Emmaus Road has just published the debut title of Katie Warner: Head And Heart: Becoming Spiritual Leaders for Your Family, and I am happy to say that I can recommend the book wholeheartedly!
Husbands and wives are complementary, right? And equal in dignity.
But they’re not the same.
So how can a husband and wife lead their family in the way that God intended them to? That’s the central question that Warner answers in this practical book.
The title itself reveals the fundamental analogy: the husband is the head of the family, and the wife is the heart. Just as a person cannot survive without a head and a heart, a family cannot function to its ideal without the husband and wife fulfilling their custom-made roles within a family.
Warner approaches the question of how this plays out in real life by examining family life from many different angles and then interviewing faithful Catholic couples to understand how they have lived out those different facets of familial life together.
Warner augments these anecdotal insights with Scripture passages and magisterial writings from the Catechism, popes, and other authoritative sources.
I found the chapter on the need for a family mission statement to be the most powerful. We spend so much time in business coming up with our mission statement and then working to communicate that mission relentlessly to our employees, customers, and shareholders.
Yet, I had not made it a priority to come up with a mission for my own family. I read the great missions that the families she interviewed came up with, and then we made our own Rose family mission. It is a simple but important idea, and one that I wouldn’t have thought much of until reading this book.
Warner’s written an eminently practical book to help Catholic husbands and wives live out their vocations in their family life.
Jimmy Akin has written a great book explaining justification, sanctification, and salvation.
The book is titled The Drama of Salvation: How God Rescues You From Your Sins And Delivers You to Eternal Life.
Ever since I became Catholic I’ve been wanting a book that would clearly lay out the Church’s teachings on justification and related topics, comparing and contrasting them to the various Protestant opinions on the subject.
Jimmy Delivers Freaky Fast
Well, it took fifteen years after my becoming Catholic, but the book is here.
Akin discusses sin and our fall from righteousness, how Christ atoned for our sins and justifies us, whether justification is a one-time event or ongoing process, indulgences, faith and works, sanctification, and other essential topics.
In addition, Akin goes into detail explaining in layman’s terms the Church’s doctrines from the Ecumenical Council of Trent in the mid-1500s, the Council that responded to the Protestant errors on justification and salvation.
This portion by itself is hugely valuable, as those canons are misunderstood by most Protestants who read them, and additionally are difficult even for lay Catholics to parse because the language they used was theologically dense (and comes across as archaic to modern ears).
Protestants and Catholics alike will benefit from this book. Catholics will learn their Faith and Protestants will learn what the Catholic Church actually teaches on these subjects, instead of the long-held caricatures that Protestantism’s tradition has clung to for centuries.
The Drama of Salvation is an indispensable resource for all Catholics to have.
I recently read an excellent, in-depth book on the Biblical origins of the Mass written by Thomas J. Nash.
The Biblical Roots of the Mass successfully sets out to show that the Catholic Mass is of divine origin.
Begin At the Beginning
Nash begins with a deep examination of the Old Covenant, beginning with Creation itself in Genesis with the tree of life and how it ultimately points to the Eucharist. I liked how Nash begins at the beginning and in each chapter lists out the relevant Scripture passages for the topics he covers. Then at the end of each chapter he has discussion questions for a small group, RCIA class, or Bible study.
This book is dense. It is not a book you read in an evening. In fact, I read it during my weekly Holy Hour of adoration over the course of a few months.
Having written books myself, I have an appreciation for Nash’s work here: the level of research and scholarship required to write even one chapter of his book must have been incredible.
In Depth Explanations
For instance, I have always wanted a thorough and clear explanation of how the mysterious figure of Melchizedek relates to Christ and His priesthood. The allusions in the Bible to this association are few but obviously of great significance to Jewish people at the time of Christ and to the first Christians. Nash delves into this relationship and elucidates the background and importance of it.
From an apologetics standpoint, Nash answers the common Protestant objections to the Mass and the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Such arguments, like “Catholics re-crucify Christ every Mass”, he analyzes, rebuts, and then goes one level deeper in explaining why they don’t work and what the actual Church’s teaching is on the subject. Another one he tackles is whether and how Christ could have been present in bread after consecrating it during the Last Supper.
The Biblical Roots of the Mass is an eye-opening book to understanding how the central sacrament of our Faith is directly connected to all the major events of salvation history.