"Rediscovering Catholicism" by Matthew Kelly

I have been reading this book since Sunday (I received it at Church) and am confused about what Kelly is meaning when he talks about the great "Spiritual North Star"? I am on page 99 and he has already referenced this a few times. Is this a legit Catholic book? I have taken good points from it and it is inspiring me, but I am confused when he talks about this. Kelly also states that he reads the Gospels daily and that, "apart from the Gospels, I am usually in the midst of a good spiritual book or a novel of some sort" (89). I keep thinking, well what about the rest of the Bible? I feel he is reducing the Bible's credibility.

Here is an example of what I said at the beginning: "The great Spiritual North Star hangs in the sky, calling each of us to become the-best-version-of-ourselves" (88).

Thanks.

i actually have this book, well, i don't own it myself, but when i was about to reply, thinking i had no idea what that book was, i realized i had it sitting on my bookshelf right in front of me d:
i haven't read it, and really i don't plan to, it does not have any of the church approval markings,
to find out if a book is church approved, just look in the front few pages for either the Nihil Obstat, Imprimatur, or Imprimi Potest,
if a book has none of those, then i personally would not trust it, the church recommends that we be very careful with what books we read, even if a book seems perfectly fine and without error, to me it's just not worth the risk,
although i know this book is more new and for that reason probably just hasn't been approved yet,
but another option would be, have a priest who you really trust read the book for you and tell you if it's ok.
i'm not saying not to read the book, it's still a catholic book written by what seems to be a good catholic guy, but i personally like to play it safe and only read church approved books,
it could very well be a really good book...but i don't know, so i would just recommend asking your priest about it.

His book is what inspired me to start reading good Catholic books on my faith. I was always a believer and practiced my faith but I had been lacking in my spiritual growth and knowledge. I started coming on Catholic Answers to read more and have listened to many CD's that have taught me so much...especially in understanding why Catholics believe certain things.

I think this is a good book for people like myself and others who have been away from the Church...it is easy to read and I would suggest it for anyone who wants to begin to enrich the faith. His terms "best version of yourself" he describes as holiness and I took the term great "Spiritual North Star" to be God... He uses this term to describe God because it is the only star in the sky "that never moves...it remains constant, unwavering, and therefore is our guide." That was my take on it...I loved this book!

Please do be careful of not being drawn in by too much of what this man says if he's the Matthew Kelly who claims to be a visionary, as no he's not approved. That doesn't mean he's not capable of sharing worthwhile and helpful things so long as what he's saying is in obedience to Church teachings, but it does put him off-base for this website and makes his teachings suspect. You may find it best to ask a moderator to close this thread.
If you feel he is 'reducing the bible's credibility" listen to your feelings, please go to other sources for your inspiration.

I have actually passed this book onto many different people who also got a lot out of it...it was given out at our church for a donation of $3.00 and if you sent in a postcard he would send you free copies to distribute.

His CD talks are presented on Catholic Lighthouse Media and he is a great speaker. He just has a way of speaking to the people and explaining how the Catholic Faith is relevant in our modern culture that even made my 21 year old daughter listen. Imagine my surprise when I saw her trying to change some of her habits due to his talk:) Of course she was in the car with me and I told her I wanted to listen to a new CD(I had actually heard it and knew that many of the issues on it would be beneficial for her to hear) ...and when it was over she said "Wow, he really understands human nature." That was his CD "Seven Pillars of Catholic Spirituality.

I say read it and pass it along to someone who might need a boost in renewing their Catholic faith:)

No he is not the man who claims to be a visionary...he is actually a New York Times Bestseller author who wrote the book "The Rhythm of Life". He has written several other books as well...

(To original poster; ----please do not close the thread ---- yet): If you back up a couple of pages from p88, where you see the reference to “Spiritual North Star”, to the section heading “Keeping the Goal in Sight”, from thenceforth you can see that what he means by “Spiritual North Star” is simply “Holiness”, or perhaps “the Call to Holiness”, depending on the specific context over those two pages or so. This is a legitimate Catholic concept.

I do not think this Matthew Kelly has any claims to be a visionary as you might fear. This man is actually a renowned business consultant / motivational speaker, but I have never heard him referred to as a visionary. That is not to say he isn’t, but I tell you truth when I say I have never heard that description.

