US Catholic Faith in Real Life

The Unsheltered Heart: An At-Home Advent Retreat

By Linda Showman| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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The Unsheltered Heart: An At-Home Advent Retreat by Ronald Patrick Raab, C.S.C. (Ave Maria Press, 2010)

At first glance, the title of this book is not the most enticing approach to a retreat: Does one not enter into a retreat with the purpose of finding calm and peace? Don’t we expect the results of reflection to be direction, comfort, protection, even answers from God? Shelter from heartbreak is the very thing we seek when approaching God.


Write About Love

By Danny Duncan Collum| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Write About Love
By Belle and Sebastian
(Matador Records, 2010)

 

I have a really bad attitude about the clever, collegiate, and self-consciously catchy indie-pop bands that overpopulate the music programming of National Public Radio. Every time I hear the stuff I get an urge to crank up some ZZ Top.


Hereafter

By Patrick McCormick| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Hereafter
Directed by Clint Eastwood (Warner Brothers, 2010)

For almost half a century Clint Eastwood has been making films about death, but nearly all of these movies have been violent adventures in which death arrives as an apocalyptic horseman of vengeance, punishment, or damnation. Now, at long last, the octogenarian filmmaker is taking a curious, unblinking look at death as loss and wondering—in a way his earlier films rarely did—what it is like for those left behind in its wake.


Full of Grace

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Full of Grace
By Judith Dupré
Random House, 2010

Books about Mary often become a cover for a particular ideology. If the devil can quote scripture, then any writer can build a case for a particular shade of belief using the Mother of God. Refreshingly, with Full of Grace no label came to mind.


Tin Can Trust

By Danny Duncan Collum| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Los Lobos (Shout Factory!, 2010)

Former Secretary of Labor Linda Chavez, among others, has argued that current levels of immigration from Mexico are somehow dangerous to the integrity of American culture. Obviously she has not been hanging with Los Lobos. These guys from East L.A. are the most American band since The Band (most of whom were Canadian). They have perfected a blend of Mexican rhythms and flavors with the blues, country, and garage-band roots that feed the soul of these United States.


The Town

By Patrick McCormick| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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The Town Directed by Ben Affleck (Warner Brothers, 2010)

During the Depression Warner Brothers earned much of its weekly paycheck with gangster movies in which Jimmy Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, and Edward G. Robinson played fast-talking, hard-drinking tough guys who liked to backtalk cops, punch out foes, slap girlfriends, and rob banks with machine guns and fast cars.


Blood Flowers

By Rosemary Radford Ruether| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Blood Flowers: A Novel
By Mary Judith Ress (iUniverse, 2010) 

In the late 1970s Mary Judith Ress was a young nun arriving in Latin America to do work among the “poor.” Like many coming from the United States, she soon found herself caught up in struggles for social justice for which she had been little prepared.


The Most Dangerous Man in America

By Patrick McCormick| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Directed by Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith (First Run Features, 2009)

Plato believed some stories need to be told over and over, fed to our children like mother's milk. The story of the whistleblower is one we must keep telling, for people in high places are forever trying to sell us a new set of emperor's clothes.


Reading list

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We couldn't include everyone's responses in the Feedback section of October 2010's Reader Survey, "Used books," so here is a selection of responses that includes some of our readers' favorite books and recommendations.

My favorite contemporary book addressing issues related to the Catholic faith today is...

Elizabeth Johnson's Truly Our Sister: A theology of Mary in the Communion of Saints. It strengthens one's love for Mary and helps to make Mary relevant in the lives of today's women.


Radical Disciple: Father Pfleger, St. Sabina Church, and the Fight for Social Justice

By Catherine O'Connell-Cahill| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Radical Disciple: Father Pfleger, St. Sabina Church, and the Fight for Social Justice
By Robert McClory (Lawrence Hill Books, 2010)

Millions first saw Father Michael Pfleger in a grainy video as he mocked Hillary Clinton during a May 2008 sermon at Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ. Longtime friend Barack Obama denounced his remarks. Pfleger apologized, and Chicago Cardinal Francis George asked him to take several weeks' leave from his parish, St. Sabina, where he has been pastor since 1981.


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