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The Great Life: Essays on Doctrine and Holiness In Honor of Father Ronald Lawler, O.F.M. Cap. [Paperback]

By Michael J. Aquilina (Author)
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Item Specifications...

Pages   248
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.36" Width: 6.04" Height: 0.63"
Weight:   0.78 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 1, 2006
Publisher   Emmaus Road Publishing
ISBN  1931018324  
EAN  9781931018326  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Father Ronald Lawler, O.F.M. Cap. (1926-2003), was a priest, teacher, author, theologian, catechist, spiritual advisor, and mentor, who lived the great life of faith and encouraged others to join him in loving Christ and His Church. In The Great Life, those who knew and loved Father Lawler honor him by continuing his work of presenting the faith in its fullness and beauty. This collection of essays is not only an invitation to know the faith, but also to love, live, and teach it from the heart of the Church. From the Introduction by Kenneth Ogorek: Teaching the Catholic faith well . . . was the lifelong work of Father Lawler. . . . In applying himself to the work of catechesis, Father Lawler encountered dozens of brilliant Catholic women and men-scholars and leaders in their respective fields-many of whom got to know him well and, knowing him, loved him. Many of these great Catholic minds and hearts desired to honor Father Lawler's memory by offering their thoughts on the teaching of the Faith. This book presents these essays, not only to honor Father Lawler, but more importantly to continue his work of presenting the Faith it its fullness and beauty. Father Lawler's dearest desire was for all women and men to walk with our Lord as their saving Friend, living the great life of faith as members of His one Body, our Church. These essays [will] inspire many on their walk of faith.

Publishers Description
The great life is the Catholic life. This collection of essays presents the answer of faith to many questions of our culture. It is an invitation not only to know the Faith but also to love, live, and teach it from the heart of the Church.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
When the history of 20th century Catholicism in the United States is written, a place of honor will have to go to Father Ronald Lawler (1926-2003). This collection of 19 essays is a tribute to the Capuchin, perhaps best known as co-author (along with brother Thomas and now-Archbishop of Washington Donald Wuerl) of the popular adult catechism, The Teaching of Christ. Appearing in the midst of the upheaval after Vatican II, The Teaching of Christ filled a gap for almost two decades before the Catechism of the Catholic Church, providing an orthodox point-of-reference amidst post-Conciliar catechetical confusion.
But Ronald Lawler's contributions to the Church in America did not end with The Teaching of Christ. Lawler was a founder of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, a professional association for Catholic academics which defended orthodoxy against the treason of some of the intellectuals. Lawler was also president of Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut, and a graduate faculty member at New York's St. John's University.
This festschrift, by Lawler's friends and students, ranges over a wide variety of topics, with a general focus on catechesis and education. Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput discusses the "Church as Mother and Teacher," while Boston Archbishop Sean O'Malley examines "Passing on the Faith." Scott Hahn urges priests to attend to their need for ongoing education, while Russell Shaw explores the neglected topic of catechetical training to help young people discern their vocation (while not restricting that term exclusively to clerical vocations, either). William May examines Pope John Paul II's "theology of the body," articulated through his Wednesday general audience catechesis, and Evelyn and John Billings defend Humanae vitae. Robert George rips to shreds the "I'm-opposed-to-abortion-even-though-I-always-vote-for-it" hypocrisy of primarily "Catholic" Democrats, while Gerard Bradley discusses the morality and prudence of homeschooling as an educational option, at least in the early grades. J. Augustine DiNoia offers thought-provoking reflections on "The Logic of Doctrine and Logic of Catechesis: The Relationship Between the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the General Directory for Catechesis." The book also includes an essay by Ronald Lawler, "Has Christ Only One Church?" in which he irenically but persuasively criticizes the position of some "theologians" who use Vatican II's teaching that the Church of Christ "subsists" in the Catholic Church to try to drive a wedge between the Christ and His Church.
Ronald Lawler had many achievements as an educator and catechist but, while never deprecating the intellectual vocation, he always brought the issue back to the heart of the matter: holiness and salvation of souls. That perspective permeates the authors of these essays. J. Brian and Janet Benestad, for example, remind us that Catholic social thought is not a political platform but rather the way a Catholic looks at man in society because he believes what the Church teaches. " . . . [T]he Church can hardly expect to transform society by issuing policy statements, or even encouragements to practice social doctrine, if large numbers of Catholics are no longer committed to understanding and practicing the faith as a whole. . . . [T]he knowledge and practice of the faith as a whole is the indispensable condition for the reception and practice of Catholic social doctrine. There simply is no substitute for wisdom and virtue in the citizens of a nation."
One danger with collections of essays is that the overall book ends up hanging together too loosely. Happily, this whole set of readings works reasonably well together. An interesting collection written in tribute to the work of a still-too-unsung figure of contemporary Catholicism in the U.S., this book is recommended especially for those interested in catechetics.


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