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Essential reading about the Roman Catholic Church, Christianity and Catholic Spirituality
on 28 March 2014
This book is very well-written. Although written prior to Vatican 2, it is still very relevant to contemporary society. It explores the essentials of the Roman Catholic Faith. It is very good at providing a theological defence of some of the more controversial teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, for example the real presence of Christ in the sacrament of the Eucharist and the Immaculate Conception.
I would recommend this book for someone who, like myself, is conscious of the attractiveness of Roman Catholic Spirituality but who struggles intellectually with some key Roman Catholic teachings.
I have found this book illuminating. It is a book which merits continual re-reading. For me it encourages a process of re-evaluating Roman Catholic Theology and Spirituality.
Some aspects of Roman Catholic Spirituality remain problematic for me, for example the 'filioque' clause in the Nicene Creed. This books looks at the idea that the Holy Spirit, whilst being a Person, is the bond of love between the Persons of God the Father and God the Son. Hence the belief that the Holy Spirit proceeds from both the Father and the Son. This conflicts with my own understanding, which is the Eastern Orthodox understanding that the Holy Spirit proceeds only from the Person of the Father. I don't deny that the Holy Spirit is love, but surely the Persons of the Father and the Son also express love? The Holy Spirit is more than being the bond of love between the Persons of the Father and the Son. However, my understanding of this dimension of God's being is still evolving.
I would make just one criticism of this book, which is only a minor one really. Although it defines the nature of mortal sin, it doesn't provide specific examples of mortal sins, ie, if someone has committed adultery and has not repented.