I went to my local Catholic book store today and was looking for a new and good read that would help me reawaken my spiritual life that has been in a slump. Being in a bit of a rush I picked a book up that looked good and sounded good, but didn't do any more research on it than looking at the description on the back of the book (which was vague). I got home and started reading it and it just didn't feel right... I decided to research a tad more and discovered that Tom Stella was a FORMER Catholic Priest.... I had trouble finding if this was an approved book by the Catholic Church and am a bit hesitant to continue reading it if not all of the teachings are in line with what I should believe and practice as a Catholic. Anyone know anything about this particular book or author??? Should I discontinue the read??? Should I be concerned about some books I get at the Catholic Book Store being in line with Catholic teaching? and Any suggestions on a good faith reawaking book I could get???
Based on the first review of the book at Amazon.com, I would stay far, far away from that book. Here is what the review said:
This review is from: A Faith Worth Believing: Finding New Life Beyond the Rules of Religion (Hardcover)
In his chapter on faith, author Tom Stella points out that it has been said of the people of our culture that we have been innoculated with just enough Christianity to make us immune to the real thing. For cradle Catholics like myself, the Baltimore Catechism served as that first immunization. Apart from imposing a huge guilt trip, the catechism never spoke to me. Stella apparently had a similar experience. In his book A Faith Worth Believing,Finding New Life beyond the Rules of Religion, he tells of how his faith has changed over the years since getting that original indoctrination. This evolution is based on a contemplative spirituality, a belief in the presence of God in all creation and all events. This faith has a tremendous effect on all aspects of religion which he explores in his chapters that correspond to various parts of the Baltimore Catechism. It is a “what I believed then and what I believe now” exposition. Subjects as the Trinity, faith, hope, love, sin, salvation, hell etc are each explored from the standpoint of how his beliefs have changed over time.
In this very readable and personal book, Stella sheds light on the incarnational meaning of our Christian beliefs and does it with honesty, humor and humility. A provocative book, it challenges us as mature Christians to take our faith back into our own hands. I recommend it enthusiastically for those for whom institutional religion has lost its meaning and are looking for a faith worth believing.