Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Catholic Company Review: Seek First the Kingdom

Seek First the Kingdom: Challenging the Culture by Living Our Catholic Faith by Cardinal Donald Wuerl

In this book, Cardinal Wuerl explains how our faith should be lived in the world. What does it mean to be Catholic outside of Mass? Does it make a difference in how we behave at work, at school, in the voting booth?

Of course, Cardinal Wuerl says it emphatically does make a difference, or at least it should.
When we live up to what we have received from God, we become like sacraments ourselves. The more the kingdom breaks through, the more we make our earth into heaven. We ourselves live like angels when we live our sacramental life to the fullest. St. John Chrysostom points out that this is the joy of heaven, and we can anticipate it right now.
In order for us to live this way -- to manifest the kingdom -- we must live an integrated life. We must take the kingdom with us wherever we go. Our lives must be signs of the kingdom, visible to all who stand outside the realm established by Jesus Christ. We cannot isolate certain hours of our day and set them apart from our life in Christ. God is present everywhere, and to be a Christian is to recognize his dominion in every place, at every hour.
The first half of the book explains what Christ's Kingdom is and how it is manifested in the world, how we as Catholic Christians can live His Kingdom here on earth. Later, Cardinal Wuerl addresses specific realms like government, medicine, education, the priesthood, and so on.

I found this book well-written, clearly calling Christians to act in a manner molded to our faith but with many aids and examples in how to do so with love. There was little in it new to me or our family, but we also live with Kansas Dad, a theologian who teaches ethics classes on a regular basis at a local Catholic university. I think it could be an excellent book for someone new to the faith or someone who questions how faith should shape our behavior outside of "church activities." It may also be useful for people who intuitively live their faith in all they do but have a difficult time articulating to friends or colleagues why their faith is so integral to their daily lives.

This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. I received a free copy of this book in return for an honest review. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Seek First the Kingdom: Challenging the Culture. They are also a great source for a baptism gifts or first communion gifts.

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