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Living the Catholic Faith: Rediscovering the Basics Paperback – Mar 23 2001

4.9 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 159 pages
  • Publisher: St. Anthony Messenger Press (March 23 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 156955191X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569551912
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.1 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #571,364 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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