Wednesday, January 20, 2016

A Godly Humanism (CUA Press)

A Godly Humanism is the last book written by by Francis Cardinal George before his death. In this book, Cardinal George calls on us to understand and appreciate the human relationships with God and each other. He begins his book by talking about the intellectual tradition of the Catholic Church, how it has grown, evolved, and taken shape. He also explains that this intellectual tradition is not just important for the Church, but for society as a whole. This leads us to the whole "faith and reason" argument that we have all heard and read countless times. The Church, unlike other Christian churches does not put these two things against each other, but embraces both.

Chapter Two talks about Catholics who become intellectuals and intellectuals who become Catholics. The chief example in this chapter is, of course, St. Augustine. So many of us in our formative years are like St. Augustine. We go to college. We listen to many different thoughts and ideas. We absorb so much knowledge. But then, we have to parse through it and decide where ultimate Truth lies, and that is with God and His Church. Chapter Three delves into what makes Catholics different than Protestants, namely Tradition. Because of this Tradition, we can be assured of access to God due to things such as apostolic succession and the fact that our Church was founded after Jesus' Resurrection. The rest of the book focuses on topics such as living in a post-Christian society (very useful); education to integrate culture and religion; how to integrate Vatican II; and what recent popes have done for the Catholic intellectual tradition.

Reading through this book, it's easy to be reminded how brilliant of a mind that Cardinal George had. He pulled from numerous teachers both ancient (St. Augustine) and recent (Pope Francis) to demonstrate his point that the Catholic Church is built upon a relationship with God and each other. God is continually reaching out to us and showing us His presence and love. He reached out to us with the Holy Spirit when, the Holy Spirit worked through the Apostles, and he continues to reach out to us through their successors as well. Cardinal George reminds us of this and and the untold graces that God continues to shower on us, if we only let him, This was truly a beautiful book and is a fitting final book for the brilliance that was his life. Highly recommended!

This book was provided to me for free by CUA Press in exchange for an honest review. If you found this review helpful, please click here and hit Yes!