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BOOK AND MOVIE REVIEWS

I AM THROUGH YOU SO I

Author: Brother David Steindl-Rast

UNPARALLELED--Unique biography of one of the most significant spiritual teachers and global guest speaker.

Hermit, Zen Christian, spiritual globetrotter: in time for his 90th birthday in July of 2016, "Brother David" tells his incomparably rich life story. Beginning with his childhood in Vienna, he describes his time in World War II and his years as a student after the war, his family's emigration to the U.S. and his entry into the then newly founded Benedictine monastery in the state of New York. There, he soon began looking for what were then still untrodden spiritual paths with undiscovered entryways to non-Christian religions.

He became particularly involved in the dialogue between Christianity and Buddhism, founding the "Center for Spiritual Studies" in 1968, together with Rabbis, Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims. His work encouraging dialogue between religions earned him the 1975 Martin Buber award.

Contemplation and periods of public life alternate with Brother David: he spends half the year living as recluse in the hermitage near his Benedictine monastery. Mysticism is his mission--but not a mysticism devoid of connection to the world. His is a mysticism of the everday, of life immediate in the now, of experiencing fully. He is convinced that God's spirit speaks in and to us all.

Paperback
232 pages
$19.95
Paulist Press
Phone: 1-800-218-1903

THIS FIGHT IS OUR FIGHT: THE BATTLE TO SAVE AMERICA'S MIDDLE CLASS

Author: Senator Elizabeth Warren

While the middle class has been shrinking for decades and income inequality continues to soar, hardworking Americans struggle everyday to make ends meet as they watch as Donald Trump and right-wing politicians in Washington slash our social safety net to hand out massive tax breaks to the country's richest.

As the poor and middle class are hammered by an unfair system, progressive champion Senator Elizabeth Warren offers hope and practical solutions to reverse the dwindling middle class in her New York Times bestseller, "This Fight is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America's Middle Class." Using personal stories as a framework--from her upbringing taking advantage of social programs that grew the once-thriving middle class to the critical battles she has waged in the Senate to protect and strengthen the middle class--Senator Warren takes to task the extreme conservative politicians who began dismantling the middle calss 30 years ago with so-called "trickle-down economics" and offers a plan of action to rebuild it in the age of Trump.

Written in her trademark practical, no-nonense style, this thought-provoking book is a powerful and important insight into Senator Warren's ideas to protect the economic security of everyday Americans, shrink the gap between the rich and poor and ensure progressives continue fighting no matter what in the face of a corrupt and incompetent administration.

Thank you to CREDO for this book review.

 

COOKING FOR CHRIST COOKBOOK

Catholic Rural Life's beloved cookbook, has been a cherished favorite by many over the years. First created by Florence Berger in 1946 this "kitchen prayer book" leads you through the liturgical seasons and applicable recipes surrounding special feast days, holidays and other traditions.

This new edition of the vintage cookbook preserves the original stories and recipes, but also includes new recipes, reflections, and Church traditions. Faithful to the liturgical year, this book celebrates food, family and faith.

Contact Annie@CatholicRuralLife.org for additional information.

"DISTURBING THE PEACE"--DOCUMENTARY FILM

"Disturbing the Peace" describes the path former Israeli soldiers and Palestinian fighters took from armed conflict to nonviolent peace activism, resulting in the creation of Combatants for Peace. A model for overcoming polarization and rejecting violence, in an unlikely place.

http://www.disturbingthepeacefilm.com

THE SHACK


Recently, a friend and I saw “The Shack.” Both of us had read the book (by William Young) several years ago and had really liked not only for its reading pleasure, but for the reflection that it afforded us.  Would the movie do the same for us?
The movie is about two hours long, maybe a little longer. To say that my friend and I liked it, would be an understatement. The pain is real in the primary figure when he loses his daughter. His grieving touched us deeply.  He needed help in his grief. Help that his family didn’t know how to give him, eg: his teenage daughter had her own issues to deal with.

He finds a note from “Papa.” He can’t discern who the note is from, but decides it must be from the person who took his loved one from him.  He decides to return to where the murder occurred. The story changes dramatically from there.

If you read the book, you know he meets the Trinity. I don’t want to give everything away if you have plans to see the movie, but God is a black woman. This, in itself, is utterly delightful. What happens now can provide hours of reflection time.  The quotes alone are naturally spiritual, but a few provide comical  relief as well. It’s light, non-judgmental interaction as Mac, the main character, comes to realize what he has never been able to comprehend let alone see clearly. After so much pain, he is able to see what has been offered to him all along.

When he returns to his family, he’s a different person altogether. He seems to love life, appreciate his family, and generally realizes he’s blessed in so many ways.
We really don’t want to say more lest we spoil it for you if you have plans to see the movie.  As for my friend and I, we loved the movie and both have plans to reread the book.  Reading the book before seeing the movie is not necessary. You’ll enjoy the movie just as well.

We saw it on a Saturday evening, and I was hoping the theater would be filled, but it wasn’t.  Probably half full with middle aged to elderly adults. Why weren’t the young there too?

Do yourself a favor and see the film. I’ve only heard of one person who didn’t like it. We at SISTERS ONLINE would love to hear what your thoughts are after seeing it. Enjoy your viewing experience!

DEATH PENALTY AND DISCIPLESHIP: A FAITH FORMATION GUIDE

Author: David Matzko McCarthy
Paperback, 72 pages, $9.95
From Liturgical Press, 1-800-858-5450 , http://www.litpress.org

Human dignity is a primary issue in this book. That of the prisoner and the convicted. God loves us all and we are called to share that love with others. In this insightful and challenging resource, David McCarthy encourages us to follow the call of Pope Francis to live out the love and mercy of God for all the world.

An invaluable resource for those seeking to engage in formation of conscience, both personally and communally, around the issues of capital punishment. Small faith communities, parishes, and adult faith formation programs will find it accessible, thoughtful, and well grounded in Scripture and the wisdom of ecclesial tradition.

MARTIN LUTHER: AN ECUMENICAL PERSPECTIVE

Author: Cardinal Walter Kasper
Paperback

There are few historical figures in memory even after 500 years who were as influential as Martin Luther. In the course of 500 years, Martin Luther was viewed in many different ways: Luther as a reformer, Luther as a church father of Protestantism, Luther as a champion of reason and freedom, Luther as a brave German national hero, and many other images assigned to him.

For Catholics, Luther has long been one of the heretics par excellence, and responsible for the split of the Western Church and its consequences--at least up until today. This thinking is now over. The Catholic Luther research in the twentieth century brought a significant shift in understanding Luther. Luther is now recognized for his insights and there is a more equitable judgment on the schism. There is now more of an understanding and ecumenical spirit.

Kasper carefully presents these themes in his latest work, explores his understanding of Martin Luther and his contributions that could not be imagined 500 years ago, but are now in the forefront of a new ecumenical spirit. Various chapters in this book speak of the end of the confessional age, Luther in the spirit on modern times, ecumenical discovery of catholicity, and an ecumenism of charity.

Available at several places including Paulist Press, 1-800-218-1903.