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Living the Catholic Faith: Rediscovering the Basics [Paperback]

Charles J. Chaput
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
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Book Description

March 23 2001
Addressing the difficult question of what it means to be a Catholic in the twenty-first century, Archbishop Charles Chaput offers a sound, contemporary vision for understanding the teachings of the Church and shows how you live them out with a spirit of love and obedience. How can you experience a fresh, active spiritual life? Find out as you rediscover the vital basics of Living the Catholic Faith. A Servant Book.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Caritas for the times April 30 2003
In this short, well-titled book Archbishop Chaput manages to forgo tendentiousness and yet emphasizes the praxeological imperatives of Faith and honest membership in the Church. The book receives 4 stars based on the rarity of its message alone, and an additional one for its tone.
Solidly orthodox while avoiding cloying pietism, the book's gently avuncular delivery is engaging, and those whose faith has been diluted over many years in dioceses shepherded by less serious men than the author will benefit from a renewed awareness of the central notion of this book: the true Faith makes demands that must be met with our actions. And too, it is not enough, if it is anything, to be nominally Catholic.
Socrates, in Plato's Meno, attempts to demonstrate that things we already know, but don't know we know, must be teased out of us by a skilled interlocutor. Catholicism in America today, it might be said, is in dire need of more and better interlocutors, as many Catholics find themselves poorly catechized and unable to contend with real and never-ending wordly impediments to eternal life. Chaput is the best of a new (old) breed of Catholic bishops, succeeding in conveying the truth of the Catholic faith in its fullness, undiluted. He does so with magnetism and sympathy.
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The message of a recent Sunday's Gospel, St. Luke Chapter 10, poses the question "Teacher what must I do to be saved". The answer, contained within the two great commandments followed by the story of the Good Samaritan, parallels the challenge of St. Mark Chapter 10 in Living the Catholic Faith, Rediscovering the Basics by Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M.Cap. The question around which the Archbishop builds a viable plan for our journey from here to eternity is answered in St. Mark's Gospel. He lists several of the Ten Commandments and suggests "Go sell what you have, give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven and come follow me". Archbishop Chaput says the first step to answer the challenge is "Breathe with both your lungs. Use your mind and your heart. Seek the truth with your brain and your heart and your soul."
The act of redemption having been accomplished it's been said that every person created was and is the fulfillment of a love story unique and unrepeatable. Hence, each person has incredible dignity and worth. The plan that exists for the journey home to God is available if we but only cooperate with it.
Tucked within just eleven chapters containing a total of 159 pages, this plan is presented by the Archbishop. He reaches back for basics as those listed in the spiritual and corporal works of mercy, hoping that they are no longer on just our "to do" lists but activated now in our daily lives. Brief as the book is, he considers among many listings the commandments and sacraments.
An adequate review of such a book requires time because just a blink of an eye can cause one to miss a treasured word or two of this carefully chosen script.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Gripping Narrative June 28 2001
Archbishop Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. has written a five star book that tumbles me and splits me apart. I am the "cafeteria Catholic" he chides, the one who chooses to separate himself from the "structures of authority in the Church."
The subtitle to his book is "Rediscovering the Basics." I had high hopes that the basics would be in the realm of affirmation of life and a restatement of the love Christ said to us. I must give the man (Chaput not Christ) credit for saying lots of things that do the work of lifting my bruised spirit, but unlike Christ, Chaput takes back what he gives.
This is first seen only three pages into Chapter One when he says, "Becoming a Christian is never merely an act of loyalty to an institution, or agreeing with a body of doctrines." I like this--it sounds like Thomas Merton to me. But then two sentences later he takes it all back with this bit of orthodoxy: "We can't claim to be part of the People of God, but separate ourselves from the structures of authority in the Church." p.16
How do I give this book five stars? It does what a book should do for you, it gives you a workout. Traditional Catholics will get a rosy feeling reading this book, but the rest of us, the ones to whom Christ might have said "Get behind me Satan." will wonder what their Christianity is all about when they read the book. Chaput says "God is personal", but suggests over and over again that the Catholic Church, stepping in for God, is not.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Archbishop Challenges the Faithful Sept. 19 2002
Non-Catholics or those in RCIA may be a little discouraged by his words at first. The title refers to the basics, yet he implores his readers to continue farther into lengthier volumes of Catholic doctrine. I've met the man. He's a wonderful speaker and he shows a genuine interest in those he meets. He packs the church. I would have rated it 5 except that I feel that the book is really geared for those who have taken more than the basic steps toward a deeper relationship with the church. For those people, myself included, this book only reinforces the need to be supportive of the motives and identity of the Catholic Church. Chaput's writing style is engaging and he manages to involve his readers in his points without resorting to the obfuscation of high bow theology. The price point is quite nice and this book works well for many types of readers who enjoy spiritual challenges. I'm buying more copies to give to my friends.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful book, one to share with others.
This is an easy to read book that is packed full of great principles, ideas, and instruction on meanings of the Catholic faith. Read more
Published on Jan. 31 2004 by S. Lucyk
5.0 out of 5 stars YES!
Wow, this book is realy great! The Archbishop has managed to pack a great deal of Catholicism into a tiny and easily manageable book. Read more
Published on Jan. 11 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Iluminating Concepts and Gems of Sentences
This book seems, to me anyway, to be frequently comprised of sentences that lead up to deeply penetrating and thought provoking "illuminations". Read more
Published on Jan. 7 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars A Bishop for All Seasons
If we had more bishops who present the faith with such fervor, fullness, and fidelity, the Church would not be mired in the scandals that plague it: the sexual abuse scandals, the... Read more
Published on Dec 28 2002 by Oswald Sobrino
5.0 out of 5 stars Catholic living in plain English
Archbishop Chaput explains not only what Catholics believe, but how to live according to those beliefs. He is straightforward and clear, but unfailingly positive. Read more
Published on April 25 2002 by Richard A. Libby
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful and Well Written
This is a fine book which explains the essential beliefs of Catholicism and living the life of faith. Read more
Published on Jan. 9 2002 by Steven K. Szmutko
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Presentation of the Catholic Faith
Bishop Chaput's presentation of the Catholic faith is done in a style that makes this a very enjoyable and quick read. Read more
Published on Dec 5 2001 by Michael Dubruiel
5.0 out of 5 stars Rediscovering our Catholic basics
Archbishop Chaput presents the topics in easy to understand terms with no complicated theology or complex theories. Read more
Published on Oct. 31 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars THE TUG OF TRUTH
Words cannot express my gratitude to Archbishop Charles Chaput for this beautiful book. He writes with clarity, incite, knowledge and humility. Read more
Published on Aug. 10 2001 by Catherine Dickson
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