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|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|
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.
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