September 15, 2007

Recommended Reading

Over the summer, which appears to be quickly coming to an end (frost warnings last night already!), I read several books. A few of which I would like to recommend for your consideration here.

Jesus of Nazareth by Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI), 2007, Doubleday
The Holy Father hardly needs me to recommend his book Jesus of Nazareth in order to sell more copies. It's already a best seller. However, if you have not read this book yet, I highly recommend it. It's not a quick read because the Holy Father is a "thinking man" and he puts a lot of ideas on the page that are well worthy of prayerful and deep reflection. It took me 3 weeks to read this book and I'm a fast reader. I would read for a while and then I would have to digest what the Holy Father said and put the book down for a while. It's a great Adoration Chapel meditation. His section on the quest to see the Holy Face of Jesus really resonated with me. I gave this book to a dissenting Catholic friend as a birthday gift. She groaned when she saw it. I asked her to give it a chance. She called me and said "Hey, this isn't bad!" She's not thrilled about the Holy Father criticizing some of her favorite dissident theologian's ideas (there is not a lot of direct criticism in the book, but if you know some dissident theologians ideas you may pick up the indirect criticisms), but she said it is an approachable work even for her. From a tiny seed...

The English Cardinals by Rev. Fathers Nicholas Schofield and Gerard Skinner, 2007, Family Publications (Oxford, UK)

As a self-described Anglophile, when I heard about this book I had to buy it. I am almost completely ignorant of the history of the leadership of/from the Catholic Church in England. The book is an overview of Cardinals from England starting with Robert Pullen and ending with the current Cardinal, Cormac Murphy-O'Connor. In fact, His Eminence composed the Forward. It is not, nor does it claim to be, an in-depth work on each Cardinal. For a beginner, like me, it's a good place to start. It would also be an excellent addition to a library (or homeschool) in a middle school and up collection. It is a beautiful volume. I was pleasantly surprised to find it full of heraldric symbols, illustrations and photos (many of which are color). It also has brief architectural/historical descriptions of each Cardinals titular parish in Rome. The book includes the Cardinals who were named by the anti-pope John XXIII (no, not THAT Pope-which was another thing I learned) and men who "might have been" Cardinals. All in all, as a Catholic and a history buff, I found it very interesting. A pleasant addition to my reference collection.

Turmoil & Truth: The Historical Roots of the Modern Crisis in the Catholic Church by Philip Trower, 2003, Ignatius (San Francisco, US) and Family Publications (Oxford, UK)

The Catholic Church and the Counter-Faith: A Study of the Roots of Modern Secularism, Relativism, and de-Christianisation
by Philip Trower, 2006, Family Publications (Oxford, UK)

I call this the one-two punch of Philip Trower! If you think the Second Vatican Council was an, out-of-nowhere, without warning, instrument of dissenting change, think again. Trower painstakingly constructs proof going back several hundred years before the Council and across nations to illustrate how the impact of the Council as an agent of change used by dissenters was a long time coming. The Second Vatican Council was the confluence of various dissenting philosophers ideas. In many ways, Trower is almost a geneological tree of dissenting thought. You can trace how some of the dissenters at the Council formed their ideas based upon the family tree of their philosophical influences.

I don't think you have to read both books. If you only have time for one Turmoil & Truth is briefer. However, I think Catholic Church and the Counter-Faith is the better of the two because it's much more comprehensive.

If you had to read dissenters during your Theology studies (like I did), prepare to be disturbed all over again. However, I believe, we are currently living a reform of the distortions of the Second Vatican Council and we are undergoing an authentic renewal of the Faith. Therefore, I was, surprisingly, not upset by these books. I'd be interested in reading a future book by Mr. Trower in which he discusses the historical course of the "reform of the reform" or "the new evangelization". :-)


Blogger Adoro te Devote said...

It's official. You are a HUGE geek.

This, coming from a huge geek herself, so don't feel bad. We need a support group.

Oh, that's right...we have the Saints, the Pope, and about 20% of the current Church as company! (Or would you estimate a different percentage?)

September 15, 2007 5:13 PM  
Blogger Terry Nelson said...

These are excellent recommendations, thanks.

September 15, 2007 6:27 PM  
Blogger Vincenzo said...

Thank you for the recommendations. I'm reading A Catechism in Pictures: My Catholic Faith: A Manual of Religion, by Most Reverend Louis LaRavoire Morrow, D.D. - Bishop of Krishnagar. ISBN 0-9639032-6-8

September 15, 2007 6:46 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Clearly, we have 4 members already for our Catholic Geek Club, Adoro (you, me, Terry and Vincenzo)! :-)

Vincenzo: Thanks for the recommendation!

Adoro: I might say 30-35% of the current Church are geeks. In any case, either your percentage or mine is not enough so we need a Catholic Geekdom membership drive! This probably means we need more recommended reading posts as a start.

September 15, 2007 8:30 PM  
Blogger Richie D said...

don't forget to look for the 'nihil obstat.' (LOL)

your new profile picture looks like you will be a featured blogger on THE SIMPSONS this season. (You could be Marge's niece)

September 15, 2007 10:16 PM  
Blogger Ray from MN said...

Hey, what about me?

I'm a geek too (in remission, though).

Those are indeed great recommendations that I will put on my list.

I have to admit that since I started blogging, my reading has been minimal. That is not good.

You guys should be my support team to get me reading again.

September 15, 2007 10:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We need a Geek logo for the club. (heh...we do have one ...his name is Jesus....)

I am reading Jesus of Nazareth right now but as you said - you have to take breaks.

I would also like to recommend Abp. Fulton Sheen's "Life of Christ."

September 15, 2007 11:22 PM  
Blogger swissmiss said...

As a geek-in-training, I haven't read any of these. Am just getting to the books everyone else had read years ago. A bit behind the power curve. I do have some books on my Christmas wish list. Hubby says I'm hard to buy for so I have to make a list of things and he essentially uses it as a grocery list!

September 16, 2007 2:39 PM  
Blogger Adoro te Devote said...

swiss miss ~ You can be a Geek without reading cathy's list.

Some time ago I posted my library at the time...and realized I was a geek. And I further realized I was not alone, and in fact, follow in the footsteps of other great geeks.

So I suggested a t-shirt emblazoned with "OCG - Original Catholic Geek"

I'm not good at designing logos, though, just not my gift. I have the idea...someone able to come up with a logo?

Cafepress can do the t-shirts and we can sell them! LOL!

That way we can say, "Been there, read that...designed the t-shirt"

September 16, 2007 6:34 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Adoro: Wait a minute-a TRUE Catholic Geek MUST read my list. What are you talking about?!? I suppose you will tell swissmiss to read YOUR lists for true geekdom!?


Angela: I've been meaning to read Bishop Sheen's book for a while. Eventually, I'll get around to it! Thanks for the recommendation.

richie: Yep!

Ray: You are a geek. I think all bloggers are pretty much geeks.

September 17, 2007 10:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, DUH!
~ Adoro

September 17, 2007 5:34 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Duh, back! I can't let you get the last word! :-)

September 17, 2007 5:41 PM  

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