In a move that’s rare of late, I’m posting a review right after I finished a book. That is, in part, because I think this book is one that everyone I know should read. Yes, that means YOU. ESPECIALLY if you have an interest in your Catholic faith.

As I read and delighted in Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith, by Fr. Robert Barron, I tried to give it a nifty one-line description. (It’s a little marketing challenge I play when my brain is awake.) I came up with a few:

  • A Catholic text for the rest of us
  • Theology as faith study, punctuated with pictures
  • Delightfully Catholic, universally faithful
  • If Catholic = universal, then this book = wonderful
  • More than just another reference, here’s a book to read with your heart

It has ten chapters, and it clocks in at 279 pages. It spans the faith from the history to theology to philosophy to application. I was, above all, fascinated.

I’ve read a few popular Catholic theology books, but very few of them can stay long on my office “must reference” shelf.

When I raved about it to my pastor (I stopped just shy of suggesting that we use this, along with the Youcat, with the next class of Confirmation students), I compared Barron’s work to Scott Hahn. Another parishioner had emailed him already about Father Barron’s Catholicism project (which will be airing on one of our local channels!), so he recognized Barron’s name.

I am, admittedly, pretty excited about my faith. After reading Father Barron’s book, though, I find myself renewed and reenergized. Throughout the entire book, I was turning the page, wondering what was next.

When’s the last time a theology book kept me turning the page like a novel would? Honestly, I don’t remember. I’ve read some great books this year, but this one is up there with the best (if it’s not the best) that I’ve read.

Barron’s treatment of the faith is at once tender, factual, and intriguing. He presents it almost scientifically, but in a way that bespeaks a deep love. It reminds me of the way I hope I would speak about my husband, and that warms my heart.

Bottom line: read this book. Then buy a copy for your parish library, because without a doubt, someone else needs to read it too!