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The Resilient Church: The Glory, the Shame, & the Hope for Tomorrow [Paperback]

By Mike Aquilina (Author)
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Item Number 63278  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   176
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.94" Width: 5.34" Height: 0.43"
Weight:   0.5 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 31, 2007
Publisher   WORD AMONG US PRESS #1425
ISBN  1593251041  
EAN  9781593251048  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Beginning with the earliest martyrs and ending with the twentieth century, The Resilient Church offers a fascinating look at the trials and triumphs of the Catholic Church over the past two thousand years. Fast-paced sketches of critical periods in church history give readers perspective on the challenges faced by the church today. Short selections in each chapter highlight some of the great heroes who influenced the course of history. Mike Aquilina does not shrink from the realities of the past, including badly behaved leaders and those who betrayed the Lord. Yet he also leaves readers with well-founded hope for the future: God remains faithful in every circumstance and fulfills his promise to remain with his church always.

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More About Mike Aquilina

Mike Aquilina Mike Aquilina is author or editor of more than forty books on Catholic history, doctrine, and devotion. He is Vice-president of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology.

He is co-host, with Scott Hahn, of eight series that air on EWTN. For many years he also appeared as a regular panelist on “The Weekly Roman Observer,” broadcast by Catholic Familyland Network. He is a frequent guest on Catholic radio and appears weekly on EWTN’s “Sonrise Morning Show.”

Mike’s career in publishing spans three decades, and hundreds of his articles have appeared in periodicals and journals in the United States and abroad.

In 2011 he was a featured presenter of the U.S. Bishops’ Diocesan Educational/Catechetical Leadership Institute, an online formation program co-sponsored with the National Catholic Education Association and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He also wrote the USCCB’s theological reflection for Catechetical Sunday in 2011.

Mike Aquilina currently resides in Pittsburgh Pittsburgh.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Excellent humanized portrayal of Catholic history  Jun 1, 2008
I greatly enjoyed this book, as I have other books by this same author. Having read several other longer works on Catholic history, I was not sure how much of this book would be redundant or simplified given its small size. To my pleasant surprise, the author does a wonderful job presenting selected critical episodes in Catholic history with a freshness that offered new perspectives and insights. I particularly liked the vignettes ending each chapter that highlight a seminal personality involved in the history of the discussed time period. These really bring the human element to the story (my favorite detailed the foot travels of the American Bishop John England of Charleston, South Carolina). In fact, the real pleasure of this book is the way in which the author personalizes Catholic history through these types of stories to offer a hopeful vision for the future of the Church despite recent (and past) controversies. A great quick read for both those well-versed and those new to the subject of Catholic history.
Open look at Church history  May 9, 2008
I took the book to read while on a trip to Italy and it helped deepen my faith while on the trip. Reading much about Rome, being there, and hearing history that coincides with the book was very revealing. It takes an open look at what has happened over the years and that we're all human; thus there are rough spots in everything.
A good anecdotal summary  Apr 12, 2008
Though there are much more thorough and more entertaining books summarizing Church history, this is a good one for people who don't wish to go too deep and do not wish to be too contentious. There are a lot of contentious points in the 2000 year history of the Church that could be discussed. This book does not pull punches but paints a balanced view. Personally, I enjoyed Crocker's book more.
Another Favorite of Mine  Jan 17, 2008
I admit that as with all the other books I've read of Mr. Aquilina, my only disappointment is that it is too short. I found myself engaged from the first page. He does such a great job of covering the facts (most of which are new to me, as I have a secular education - so it was not friendly to the Church), I find myself feeling as if I know the people and places he is covering.

It saddens me that so much of what he wrote is rarely discussed in academia. The "enlightenment" has done so much to curtail true discourse in our western culture that the deepest parts of our being are left for gentile murmurings in church basements or hushed snippets in the hallway.