To the idea that, one should read all the Bible before any other spiritual books (which is what your concern is logically equivalent to), well certainly that would be a recommendable plan, but to say that to not read the full Bible yet take on (say) The Screwtape Letters (which I am in the midst of) in the meantime is to be condemned, is weak at best. I for one never felt, upon rereading three (!) times, that he reduced the Bible’s credibility.

This book does not have the imprimatur or anything like that. Perhaps appropriately: I think it has some weaknesses – in particular, he tends to oversimplify some background information while making a point. In several occasions he refers to “the media” as if that was some monolithic concept, which of course it is not. Probably more problematic is that on a couple of occasions he uses language suggesting he supports the heresy of Manichaeism (that is, “body bad, spirit good”). I for one like to assume he was making a rhetorical point, but would undertand if someone took issue with his presentation there.

I do believe his idea of “become the best version of yourself” is an immensely powerful pastoral meme useful today, and his recognition of the heresies of individualism, hedonism, and minimalism are very useful and accurate. I would fully recommend this book, especially to those catholics who want to be faithful but are having a weak period in their life. The introduction alone should be required reading to all Catholics, IMHO.

I have this book and have passed on dozens of copies. Matthew Kelly is not a Scott Hahn, for example, and he's not meant to be. What he does is quite different, although it's just as important. Like another poster hinted at, it's a different kind of audience. Matthew is painting with a much larger brush, sotospeak. He's reaching out as far as he can to start to bring some people back into the Church.

That is why, I believe, there are no official approvals of the book: it's not meant to be doctrinal material! It's evangelization without bible-thumping, sotospeak. With all the nonsense going on in some areas of the US within Catholicism, I believe his work is invaluable. Some people will be reached who never would be otherwise.

As far as the integrity and safety of the work doctrinally, I saw absolutely nothing to be concerned about. And I'm quite careful with what I choose to read. ;)

[quote="sarahraegraham, post:8, topic:183979"]
I have this book and have passed on dozens of copies. Matthew Kelly is not a Scott Hahn, for example, and he's not meant to be. What he does is quite different, although it's just as important. Like another poster hinted at, it's a different kind of audience. Matthew is painting with a much larger brush, sotospeak. He's reaching out as far as he can to start to bring some people back into the Church.

That is why, I believe, there are no official approvals of the book: it's not meant to be doctrinal material! It's evangelization without bible-thumping, sotospeak. With all the nonsense going on in some areas of the US within Catholicism, I believe his work is invaluable. Some people will be reached who never would be otherwise.

As far as the integrity and safety of the work doctrinally, I saw absolutely nothing to be concerned about. And I'm quite careful with what I choose to read. ;)

[/quote]

the church doesn't just approve books of doctrinal contents, the idea of the church approval is to insure that there is no error in the book, and there are plenty of catholic approved books without doctrinal material,
just wanted to point that out...but as i said before, if this book is good, then perhaps the reason it's not been approved is just because it's newer, like many other good books, and just hasn't been evaluated yet.
i don't really know...but it's possible

You are going to miss out on a lot of very good reading material if you are looking for the Nihil Obstat or Imprimatur on every book before buying a book written after Vatican II was held. Jesus of Nazareth by our very own Pope Benedict XVI, for instance, has neither. Crossing the Threshold of Hope by John Paul II does not have them, none of the books I own by Father Benedict Groschel, Father Thomas Dubay, or Scott Hahn have them, although I know Scott Hahn has them on some of his books, and they may be on some books by the others that I have not read. I think today that those approvals are mostly used for teaching materials on such things as faith, morals, theology, etc., (but not always). Also, if a book has them it is not a sign of Church approval, just that the Bishops who gave them found nothing contrary to the faith or morals and they could be printed, not that they agree with what was written or that everything was always accurate.

I understand what Kelly is saying about the “Star” now and how he has an emphasis on holiness- I want to be the best version of myself. It is enjoyable so far. It has spurred me to want to read more about the lives of the saints and documents from the Second Vatican Council, which I really want to read (and to research more role models to make myself better). I don’t know how to go about finding those documents, but I am sure I will. I have my license in English so I like to read! So any recommendations for books would be great! I want to read more Catholic books.

I am glad I asked and thank you for your comments!

Matthew Kelly is a great, thoroughly orthodox Catholic writer with great style. His book, Rediscovering Catholicism, is being used in concert with the wildly successful "Catholics Come Home" program being sponsored by a number of Bishops across the US.
Here is a link: catholicscomehome.org/

This is the Matthew Kelly who had reported the locutions many years ago. He no longer does so. I imagine out of obedience to the church or realizing that these were personal experiences not to be shared.

