In "A People Adrift," a prominent Catholic thinker states bluntly that the Catholic Church in the United States must transform itself or suffer irreversible decline. Peter Steinfels shows how even before the recent revelations about sexual abuse by priests, the explosive combination of generational change and the thinning ranks of priests and nuns was creating a grave crisis of leadership and identity.
This groundbreaking book offers an analysis not just of the church's immediate troubles but of less visible, more powerful forces working below the surface of an institution that provides a spiritual identity for 65 million Americans and spans the nation with its parishes, schools, colleges and universities, hospitals, clinics, and social service agencies.
In "A People Adrift," Steinfels warns that entrenched liberals and conservatives are trapped in a "theo-logical gridlock" that often ignores what in fact goes on in families, parishes, classrooms, voting booths, and Catholic organizations of all types. Above all, he insists, the altered Catholic landscape demands a new agenda for leadership, from the selection of bishops and the rethinking of the priesthood to the thorough preparation and genuine incorporation of a lay leadership that is already taking over key responsibilities in Catholic institutions.
Catholicism exerts an enormous cultural and political presence in American life. No one interested in the nation's moral, intellectual, and political future can be indifferent to the fate of what has been one of the world's most vigorous churches -- a church now severely challenged.
Over 3 million copies sold Essential reading for Catholics of all walks of life.Here it is - the first new Catechism of the Catholic Church in more than 400 years, a complete summary of what Catholics around the world commonly believe. The Catechism draws on the Bible, the Mass, the Sacraments, Church tradition and teaching, and the lives of saints. It comes with a complete index, footnotes and cross-references for a fuller understanding of every subject. The word catechism means instruction - this book will serve as the standard for all future catechisms. Using the tradition of explaining what the Church believes (the Creed), what she celebrates (the Sacraments), what she lives (the Commandments), and what she prays (the Lord's Prayer), the Catechism of the Catholic Church offers challenges for believers and answers for all those interested in learning about the mystery of the Catholic faith. The Catechism of the Catholic Church is a positive, coherent and contemporary map for our spiritual journey toward transformation.
Let Your Deepest Soul Rejoice
You are the Beloved of the Divine Lover. You are loved with a love beyond that which human words can express, which song and pen seek in some way to convey or at least hint at. Let go. Let the currents of love invade you. Let your deepest soul rejoice....
--from the Preface
In the tradition of Christian mysticism, including Bernard of Clairvaux, Gregory the Great, and Ambrose of Milan, M. Basil Pennington shares his reflections on the Bible's most challenging mystical text, the ancient love poem that is the Song of Songs. In this extraordinary volume, Pennington is joined by the profound Jewish artist Phillip Ratner, whose inspired works call forth from Pennington not only transcendent prayer and rich analogy but also the deepest sentiments that are common to every human mind and heart.
Pennington reflects on the ways you can use the Song of Songs to fulfill your own unutterable aspirations. Enriched by Jewish and Christian faith, the drawings and meditations speak to you and every person who desires to connect with their deepest, most human longings. Allow yourself to let go and delve into the poetry of Song of Songs, to find joy in the boundless love of God for you, the beloved child. Allow yourself to experience this story of love--human love yearning for the Divine.
A captivating insider's guide to the politics and personalities that will have a tremendous impact on one of the world's most secretive and important events-the election of a pope.The next time a conclave unfolds in Rome, some 6,000 journalists are expected to descend on the Eternal City to cover the death of John Paul II and report on the election of his successor. The man in white who emerges from the Sistine Chapel at its conclusion will automatically become one of the most important figures on earth, a leader who commands a unique combination of political and spiritual power. Depending on how he chooses to exercise that power, governments and political systems may rise or fall, religious wars may heat up or abate, and the Church may undergo a radical transformation-from changes in its stances on such issues as sexuality, the place of women in the Church, to the role of the papacy itself. Conclave is a fascinating look at the election process and at what this headline-making occasion will mean to the world. John L. Allen, Jr., takes readers behind the scenes to reveal the issues, parties, and people most likely to determine the outcome. Setting the election within a broader context, he explains why it matters who becomes pope, discusses their role in the modern world, and examines the issues that will form the agenda of the next papacy. Although the book is not intended as a "handicapper's guide," Allen does offer his own informed list of the "top twenty" contenders for the position. He creates, as well, a classification system that clarifies the differences among the informal political parties that exist within the College of Cardinals, the body of 130-plus men who will elect John Paul II's successor. In conclusion, he presents a critical, independent-minded profile of each of those cardinals-for one of them will certainly be the new pope.
