Tag Archives: Book Review

The Power of Truth: The Challenges to Catholic Doctrine and Morals Today

Gerhard Cardinal Müller
Ignatius Press, 190 pages

Confused about something the pope said, or didn’t say, or what someone said he said? Or did something sound amiss from your pastor or small group leader? Cardinal Müller, former prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, sets the record straight here on what the Catholic Church actually teaches on contested issues – such as the indissolubility of marriage, contraception, ecumenical dialogue, the relation of faith to science, the Church’s ministry of reconciliation, the development of doctrine, and the teaching authority of the pope. Sometimes what we all need is a solid dose of clarity, and Cardinal Müller provides that here.


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Finding a Loving God in the Midst of Grief

Susan M. Erschen
Word Among Us Press, 176 pages


Suffering the loss of a loved one can shake a person’s faith. The inevitable question is ‘why did God let this happen?’ Grief counselor Susan Erschen knows that anguish. She also knows people must deal with that reaction, accept their loss, find peace, and draw closer to God through the grieving process — even though that loss will always exist, sometimes more acutely than other times. This book examines personal stories of grief and offers tools for healing and carrying on with life after losing someone close, with the help of faith.


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Christian Self-Mastery: How to Govern Your Thoughts, Discipline Your Will, and Achieve Balance in your Spiritual Life

 Fr. Basil W. Maturin
Sophia Institute Press, 240 pages

When the Lusitania was torpedoed off the coast of Ireland in 1915, one of the 1,198 souls who perished with it was Fr. Basil Maturin, who was returning home from a preaching tour of the United States. His book provides a blueprint for practicing self-denial, which begins with honest self-knowledge and continues through the forming of virtuous habits until one achieves the true freedom won through self-discipline of the mind, body, and will. “If any man would come after me,” Jesus said, “let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matt. 16:24). Fr. Basil shows readers how.

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After Suicide: There’s Still Hope for Them and You

Fr.Chris Alar, MIC
Marian Press, 280 pages


Tragically, many have been touched in some way by the suicide of a loved one or acquaintance, and some believe killing oneself automatically condemns one to hell. Some believe that’s what the Catholic Church says. Not so, says Fr. Alar, whose own grandmother committed suicide. In fact, the teaching of the Church offers great hope for the salvation of suicide victims. This necessary book explains this hope, provides solace for those who grieve, and encourages us in interceding for the salvation of those lost to suicide through our prayers, sacrifices, and trust in God’s mercy.


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Apostles of the Culture of Life

Dr. Donald T. DeMarco
TAN Books/St. Benedict Press, 296 pages

Every battle for truth and justice has its heroes. This book presents portraits of some of our heroes in the defense of life – 56 of them, to be precise: eight in each of seven disciplines or realms including philosophy, medicine, even sports and entertainment. Here you’ll find familiar figures such as Mother Teresa, pro-life activist Joseph Scheidler, former National Right to Life president Dr. Jack Willke and Pope St. John Paul II, but also chapters on folks like concentration-camp survivor Wanda Poltawska, didactic painter William Kurelek, media theorist Marshall McLuhan, and NBA Hall of Famer Bob Cousy. It’s an inspiring collection.


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Get Out Now: Why You Should Pull Your Child from Public School

Mary Rice Hasson and Teresa Farnan
Regnery Publishing/ Gateway Editions, 256 pages

Are our public schools toxic? Although there remain many good teachers and administrators within the system, they are not the ones calling the shots. Instead, it’s the progressive ideologues who exert the overriding influence on school boards, superintendents, curricula, policies, and hiring practices. The result is a public school system that advances a troubling political correctness that embraces the LGBTQ agenda, the “gender revolution,” moral relativism, and practical atheism. Is it a radical solution for Christian parents to completely abandon the public schools in favor of private education or homeschooling? Arguably, it is, but the stakes couldn’t be higher – our children’s minds, hearts, and souls are at risk.

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How Christianity Saved Civilizations… and Must Do So Again

Mike Aquilina and Jim Papandrea
Sophia Institute Press, 270 pages


“The Church can learn from the Church of the past,” declares the title of the first chapter of this marvelous work. Using a keen lens to examine the Church’s role in shaping history, the authors identify seven “revolutions” that took place as Christianity, once targeted for elimination through persecution, transformed and civilized the brutal Roman Empire. It was the Church that introduced the pagan world to such concepts as respect for life, the dignity of women, the need to protect the weak and vulnerable, and the servant role of those who govern us. From this history lesson, Christians can draw inspiration for transforming our increasingly hostile culture today.

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Made This Way: How to Prepare Kids to Face Today’s Tough Moral Issues

Leila Miller with Trent Horn
Catholic Answers Press, 249 pages


With all the moral confusion that today’s secularized culture throws at us, how do we help our children and teens recognize the truth? Here’s a book that shows how you can break down into simple-enough language the guiding principles that underlie Catholic moral teaching on issues such as contraception, abortion, divorce, pornography, homosexuality, same-sex marriage, reproductive technologies, and transgender identity. Drawing from their own experiences as parents and professionals, the authors provide answer many of the objections we often hear so as to enable us to equip our children with the deal with some of the “hard questions” they must face.

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Catholic Republic: Why America Will Perish Without Rome

Timothy Gordon
Sophia Institute Press, 304 pages


Did America’s founding fathers, nearly all Protestants or Enlightenment Deists, draw inspiration from the likes of St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Robert Bellarmine, and Catholic natural law? Although they wouldn’t admit as much, philosopher Timothy Gordon says it’s so, and America’s moral and social decline is attributable to our gradual drift from those founding principles. “America is wired Catholic, labeled Protestant, and currently functioning as secular,” he writes. The solution: Since Catholic natural law is essential to the success of any republic, we need to get back to it – before it’s too late.

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To Raise the Fallen: A Selection of the War Letters, Prayers, and Spiritual Writings of Fr. Willie Doyle, S.J.

Patrick Kenny
Ignatius Press, 209 pages

Paralleling Legatus magazine’s March 2019 review of Bravery Under Fire – the documentary on Fr. Willie Doyle, S.J., a World War I chaplain who died on the battlefields – this is the book on Fr. Doyle by Patrick Kenny, who was interviewed prominently in that film. Fr. Doyle’s inspiring story of holiness and self-sacrifice comes through strongly in his writings collected here. “Heroism is a virtue which has an attraction for every heart,” Fr. Doyle writes in one meditation. “It seems to lift us out of our petty selves and make us for a moment forget our own selfish interests.” This book likely will have a similar effect on readers.

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