When we speak of Catholic-approved books, we are speaking of being deemed free from doctrinal error. But I think your point is that even books deemed such may have content which is open to reasonable debate. True, but then it would not be doctrinal content which is open to debate, but some other interpretation or coloring, or perhaps pastoral advice. Christopher West’s The Love That Satisfies has both Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, the highest doctrinal endorsement of a layman’s work there is (IIRC), that it is free from such error, yet there are faithful Catholics (and many unfaithful ones:p) who take serious issue with his approach.

I agree with the earlier post that “Rediscovering” is inspirational, not doctrinal. There is plenty of valid doctrine in there, but no one has officially vouched for all of it. But that is not why one should read it, IMHO.

I have read many of Matthew Kelly’s books from “Mustard Seeds” to “Rhythm of Life” to “Seven Levels of Intimacy” and now “Rediscovering Catholicism.” I do not think that Matthew is claiming to be a teacher of all things Catholic, but I think that he is more of a motivational type speaker with a strong Catholic background. His “be the best version of yourself” teaching has been very helpful to me. I have learned a lot about myself as
I have read and reflected upon the things that he has written. I enjoy his talks a lot and have enjoyed his books including the 60 or so pages of the aforementioned book.

I agree. I would add that even with a Nihil Obstat or Imprimatur, a person still must consider the source. Historically speaking, the Bishops as individuals do not have a record of 100% fidelity to Church teaching. An imprimatur from a less than faithful Bishop should obviously be regarded with suspicion and the content of such a book compared with the more authoritative CCC, for example.

I am almost finished with this book and find it to be very encouraging! I am going to utilize some tips Kelly described in his book. I will recommend this to anyone. He has helped me realize my weaknesses in my faith.

It makes me want to be a better Catholic and better appreciate the Catholic faith! It is so good!

I do not understand why you would not trust it just because it does not have a church of approvel mark… If you do not want to read books that do not have church approved markings then go ahead, but discouraging someone from reading it is not right. Maybe she was away from the faith and with you discouraging her to read it could keep her away from the faith. We are to encourage people to come not discourage them by personal preference. We all need reading to learn more about God. If you read reviews a bunch of priests reviewed it and said it was a great book. I’m just saying.

UOTE=EmeraldWings;6198342]i actually have this book, well, i don’t own it myself, but when i was about to reply, thinking i had no idea what that book was, i realized i had it sitting on my bookshelf right in front of me d:
i haven’t read it, and really i don’t plan to, it does not have any of the church approval markings,
to find out if a book is church approved, just look in the front few pages for either the Nihil Obstat, Imprimatur, or Imprimi Potest,
if a book has none of those, then i personally would not trust it, the church recommends that we be very careful with what books we read, even if a book seems perfectly fine and without error, to me it’s just not worth the risk,
although i know this book is more new and for that reason probably just hasn’t been approved yet,
but another option would be, have a priest who you really trust read the book for you and tell you if it’s ok.
i’m not saying not to read the book, it’s still a catholic book written by what seems to be a good catholic guy, but i personally like to play it safe and only read church approved books,
it could very well be a really good book…but i don’t know, so i would just recommend asking your priest about it.

Actually the book does have the church approval markings.

[quote="EmeraldWings, post:2, topic:183979"]
i actually have this book, well, i don't own it myself, but when i was about to reply, thinking i had no idea what that book was, i realized i had it sitting on my bookshelf right in front of me d:
i haven't read it, and really i don't plan to, it does not have any of the church approval markings,
to find out if a book is church approved, just look in the front few pages for either the Nihil Obstat, Imprimatur, or Imprimi Potest,
if a book has none of those, then i personally would not trust it, the church recommends that we be very careful with what books we read, even if a book seems perfectly fine and without error, to me it's just not worth the risk,
although i know this book is more new and for that reason probably just hasn't been approved yet,
but another option would be, have a priest who you really trust read the book for you and tell you if it's ok.
i'm not saying not to read the book, it's still a catholic book written by what seems to be a good catholic guy, but i personally like to play it safe and only read church approved books,
it could very well be a really good book...but i don't know, so i would just recommend asking your priest about it.

[/quote]

the one i have doesn’t,
but as i said where you quoted me, it’s a newer book, so if it got the church approval now, then good,but at the time this thread was started (as far as i know) it didn’t have it.

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