Monday, March 31, 2014

Catholicism Blog Tour Day 1 and a Contest

Welcome to Stuart's Study. Today, I am kicking off a blog tour for the world-renowned book Catholicism by: Fr. Robert Barron. In order to celebrate the release of this book in paperback and pay respect to the fact that it has sold over 100,000 copies, Image Books and Word on Fire are hosting this blog tour and sponsoring a contest where the winner can win a trip for 2 to Rome and Paris. You'll have to read to the end of this post to find the contest link though. (Don't cheat and scroll down early!) Today, I will be featuring Chapter One, entitled "Amazed and Afraid."

Chapter One serves as the jumping off point for Fr. Barron's book Catholicism. Before we embark on his epic journey through Roman Catholicism, he sets the stage and provides in great detail who Jesus is. We first look at Jesus' humanity. "Deus fit homo ut homo fieret Deus (God became human so that humans might become God.)" Ponder that for a minute. God in His infinite majesty and grandeur humbled Himself and took on human form. However, he didn't come and make Himself a worldly Caesar, king, or pharaoh in some great city. He was born in an insignificant town to a poor teenage girl, and with His birth the world was never the same again.

After His birth, there is little mention of His childhood except for two instances in the Temple - His Presentation and His Finding. We instead jump straight to His ministry. Fr. Barron points out that other great religious teachers (Buddha, Mohammed, Confucius) insisted the focus be on their teachings and words. Jesus wanted the focus on more than His teachings and words. He wanted people to be drawn to Him; to develop a personal relationship with Him. By doing so, they will develop a personal relationship with God the Father.

The rest of the chapter is not only my favorite part of this chapter, but quite possibly of the book. Fr. Barron opens up the Old Testament for us and explains the four-fold mission of the Christ. 1. Gather the scattered tribes of Israel. 2. Cleanse the Temple of Jerusalem. 3. Definitively deal with the enemies of the nation. 4. Reign as Lord of Heaven and earth. After reading detailed explanations of each of these four things, it puts a new light on the Gospels and how one reads them. We can also better understand why Jesus performed certain actions, like his Healings.  Yes, there was mercy involved, but God was also calling His children back to Him through Jesus.

To enter the contest click, here. Tune in tomorrow at Seasons of Grace as Kathy Schiffer highlights and reviews Chapter Two of Catholicism entitled, "Happy Are We: The Teachings of Jesus."

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