Wednesday 15 March 2017

How to Become a Heroic Catholic - Catherine Stewart

How to Become a Heroic Catholic:
A Guide to Defending Catholicism For Teenagers and Young Adults
Catherine Stewart
Rivershore Books
ISBN 9781502706522

This book written by a young adult and intended for teens and young adults has a lot to offer for that intended audience, but also for any Catholic adult wishing to go deeper in their faith. As I was reading this book, I kept thinking I wish I had read something like this in my teens, or even my twenties. I believe that if I had read a book like this, my faith that has bloomed and grown since my thirties would have been much stronger much sooner! This was an incredible read.

The first chapter of this book begins with this quote: "The age of casual Catholicism is over; the age of heroic Catholicism has begun. We can no longer be Catholics by accident but instead we must be Catholics by conviction." Fr. Terrence Henry, TOR, Franciscan University of Steubenville. With the changes we have seen in the culture over the last few years. For with the changes in Europe and the events here in North America, this statement is truer every day. Catherine states: "We must be heroic in our faith! We (Catholics) need to be filled with our faith, fully immersed in it, ready to show the world what it truly means to be Catholic in today's society. In order to do that we must be confident in what we believe. We must know all of the who, what, where, when, why, and how of our beliefs. These facts will be questioned and they will be twisted...which is why we must know the Truth." And it is something that each of us must take seriously to heart. From that beginning of Catholics by conviction Catherine goes on to highlight many key doctrines and characteristics of the Catholic faith. The contents of this book are:

Chapter 1: Catholics by Conviction
Chapter 2: Why the Bible?
Chapter 3: The Pope
Chapter 4: Sola Fides and Sola Scriptura
Chapter 5: The Roots of the Mass
Chapter 6: The Seven Sacraments
Chapter 7: Catholics Don't Worship Mary
Chapter 8: The Saints
Chapter 9: Purgatory
Chapter 10: The Church is Pro-Life
Chapter 11: Discussing the Faith
Chapter 12: Closing
Recommended Reading

Stewart draws extensively from the bible, the catechism and from church history to argue her points. She writes in a very accessible and engaging manner. In fact it is easy to read through the whole book and immediately want to start reading it again. Her arguments and defences are  based on sound reasons, incredibly well researched, and very well written. Her recommend reading includes what she considers 5 lighter or easier books and 7 deeper books. Ranging from Mike Aquilina and Tomas Aquinas to Kevin Vost and Patrick Madrid.

This was an excellent read, and I hope the author publishes more soon for I will be eager to read it.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2017 Catholic Reading Plan!

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