I rarely get the opportunity to read as much as I would like to. I have a stack of books and articles waiting to be read both in my office and piled beside the bed. However technology offers easy access to talking books and podcasts that I listen to as I drive. Many video presentations are made to be heard rather than watched and I often listen to these through the bluetooth connection of my car stereo.
Yesterday as I drove to a meeting I listened to the first USA presentation of Julian Carron’s recent publication Disarming Beauty. This collection of essays is an inspiring work, re-presenting the full beauty of relationship with Jesus Christ as the only adequate response to the human needs that occupy us. Fr. Carron accepts that too often we have reduced the beauty of Christian faith to moralism, legalism, structures and programs, promoting what is secondary as if it were primary.
This book and the book-presentations are guaranteed to engage the intellect and touch the heart.
One quote from the book to whet your appetite:
“Years ago Pope John Paul II explained the magnitude of the challenge to us. “Many Europeans today think they know what Christianity is, yet they do not really know it at all . . . . Many of the baptised live as if Christ did not exist. . . . The great certainties of the faith are being undermined in many people by a vague religiosity lacking real commitment. . . . ‘When the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?’ (Lk 18:1).” Pope Benedict XVI confirmed that the situation has not changed over the years. “Often we are anxiously preoccupied with the social, cultural and political consequences of the faith, taking for granted that faith is present. which unfortunately is less and less realistic. Perhaps we have placed an excessive trust in ecclesial structures and programs, in the distribution of powers and functions; but what will happen if salt loses its flavour?” In many cases one cannot speak of a lack of faith or its explicit denial, but rather a reduced faith, lived more like a habit or a devotional practice, where the existence of the faith itself is taken for granted, as a free and reasonable choice, We see this by the fact that it does not withstand the shocks of present reality. demonstrated by the number of those who leave the faith or live it with indifference or disinterest.” (pg.55)
The first Live-stream went up yesterday from Notre Dame, and the Houston and New York events will be uploaded in the next couple of days.