After reading this book, I came away feeling stronger and more enabled to stand up for the truth of the Church, knowing that it isn't me or the priests, Bishops or religious who maintain the Church, but God Himself inspite of all of us.

Thanks, Mike, for another great book!
Critical eye on the past, hope for the future  Aug 22, 2007
As the author says in the Introduction: "This book is not a chronicle or even, strictly speaking, a history. It covers only a sampling of years from just a few spots on the globe." This being said, it succeeds in its goal of covering key events throughout the history of the Church from the early martyrs of Roman persecution through the priest scandals of our present decade. In between, we're reminded of or introduced to (depending on the reader's knowledge of history) key figures and events in the history of the world and the Church. For example, we're told of the earliest apologists, like Justin Martyr. Great intellects of the early Constantine-liberated Church like Ambrose, Augustine, and Cyril of Jerusalem. Also, the effects of the rise of Islam and its related persecutions of Christians leading to the First Crusade and the Spanish expulsion of Muslims. Then a jump to the split of Martin Luther and his followers, Henry VIII, and subsequent Protestant fractioning. Spaniards Ignatius of Loyola, Teresa of Avila, and John of the Cross give the Church hope as Protestantism rapidly spreads. During this time expansion in the New World and the trials and tribulations there, including poor treatment of the natives in too many cases, is highlighted. The appearance of the Virgin Mary to Juan Diego leads to the conversion of millions just as many Europeans leave the Church for Protestantism. The French Revolution of the late 18th and early 19th centuries led to severe anti-Catholicism and repression. This anti-Catholicism was very prominent in America as well, with much persecution of immigrants, particularly the Irish. Popes Pius IX and Leo XIII of the late 19th century saw the demise of the Papal States and the fight against Modernism. The spirituality of the 20th century was most influenced by Therese of Lisieux in her short, hidden life. World War II is explicated through: its chief villains (Hitler and Mussolini) who, aside from the tragic attempt to exterminate the Jews, killed many priest, nuns, and lay Christians, and; the popes who opposed them (Pius XI and Pius XII) through word (encyclicals and letters) and deed (particularly saving many Roman Jews). The latter part of the 20th century saw the influential Second Vatican Council and the popular and long-serving Pope John Paul II and his fight against Communism.

Undoubtedly, some will argue that certain persons or events should have been included, but were not. Yet the author does a fine job of covering a lot of ground in an interesting and accessible way. Certain insights sprinkled throughout the book are very valuable. For example, martyrdom in the early Church as a sacrifice and how it relates to Jesus' sacrifice and the Eucharist. Also, certain little known figures, like the interesting story of the first priest to celebrate Mass in the New World, are brought forth. The "Closer Look" sections at the end of all chapters but the last generally focus on a deeper treatment, usually of individuals, of the era covered in the preceding chapter (the story of the first Catholic bishop of Charleston, John England, is particularly fascinating).

The author, as the subtitle indicates, does not shy away from problems that have been caused by certain Church members but he does not dwell on them either. There will be "glory" and "shame" in an institution in which frail humans are involved. This is valuable insight for Catholics and non-Catholics alike, especially those with misconceptions about the Church.

In this relatively short book the author cannot go into great detail on any topic but does an excellent job of providing an overview of certain events. His discussion of the French Revolution stands out as an excellent summary of this era in European history. And the terrible persecutions of Catholic Americans leads us to appreciate the freedom we have to practice religion today. For the student of Church history or secular history it whets the appetite leaving the reader wanting more.

That being said, my main suggestion for enhancing the book would be a "For Further Reading" section at the end of each chapter. One can look to the footnotes, but these are not generally as helpful as would be a list of supplemental materials for the reader who wants to go deeper into a particular topic.

Philip Jenkins is quoted in the last chapter: "The best indicator that Christianity is about to experience a vast expansion is a widespread conviction that the religion is doomed or in its closing days." Then the author goes on, in an excellent one page summary, to show how that has happened throughout Church history, nicely wrapping up the book.

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