Received Fr. John McCloskey, III and Russell Shaw's latest book in the mail yesterday-Good News, Bad News (Ignatius Press). While I am still reading several other books (most notably Sources of Renewal) I had to take look inside didn't I?
To tell the truth, on the computer screen I hadn't been crazy about the cover. (And I'm an expert, right?) But seeing it in my hand, I changed my mind. It is an attractive cover.
And the reading is easy-as with all of Mr. Shaw's books-but meaningful. Here's a sample:
Time and again this has been called the "age of the laity". It's a beautiful thought. But the success of a real age of the laity, whenever one finally arrives, won't be measured by how many lay people get involved with lay ministries, as commendable as such involvement often is. It will be measured by quantitative and qualitative growth in the intensity of prayer, sacramental participation, and apostolic fervor on the part of the laity.
And as that kind of growth takes place, it will lead inevitably to the transformation of contemporary culture into one that faithfully reflects Christ's teaching as mediated by the Church.
Can't go wrong with this book. In some senses, this book is like a course on how to be God's instrument in the conversion of others.
The immediate message in the passage quoted, is personal holiness. So much doesn't matter if we are not striving for personal holiness. We can be on the right side of all the issues, but without a prayer life, we might as well toss it away.
Of course we are fortunate to have a new book from Russell Shaw coming out sometime in the spring of 2008. More on this in the weeks to come.
Oremus pro invicem!