In this remarkable tour of the Catholic world, George Weigel helps us understand how Catholicism fosters what Flannery O'Connor called "the habit of being." Taking the reader by the hand, Weigel embarks on a journey to Catholic landmarks as diverse as Chartres Cathedral and St. Mary's Church in Greenville, South Carolina; the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem and G.K. Chesterton's favorite pub; the grave of a modern martyr in Warsaw, and the Sistine Chapel. Weaving together insights from history, literature, theology, and music, Weigel uses these touchstones to illuminate the beliefs that have shaped Catholicism for two thousand years.With clarity and conviction, Weigel examines the foundations of Catholic faith and explores the topics of grace, prayer, vocation, sin and forgiveness, suffering, and-most importantly-love. Putting a dramatic face on this invitation to Catholicism, Weigel introduces some of the figures who have shaped his faith and thought-Michelangelo and Fra Angelico; Evelyn Waugh and Cardinal John Henry Newman; Father Jerzy Popieuszko and Pope John Paul II; Edith Stein and Mother Teresa-as he also shares anecdotes from his own Catholic life. To a world that sometimes seems closed and claustrophobic, he suggests, Christian humanism offers a world with windows and doors-and a skylight.In these letters, George Weigel conveys the power of a faith that is at once personal and universal, timely and eternal. His book will inspire not only the young generation of Catholics whose World Youth Day celebrations have launched an era of renewal for the Church, but also the faithful, the doubtful, and the searchers of every age.
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George Weigel, a Roman Catholic theologian and one of America's leading commentators on religion and public life, is the author of the acclaimed The Courage to Be Catholic, the international bestseller,Witness to Hope: The Biography of John Paul II, and numerous other books that include The Truth of Catholicism and The Final Revolution. Now a Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C., where he holds the John M. Olin Chair in Religion and American Democracy, Weigel writes a weekly column, "The Catholic Difference," that is syndicated to more than forty newspapers around the United States. He is an NBC consultant on the Vatican and appears regularly on network and cable television programs as well as national and local radio. Weigel lives with his wife and their three children in North Bethesda, Maryland.From Publishers Weekly:
In this spiritual memoir-cum-travelogue, Weigel writes with the same beauty and clarity that characterized his biography of Pope John Paul II, Witness to Hope, merging reportage with personal insights about Catholicism. He takes readers on a journey from Maryland to Europe and Israel, visiting sites that are whimsical (G.K. Chesterton’s favorite pub) as well as those that are renowned as holy (the Dormition Abbey in Jerusalem, St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome). Writing in a conversational, epistolary form aimed at young Catholics, Weigel offers a book that simultaneously is, and is not, your grandmother’s catechism: he affirms the core doctrines of the Church, but he does so in a way that is refreshingly contemporary and—because of his emphasis on Church sites around the world—catholic as well as Catholic. Weigel opens the book with an entertaining description of his childhood in the Catholic stronghold of Baltimore, and invites young readers to entertain the idea that Catholicism is not just a creed but an "optic," a rooted way of viewing the world. In the rest of the book, he introduces that world and offers them new lenses with which to understand it. This book is simply first-rate.
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