I adore the times spent with my fellow members of the Paige Turner Book Club...but I have a literary appetite that simply cannot be sated with just one book a month. This blog is a place for me to talk about more of my reading adventures. Reviews, summaries, highlights, warnings, praises and quotes. Because after all, it can be a jungle...er...savannah...out there.

Monday, May 24, 2010

My Struggle With Faith by Joseph Girzone

I knew that Joseph Girzone was the author of "Joshua" series. I didn't know that he was also a Catholic priest.  So when I saw this book on a library shelf, I was immediately intrigued.

I'm glad I picked it up.

I learned a lot about the Catholic faith:  about the sacraments of confession, about their take on marriage and communion, about a lot of things.  (I found it fascinating that while catholic and protestant ideas can be very different from each other, we often use the same passages as our inspiration.  We just interpret them differently.)

Girzone's tone is very conversational and approachable.  I loved that he was able to share (and even critique) without getting preachy or nasty or bitter.  He's not afraid to let the reader know when he doubts, when he's still figuring things out, or even when he disagrees with the stance of the Church.  Sometimes on very big things like the necessity for priests to be celibate, or the process of marriage annulment.

The more I read, the more I felt like I had discovered a kindred spirit.   For example:  In one passage he writes "It was not easy for me to keep digging and digging for a ‘reason for my faith.’… In their dedication to dogma, they lost total sight of the gentle, forgiving Jesus they were supposed to be representing.  Instead, the did more damage to the name of Jesus and to people’s faith than heretics did with all their strange theological ideas. ….It was downright depressing."  I've had similar thoughts in my long relationship with the church.

Girzone's book is full of honesty and compassion.  If you're curious about the Christian faith, (or even if you have a disappointed view of the Church as an institution), I would strongly recommend this book.