Cold, dark evenings are perfect for getting some reading done. Here are some books I’m looking forward to over the next few months.
Too many people have recommended this book to me, I’ve read reviews on countless blogs, e.g. here, and I’ve finally ordered it: Forming Intentional Disciples by Sherry A Weddell. Very soon, I am doing some sessions at the seminary again on catechetics and, owing to the Year of Faith, I want to root it very explicitly in the new evangelisation. So I am looking forward to some practical insights.
Jonathan F Sullivan uses it for a presentation here, and cites Weddell’s list of “normals” for a disciple of Christ: having a living, growing relationship with God; an excited Christian activist; knowledgeable about the faith; knows and uses their charisms; knows their vocation and actively lives it; in fellowship with other disciples.
I wonder, if we’re really honest, how many “intentional disciples” there are in our parishes? I would hazard a guess… not too many. But don’t worry, people, that is changing!
Theology of the Body is something that affects every single one of us, whatever our path or stage in life, and I am looking forward to Christopher West’s new book, Fill These Hearts. I love this interview with West by Sarah Reinhard, especially his wonderful reflection on desire:
Fill These Hearts is a book about desire, about the deepest ache we feel inside for something. What are we supposed to do with that cry of our hearts? Where are we supposed to take it?
I put forth certain ideas in the book that I think some people–namely, those who have been taught that holiness demands we suffocate or repress our desires–will find troubling. Desire can get us in trouble, it’s true. But the solution is notdeath of desire, but depth of desire.
In that context, the most exciting aspect of writing this book came well after I was finished with it. On November 7 of last year, Pope Benedict gave an address in the context of the Year of Faith about the importance of desire. When I read it I got chills: it was such an affirmation to me of what I had written.
Pope Benedict is inviting the whole Church in that address to foster what he calls “a pedagogy of desire.” In the Christian life, we are pilgrims seeking the redemption of desire. The Christian life, he says, is not “about suffocating the longing that dwells in the heart of man, but about freeing it, so that it can reach its true height.” That, in a nutshell, is what my new book is all about.
Finally – I’ve been recommending this to enquirers and other adults in our parish and I am looking forward to reading it myself: The Seven Big Myths about the Church, by Christopher Kaczor. I admit it – I am not the greatest apologist; in fact, I struggle with apologetics. However, it is vital that we tone those apologetics muscles if we are going to be effective evangelists and catechists. Archbishop Fulton Sheen memorably said,
…and this book is for all those millions.
What’s on your ‘new evangelisation’ reading list at the beginning of this year?