Gate - or How God Hauled Me Kicking and Screaming into the Catholic Church Despite My Best Efforts to Avoid It
Chapter 1: Happy Easter! Now What?
Chapter 2: An Event and a Process
Chapter 3: A Fish Out of Water
Chapter 4: Soused in Steubenville
Chapter 5: Fast Forward
Chapter 6: The Beautiful American
Chapter 7: Spiritual Nomads

Part II: Turning Stumbling Blocks Into Stepping-Stones - or How All Those Weird Things About Catholicism Turn Out to Make Sense and Actually Bring You Closer to God
Chapter 8: First Stumbling Block: The Eucharist
Chapter 9: Second Stumbling Block: Confession
Chapter 10: Third Stumbling Block: The Mystical Body of Christ
Chapter 11: Fourth Stumbling Block: Mary
Chapter 12: Fifth Stumbling Block: Faith vs. Works
Chapter 13: Sixth Stumbling Block: Authority
Chapter 14: Seventh Stumbling Block: The Church's Imperfections
Chapter 15: The Worst Stumbling Block of All: Me

Kevin writes in such an engaging way that I could hardly put the book down.
"I need the Sacrament of Reconciliation as much as anyone and more than most. So instead, I force myself to look inward and marvel at my own intransigence - how my conversion seems to be put on hold far more often than it should be." And each of us must face those same questions, week by week, year by year. We need to learn to turn again and again back to God, to fix our focus on Christ and to follow the Holy Spirit's leading.

This book is an excellent read. For those firmly established in their Catholic faith it will serve as a reminder or a book to share with those on the path. For those who are on the path, Kevin is an excellent example and someone whom you can walk beside. I honestly believe that anyone who reads this book will be challenged to live a deeper and more authentic faith! It is a wonderful inspiring read so give it a try.

Books by Kevin Lowry:
Faith at Work: Finding Purpose Beyond the Paycheck
How God Hauled Me Kicking and Screaming Into the Catholic Church

Contributed To:
Surprised By Truth 2
Man Up! Becoming the New Catholic Renaissance Man
Word by Word: Slowing Down with the Hail Mary

Author Profile and Interview with Kevin Lowry.

(Note: this books is part of a series: A Year of Reading Intention - Catholic Reading!)

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