Tuesday 19 November 2019

Be Strong in the Lord Spirituality for Men - Harold Burke-Sivers

Be Strong in the Lord: Spirituality for Men
Harold Burke-Sivers
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781784692018
eISBN 9781784694586
CTS Booklet PA45

Over the last two years I have read nearly 100 books and booklets from the catholic truth Society. I have yet to read a book that I did not learn from, or that did not benefit my spiritual life. There are many great books and many great series. This booklet is an abridged version of Behold the Man: A Catholic Vision of Male Spirituality. A book I read a few years ago and thoroughly loved. But I also loved this booklet. Having read the book it was drawn from; this book serves as a great reminder. It is a small volume that can be read easily in an afternoon over a big cup of tea or coffee. For those who have not read the longer work, it can serve as an excellent introduction.

There are many out there who say that most men do not read, and even more so for men in the church. This is the type of resource that can put put in a reluctant readers hand and they will devour it. And hopefully continue learning and growing in their faith.

The Chapters in this booklet are:

Biblical Manhood
Covenant Relationship
Sin and Forgiveness
Truth and Freedom
Theology of the Body
Further Reading

In the introduction Deacon Harold states:

“We choose spiritual sloth and laziness over witnessing to the truth of our faith with passion and conviction. We’ve become timid. We’ve stopped leading. We no longer desire holiness. We’ve compromised our values and abdicated our responsibility. Catholic men were created for greatness but instead choose to be purveyors of immorality and mediocrity.”

He also declares:

“How did we get here? In a nutshell, by abdicating our responsibility to live as godly men we have turned our backs on the authentic moral teachings of the Church, especially in the area of human sexuality.”

He goes on to tell us that:

“The Catholic contribution to male spirituality was relatively sparse until the 1990s, when, largely sparked by the success of the Protestant Promise Keepers movement, interest began to rise. Much Catholic literature has focused on fatherhood, but recent works have embraced a more holistic approach (see the Further Reading section for some examples).”

The introduction then concludes with these words:

“There is no Resurrection without Crucifixion. We must learn to take hold of the cross in our lives. The cross is the hermeneutic of male spirituality. Only when we begin to understand the gift of vulnerability lived from the cross will we know what it means to be a man of God. God will imbue us with the courage to live as the person he created us to be: made in his image and likeness.”

The rest of the book fleshes out those ideas within the contexts of biblical manhood, Fatherhood, work, truth and more. It is an excellent little volume. It is a booklet That I will read again and again. For the topics and concepts it covers I believe we will always be striving to improve. And this book is a resource that will help us be better husbands, better fathers, better employees. I believe it could help us just be better men!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Books by Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers:
Behold the Man: A Catholic Vision of Male Spirituality
The Mass in Sacred Scripture
Father Augustus Tolton: The Slave Who Became the First African-American Priest
Be Strong in the Lord: Spirituality for Men
Ignite: Pray the Bible Like Never Before with Sonja Corbitt

Contributed to:
Man Up! Becoming the New Catholic Renaissance Man
Your Marriage: Leader Guide
From Slave to Priest

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