Monday, November 16, 2009

Book Review: Doers of the Word: Putting Your Faith Into Practice

Doers of the Word - Putting Your Faith Into Practice

I was very excited to have the opportunity to read the recently published Doers of the Word: Putting Your Faith Into Practice written by Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York. Solidly Catholic, delightfully touching, inspirational and always pointing to Christ all describe this collection of essays written by Archbishop Dolan. In the Preface, His Excellency shares that he wrote the essays while in the chapel of his residence. Each essay is followed by a brief paragraph of instruction or prayer pertaining to the essay. Some of the essays are only one page long and others span a few pages. The book is broken into seven chapters with the topics of: My Lord and My God, Signs of Faith, In the Year of the Lord, We Are the Branches, The Communion of Saints, Our Mother and Workers in the Vineyard.

I will share with you two of the essays that touched me most. In one, His Excellency shares that a priest friend of his was Pastor of a very wealthy parish. They had plenty of cash pouring into the collections and the buildings were very lavish. One Sunday, he surprised his parishioners with the announcement that he was going to ask for a transfer to another parish. He said that it was obvious he was not needed. Ouch.

"You don't need me here," he explained as the people gasped. "Like Jesus, I came to call sinners. And apparently, we have none here. I've heard maybe a half-dozen confessions since I got here six months ago. You're obviously all saints; I came to serve sinners. You don't need me."
In another, he relates a story about two couples he had been praying for. One couple had five boys, and one of the children was profoundly handicapped. They found out that another child was expected and that child would have Down's Syndrome. They prayerfully decided that they would give the child to another couple through adoption because they were already struggling to care for the one child with great needs. Enter the other couple, who were unable to have children biologically. What followed in the story he shared will bring tears to even the hardest heart. You'll have to read the book to find out how this one ends.

This is THE perfect gift for any Catholic you need to find something for. Though theologically sound, this book is not strictly for the Catechist. Certainly, the religious education teacher would love it, but think also about a Catholic who may be having struggles. Perhaps their state in life has taken their focus off of Christ and the book could serve as a mini retreat. Busy parents who have little time to read anything but bedtime stories would love the book. The book can be read in five minute spurts and may even be used as a daily devotional. Buy yourself a gift. I cannot recommend this book more highly. If you know me personally, I'll be happy to let you borrow it - but woe to the person who fails to return it!


Published by Our Sunday Visitor, Doers of the Word is 125 pages, paperback and is $9.95. Find this and other books by Archbishop Timothy Dolan at The Catholic Company.

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