Monday, May 19, 2014

Christ Our Compass (Franciscan Media)

I'm ashamed to admit that I have been sitting on this book for too long. It ended up in a pile that wasn't my normal review pile, and I just lost track of it. So without further ado, here is my review of Christ Our Compass.

Christ Our Compass is a twelve chapter book which hopes to provide the reader with a guide for making moral choices using Part Three of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, as its reference. For those unfamiliar with the Catechism, Part Three focuses on "Life in Christ" and is further subdivided into two sections - "Man's Vocation: Life in the Spirit" and "The Ten Commandments." With the Catechism as his backbone for this book, Fr. McBride devotes the first four chapters to Part Three Section One and the last eight chapters to Part Three Section Two.

In each chapter, he then highlights three things the Catechism asks us to do. For example, in Chapter Two, "Church as Mother and Teacher," Fr. McBride tells us to "1. Link morality and worship. 2. Appreciate the teaching authority (the Magisterium) of Church leaders. 3. Become a missionary of moral witness." While all eight chapters that focused on the Ten Commandments were enlightening, the chapter which I found the most interesting was Chapter Five, "Rediscover the Christian Sabbath." Fr. McBride begins by telling us the depressing statistics that only 23% of self-identified adult Catholics attend Mass every week. He further goes on to state that any given week, you'll find 31% of Catholics attending Mass, and that this a DRAMATIC drop from 62% in the 1950s. His three key teachings in this chapter are "1. Honor the day of rest. 2. Understand why Sunday Eucharist is essential. 3. Participate more fully in the Eucharist." Number Three really hit home with me. We can't look at Sunday as just an obligation/burden or something to check off. We are getting to see, hear, and receive Jesus. We should LOVE to go to Mass, not dread it.

Like all of Fr. McBride's books, this was to the point and full of wisdom. What is especially helpful in this book is that at the end of every chapter, he provides at least three ways to grow in knowledge and at least three ways to grow in faith. These six-plus ways are not only opportunities for reflection, but growth if you are brave enough to act on the question and make a change for the better. With the ever-growing threat of moral relativism, our youth and young adults are under attack. That is why I believe this book would make a great gift for those graduating high school or college and embarking on the next chapter of their lives. It is also is a useful guide for adults who are looking for simple answers to questions like, "What is a just war?" or "Why is euthanasia wrong?" I definitely recommend this book.

This book was provided to me for free by Franciscan Media in exchange for an honest review. If you found this review helpful, please click the link and hit Yes!