The Holy Grail stories possess a mysterious power that has seized human imagination for centuries. They tell of a great secret finally revealed, of surprising answers to the most profound questions,
of a hidden mystery that satisfies our deepest longings. Writers, poets, artists, composers, and filmmakers have pursued the Grail for 1700 years. This great quest drives the legends of King Arthur, propels Indiana Jones' greatest adventure, and keeps us turning the pages of The Da Vinci Code.
All this makes the Holy Grail stories themselves something of a mystery. Why have these tales captivated humankind so thoroughly and for so long? They enthrall us, say the authors of The Grail Code, because these stories really do touch the deepest parts of our hearts. They are profound meditations on the human condition, showing humans at their most heroic and most vile--pointing us toward God's remedy for what ails us. The Grail Code is a literary and theological detective story that ends where the Grail legends began--in the room where Jesus gathered his closest friends for the last time, spoke blessed words, broke bread, and shared a sacred cup.
In Why Do Catholics Do That? renowned scholar and religion columnist Kevin Orlin Johnson answers the most frequently asked questions on Catholic faith, worship, culture, and customs, including:
* How the Church Makes Laws * The Hard-Fought Genesis of the New Testament * The Cycle of Redemption * A Short Guide to the Meaning and Structure of the Mass * Decoding Symbols of Scripture and the Sacraments * The Calendar as the Image of Christ's Life * The Rosary * The Stations of the Cross * Monks, Nuns, and the Rules That Guide Them * The Pope * The Laity in the Modern World * Saints * Fatima, Lourdes, and the Story of Apparitions * The Vatican: A Holy City * The Sign of the Cross, Christianity's Best-Known Symbol * Candles in Prayer and Liturgy * The Meaning of the Nativity Scene
A gifted writer's inquiry into one of the most profound yet least discussed issues of contemporary American life: the individual's search for faith. It tells of Hampl's quest to escape the indelible brand of a Catholic upbringing, following her to the "old world" of Catholocism in Spain and France, where she meets other pilgrims, back home again, and finally to a monastery in northern California, where she is able to settle into the real goal of her search: the silence of prayer.
The story of four modern American Catholics who made literature out of their search for GodIn the mid-twentieth century four American Catholics came to believe that the best way to explore the questions of religious faith was to write about them-in works that readers of all kinds could admire. The Life You Save May Be Your Own is their story-a vivid and enthralling account of great writers and their power over us. Thomas Merton was a Trappist monk in Kentucky; Dorothy Day the founder of the Catholic Worker in New York; Flannery O'Connor a Christ-haunted literary prodigy in Georgia; Walker Percy a doctor in New Orleans who quit medicine to write fiction and philosophy. A friend came up with a name for them-the School of the Holy Ghost-and for three decades they exchanged letters, ardently read one another's books, and grappled with what one of them called a predicament shared in common. A pilgrimage is a journey taken in light of a story; and in The Life You Save May Be Your Own Paul Elie tells these writers' story as a pilgrimage from the God-obsessed literary past of Dante and Dostoevsky out into the thrilling chaos of postwar American life. It is a story of how the Catholic faith, in their vision of things, took on forms the faithful could not have anticipated. And it is a story about the ways we look to great books and writers to help us make sense of our experience, about the power of literature to change-to save-our lives.