Friday 13 April 2018

Be Watchful Resist the Adversary, Firm in Your Faith - Eric Sammons

Be Watchful: 
Resist the Adversary, Firm in Your Faith
Eric Sammons
Saragossa Press
ISBN 9780692818763

I first encountered the writings of Eric Sammons a few years ago in his book, 'Holiness for Everyone: The Practical Spirituality of St. Josemaria Escriva', and thought it was a wonderful read. Since then I have read another of his non-fiction and his amazing fiction short story, 'The Profession'.  This book is different than his other works, but a book that I believe is important, and to be honest a book that all Catholic's would benefit from reading. From the introduction Sammons states:
"Ever since I became Catholic in 1993 I've been actively involved in the Church, mostly through evangelization work at the individual, parish, and diocesan levels. I've met thousands of Catholics and worked with hundreds of priests, even a few bishops. Much has changed in the Church in those twenty years, some for the better, some for the worse. But one constant has remained: the Church has been in crisis. 
Sober reflection on the state of the Church should render this statement uncontroversial, but for most interested parties it is a highly debatable claim. It's difficult to judge our contemporary situation as dispassionately as we judge times past, for we don't know how to weigh the importance of current events by any unbiased standard. For example, faithful Catholics might critique a long-dead pope without qualms, while those same faithful Catholics will find it exceedingly uncomfortable to censure a living pontiff."
This book is a complication of articles that originally appeared on the website  The chapters or articles in this volume are:
The Church's Essential Mission:
Conversion, Not Welcome Making Mass "Relevant" is
Irrelevant to Evangelization 
How Great We Aren't:
The Catholic Church in America Today 
The New Pharisees: Who Today is
Putting Up Obstacles to Evangelization? 
Correcting Jesus: The Gospel According to Abner 
A Church That Repels Instead of Attracts 
How to Be One Hell of a Catholic Evangelist 
The Benedict Option: Not for the Faint of Heart 
The Tyranny of "Dialogue" 
The Missing Ingredient in
Today's Catholic Evangelization 
No More Scraps: Regaining Rightful Catholic Pride 
New Coke: If Today's Catholics Were in Charge 
The Holy Spirit is Not a Control Freak 
St. Francis, Pope Francis, and Me 
Meet Amy, the Average Catholic 
Normalcy Bias and Papal Positivism 
The Silence of God 
Accompany the Sinner, or Accommodate the Sin? 

These articles were written with the intent of helping us to be watchful, to honestly look at the condition of the church and respond to it. It is now written just to create controversy, or be provocative. There are other authors and organizations that want to stir the pot. It is written so that we can look at the state of the church and respond, to rebuild, and to restore.  

These articles originally posted between and October of 2014-2016 broach a number of important topics. The article that hit me the most was 'Making Mass "Relevant" Is Irrelevant To Evangelization'. This is a collection that will challenge the status quo and even though there were written between 2 and 4 years ago they are just a relevant to today. I recommend that you read it and maybe use it as a discussion guide for a small group of friends and see where the conversation goes.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Eric Sammons:
Holiness for Everyone: The Practical Spirituality of St. Josemaria Escriva
Who Is Jesus the Christ?: Unlocking the Mystery in the Gospel of Matthew
The Old Evangelization: How to Spread the Faith Like Jesus Did
Be Watchful: Resist the Adversary, Firm in Your Faith
The Jesse Tree: An Advent Devotion
Bitcoin Basics: 101 Questions and Answers

The Profession

Contributed to:
Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue
The Passion of St. Edward, King and Martyr

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