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Books  >>  Religion

Robert Barron

Catholicism

Robert Barron Catholicism A Journey To The Heart Of The Faith
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Biographical note:

FATHER ROBERT BARRON is an acclaimed author, speaker, and theologian, and the founder of the international media ministry Word On Fire. Through television, radio, podcasts, his blog, and YouTube videos he pursues the simple but revolutionary mission of evangelizing the culture. Additionally, Father Barron is the Francis Cardinal George Chair of Faith and Culture at Mundelein Seminary, and the creator and host of Catholicism, a groundbreaking ten-part documentary series and study program about the Catholic Faith. For more information visit www.wordonfire.org.


From the Hardcover edition.

Country of final manufacture:

US

Excerpt from book:

Chapter 1

AMAZED AND AFRAID: THE REVELATION OF GOD BECOME MAN

It all begins with a jest. The essence of comedy is the coming together of opposites, the juxtaposition of incongruous things. So we laugh when an adult speaks like a child or when a simple man finds himself lost amid the complexities of sophisticated society. The central claim of Christianity--still startling after two thousand years--is that God became human. The Creator of the cosmos, who transcends any definition or concept, took to himself a nature like ours, becoming one of us. Christianity asserts that the infinite and the finite met, that the eternal and the temporal embraced, that the fashioner of the galaxies and planets became a baby too weak even to raise his head. And to make the humor even more pointed, this Incarnation of God was first made manifest not in Rome, Athens, or Babylon, not in a great cultural or political capital, but in Bethlehem of Judea, a tiny outpost in the corner of the Roman Empire. One might laugh derisively at this joke--as many have over the centuries--but, as G. K. Chesterton observed, the heart of even the most skeptical person is changed simply for having heard this message. Christian believers up and down the years are those who have laughed with delight at this sacred joke and have never tired of hearing it repeated, whether it is told in the sermons of Augustine, the arguments of Aquinas, the frescos of Michelangelo, the stained glass of Chartres, the mystical poetry of Teresa of Avila, or the little way of Therese of Lisieux. It has been suggested that the heart of sin is taking oneself too seriously. Perhaps this is why God chose to save us by making us laugh.

One of the most important things to understand about Christianity is that it is not primarily a philosophy or a system of ethics or a religious ideology. It is a relationship to the unsettling person of Jesus Christ, to the God-man. Someone stands at the center of Christian concern. Though Christian thinkers have used philosophical ideas and cultural constructs to articulate the meaning of the faith--sometimes in marvelously elaborate ways--they never, at their best, wander far from the very particular and unnerving first-century rabbi from Nazareth. But who precisely was he? We know next to nothing about the first thirty years of Jesus’s life. Though people have speculated wildly about these hidden years--that he traveled to India to learn the wisdom of the Buddha; that he sojourned in Egypt where he became adept at healing, and so forth--no reliable information concerning Jesus’s youth and young manhood exists, except perhaps the tantalizing story in Luke’s Gospel about the finding of Jesus in the temple. Since Joseph, the husband of Mary, Jesus’s mother, is described as a carpenter, we can safely assume that Jesus apprenticed to the carpentry trade while growing up. As far as we can determine, Jesus was not formally trained in a rabbinic school, nor was he educated to be a temple priest or a scribe, nor was he a devotee of the Pharisees, the Sadducees, or the Essenes--all recognized religious parties with particular convictions, practices, and doctrinal proclivities. He was, if I can use a somewhat “Clarity, intelligence, passion and elegance – these are the marks of a writer in top form, and Father Barron brings all these gifts to bear in this extraordinary reflection on the Catholic faith. If you read one book this year on what Catholics believe and why, this is the book to read – and to share with others.” –Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap, Archbishop of Denver

“Father Robert Barron’s Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith takes a path less traveled in leading us to explore the faith through stories, biographies, and images. In these pages, we meet the “Word made Flesh” not only in theological formulations, but also in saints and poets, cathedrals and chants, priests and prophets. What makes Catholicism so compelling are the ways in which Father Barron shows how the Incarnation goes on in the true, the good, and the beautiful.” – Timothy M. Dolan, Archbishop of New York
 
Catholicism is one of the most significant efforts ever to advance what Pope John Paul II called ‘The New Evangelization.’” –George Weigel, author of Witness to Hope and The End and the Beginning
 
“Prepare yourself for an entrancing tour of the many facets of Catholicism.  From Her art to Her architecture, Her theological riches, to the inspired personalities that have filled Her pews, the Catholic Church is laid bare by a priest who is more than up to the task. Like the Faith it seeks to capture, it is a journey that will leave you full – and then hungering for more.” –Raymond Arroyo, New York Times Bestselling Author of Mother Angelica and host of EWTN's The World Over Live
 
“Father Robert Barron is a brilliant academic, a popular writer, a seeker and a seer. In Catholicism he illuminates truths that have the power to set us free. It will be a benchmark book for years to come.” –Michael Leach, author of Why Stay Catholic?
 
“When Father Barron is talking, I can't stop listening. Whatever he writes, I can't put down unfinished. He loves the people he addresses. He writes about what matters to us. To read him is to be loved in word after word. In these pages, heart speaks to heart.” –Mike Aquilina, co-author of The Mass: The Glory, the Mystery, the Tradition

“Father Robert Barron’s great gift is to wed intellectual depth with clarity and vividness of expression. His Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith is a superb exploration of the Catholic vision that seamlessly unites theological reflection and masterpieces of architecture and art. The story he tells comes truly alive in his portraits of concrete men and women who, in every age, have lived the journey of faith to the full. –”Rev. Robert Imbelli is Associate Professor of Theology at Boston College


From the Hardcover edition.


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