Living The Catholic Faith, by Archbishop Charles Chaput
(Servant Publications, 2001, 159pp, $22.00. Available from AD Books)
Archbishop Charles Chaput is an extraordinary bishop who also happens to be an inspirational evangelist. As Archbishop of Denver, he has been in the forefront of evangelisation and Catholic renewal in the United States.
His refreshing introduction to the Catholicism - Living the Catholic Faith - begins modestly, with a self- examination of what it means to be a Christian. It is a question that all baptised Catholics need to ask at some point of their faith journey. The answer can mean the difference between being nominal or practising Catholics.
Archbishop Chaput provides valuable insights into what it means to live in Christ, grow in Christ, be nourished by Him in the Eucharist and take up the mission of the Church to make disciples - all in just one chapter.
After reading Chapter One a reader may well feel transformed; an uninterested teenager may possibly start to ask questions; and non- practising parents whose children attend a Catholic parish school may even become interested in that building next to their children's school. Perhaps a bit far-fetched? Yet, this has been the feedback from the United States. For this book challenges those in need of a challenge, those in need of renewal and especially those who think they understand their faith.
All Catholics need renewal at some point in their lives in some aspect of their faith at least. Archbishop Chaput looks at a wide range of key aspects, presenting the Catholic Church as an institution that preserves and transmits the teachings of Jesus Christ. The Catholic Faith is likened to oxygen - something without which one cannot breathe and therefore cannot live.
Living the Catholic Faith, with its compact length, would be equally accessible to a high school student, philosophy teacher or a stay-at-home parent. It is not written with a particular audience in mind but for anyone with an openness to the truth
Anthony Cappello is the Victorian State President of the National Civic Council.