Friday, September 30, 2011

Review: Breakfast with the Pope

Breakfast with the Pope
Breakfast with the Pope by Susan Vigilante

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, I share the opinion of many of the other reviewers here that it is an encouraging, honest, and very interesting look at Susan Vigilante's life and faith. I found (most of) it to be uplifting and inspiring. It was especially gratifying to see someone struggle with the teaching of the Catholic Church and come down on the side of the following Christ!

What disappointment I have with the book is two-fold. This first is really my fault. I read the book at the recommendation of a friend. She just told me she really liked it and thought I would too. But she didn't tell me anything else about the book, and I didn't ask. From the title I expected it to be a memoir about Pope John Paul II. Consequently, I thought there would be a lot more about him in the book. The book is really about Susan and her relationship with God, her husband, and her friends. It is very "girly". That doesn't make it bad by any means, but it is a little less my cup of tea.


The second disappointment had to do with the rupturing of the friendships, the growth of which were so beautifully documented throughout the book. I had a hard time understanding why her friends felt so betrayed by the fact that she wrote this book. I just don't get it. Secondly, given how her friends felt, I don't understand how she went ahead and published the book anyway. To think that these once loving and happy friendships in the Lord have been dissolved made me very sad. I felt almost like I had contributed to it by reading the book!

My puzzlement with both of these questions caused the end of the book to leave a bad taste in my mouth.

Part of it is my difficulty really empathizing with passionate, artistic people. I just don't feel the drive, the *need* to write or sing or paint.

Of course, for someone who doesn't feel the *need* to write, I ramble on quite a bit with these reviews, don't I?

View all my reviews

Friday, March 18, 2011

All War, All The Time

George Weigel presents a summary of the history of the struggle between Communist governments and the Catholic Church over the last century.

What I find amazing is the brutality and disregard for the truth exhibited by those that opposed the Church. It is frustrating, also, to see how many people where duped by them. Still, today, there is an amazing lack of appreciation for just how horribly evil those systems of government were. The Left in this country has not come to face the horrendous evil that it defended or excused and minimized.

Those of us who love the Church should also not be naive about how ruthless and unscrupulous Christ's enemies can be. And we must be equally aware that the way to defend the Church is with good. We must draw close to Christ, love Him with our whole hearts and our neighbors as ourselves. By the grace of the Holy Spirit, love will fuel holy lives while holy lives will strengthen love. Loving, even to the point of giving our lives, is how we will defend the Church and rescue those who are deceived.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Review: Discerning the Will of God: An Ignatian Guide to Christian Decision Making

Discerning the Will of God: An Ignatian Guide to Christian Decision MakingDiscerning the Will of God: An Ignatian Guide to Christian Decision Making by Timothy M. Gallagher OMV

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Very clear and encouraging, as have been all of Fr. Gallagher's books. This one focused on discerning God's will in "large" decisions such a vocation, move, job change, etc.

View all my reviews