The Good Enough Catholic: A Guide for the Perplexed


The acclaimed author of "And They Shall Be My People" presents an inspiring look at the endurance of Catholicism in the face of a changing Church and challenged believers.
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The Good Enough Catholic: A Guide for the Perplexed

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The acclaimed author of "And They Shall Be My People" presents an inspiring look at the endurance of Catholicism in the face of a changing Church and challenged believers.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Taking the "good enough" concept from Bruno Bettelheim's The Good Enough Parent, layman Wilkes (In Mysterious Ways: The Death and Life of a Parish Priest, LJ 9/1/90) transfers it to today's Catholic faithful, who face complex challenges in a time of profound transformation in their church. Asserting that the church is experiencing a spiritual adolescence, he offers readable and practical suggestions to guide conflicted and imperfect but sincere seekers toward a moral life within the church. Wilkes reviews thorny issues such as celibacy, birth control, papal authority, and women's ordination, with references to historical contexts and theological developments over the centuries. He recommends "thoughtful obedience" as the church moves into the new millennium. Realistic and refreshingly positive in tone, this book is interspersed with relevant quotations on personal views by Catholics from all walks of life. It might well be used as a guide for parish discussion groups. Recommended especially for Catholic collections.-Anna M. Donnelly, St. John's Univ. Lib., N.Y.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345409621
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/28/1997
  • Edition description: 1ST TRADE
  • Pages: 354
  • Sales rank: 1,419,201
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Jesus Christ: Wistfulness, Wishful Thinking, and Reality 3
2 Mass and the Eucharist: The Source 20
3 The Sacraments: Divine Interventions 40
4 Prayer and Spirituality: The True Path 62
5 Morality, Conscience, and Sin: The Architecture of Character 88
6 Work: The Art of Co-Creation 109
7 Marriage (and Divorce): The Moral Greenhouse 130
8 Sex, Abortion, and Birth Control: Of Life and of Love 156
9 Parish: A Home for the Spirit 189
10 Family: The Gentle Crucible 209
11 Community: A Way to Live Together 232
12 Church Teaching: The Art and Practice of Belief 255
13 Church Authority: Thoughtful Obedience 277
14 Priesthood of Priests, Priesthood of Believers 297
Epilogue: The Good Enough Catholic 317
List of People Quoted 321
Electronic Resources 325
Notes 327
Acknowledgments 335
Index 337
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 15, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Subtitle has it right

    This book is just what it claims to be. It is a guide, making use of past experiences and giving suggestions, without, at least to me, being dogmatic along the way. Before anyone gets put off by the title, the basic idea is that not a one of us is going to be a perfect Catholic. We all have doubts; we all have weaknesses and failings; we all are human; we all are sinners. That is enough to make us perplexed even without the sea changes in the Church during the last century. (Vatican II may have brought much attention but many of the items I have found were perculating through the Church for decades before).
    So anyone looking for a book to say what is the minimum that has to be done to be good enough is going to be disappointed here. This is more about what is to be done while "practicing" as a Catholic with a more perfect goal ahead.
    Sometimes in such a search reading the offical documents of the Church - pastoral letters, encyclicals, the Documents of Vatican II - can help, but they all tend to be organizational documents and often rather theoretical. This book looks at the life of the average Roman Catholic as he or she finds it and addresses how to deal with that life in a Catholic way. And I would suggest that it would provide encouragement not only to those Catholics who are still active participants but also to those who once were and no longer are, the second largest group of people in the U.S. as defined by religion.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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