Renewing Our Hope: Essays for the New Evangelization
In a time of discouragement, how can the Church renew itself and its outreach to all people? Bishop Robert Barron, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, insists that a “dumbed down” Catholicism cannot succeed in today’s highly educated society—instead, the Church needs to draw upon its great theological heritage in order to renew its hope in Christ.
With Renewing Our Hope: Essays for the New Evangelization, Bishop Barron traces this renewal through four stages. “Renewing Our Mission” lays out the challenges that call for Catholics to become more aware of their own intellectual resources in encountering the “Nones.” “Renewing Our Minds” showcases the importance of theological reflection as a font of wisdom and sanity in the Church, touching on Thomas Aquinas, Hans Urs von Balthasar, the recently canonized John Henry Newman, and Pope Francis. In “Renewing the Church,” he proceeds to look at how Scripture, the family, the seminary, and Catholic college graduates can each contribute to this renewal. Finally, in “Renewing Our Culture,” Barron returns to the judgments Catholics must make in assessing contemporary culture, specifically, family life, liberalism, relativism, and (surprisingly) the beauty of cinema.The Wisdom of the Word: Biblical Answers to Ten Pressing Questions about Catholicism
Why believe God exists, or believe Jesus is God? Why listen to the Catholic Church? Why is the Church so strict about sex? Questions like these have propelled a crisis of disaffiliation and disbelief among Catholics in recent decades. Half of millennial Catholics have turned their backs on the Church, and at many churches, only a minority of parishioners believe in all of its teachings about faith and morality.
Building on the call of the Second Vatican Council for a greater appreciation of Scripture, The Wisdom of the Word invites Catholics who are thinking about leaving the Church, or who are confused about elements of Catholic faith and practice, to pause and give the Bible a chance to illuminate their way. From the infighting among the Catholic faithful to the sins of Catholic leaders, and from Christ’s sacrifice on the cross to the Church’s emphasis on caring for the poor, theologians Michael Dauphinais and Matthew Levering explore common challenges to the faith in light of the timeless insights of the Word.
“The prayerful reading of God’s Word,” Pope Francis reminds us, ”which is ‘sweeter than honey’ yet a ‘two-edged sword,’ enables us to pause and listen to the voice of the Master. It becomes a lamp for our steps and a light for our path.” Do you, or does someone you know, think that certain elements of the Catholic faith just don’t make sense? If so, the ancient wisdom of God’s Word—sweeter than honey and sharper than a sword—awaits.
The seven sacraments are the main expressions of the Church's life, and in the lives of the saints, we see the concrete effects of their power. This brief booklet accompanying Bishop Barron's new Sacraments study program was created to help you to come to a deeper understanding of these channels of grace through some of the great holy men and women of the Church, including Pope St. John Paul II and Sts. Louis and Zélie Martin, and to seek out the sacraments—and the holiness of life they produce—with renewed clarity and energy.