Building The Benedict Option


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Building the Benedict Option is a combination spiritual memoir and practical handbook for Christians who want to build communities of prayer, socialization, and evangelization in the places where they live and work. Beginning when the author was a new convert, she desired more communal prayer and fellowship than weekly Mass could provide. She surveyed her friends--busy, young, urban professionals like herself--and created unique enriching or supportive experiences that matched their desires and schedules. The result was a less lonely and more boisterous spiritual and social life. No Catholic Martha Stewart, Libresco is frank about how she plans events that allow her to feed thirty people on a Friday night without feeling exhausted. She is honest about the obstacles to prayer and the challenge to make it inviting and unobtrusive. Above all, she communicates the joy she has experienced since discovering ways to open her home (even when it was only a small studio apartment). The reader will close this book with four or five ideas for events to try over the next few weeks, along with the tools to make them fruitful. From film nights to picnics in the park to resume-writing evenings, there are plenty of ideas to choose from and loads of encouragement to make more room in one's life for others.

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Author by Leah Libresco
Genre eBook Religion
Read Book 163
ISBN Number 9781621642176

The Benedict Option


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A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER "Already the most discussed and most important religious book of the decade." —David Brooks In this controversial bestseller, Rod Dreher calls on American Christians to prepare for the coming Dark Age by embracing an ancient Christian way of life. From the inside, American churches have been hollowed out by the departure of young people and by an insipid pseudo–Christianity. From the outside, they are beset by challenges to religious liberty in a rapidly secularizing culture. Keeping Hillary Clinton out of the White House may have bought a brief reprieve from the state’s assault, but it will not stop the West’s slide into decadence and dissolution. Rod Dreher argues that the way forward is actu­ally the way back—all the way to St. Benedict of Nur­sia. This sixth-century monk, horrified by the moral chaos following Rome’s fall, retreated to the forest and created a new way of life for Christians. He built enduring communities based on principles of order, hospitality, stability, and prayer. His spiritual centers of hope were strongholds of light throughout the Dark Ages, and saved not just Christianity but Western civilization. Today, a new form of barbarism reigns. Many believers are blind to it, and their churches are too weak to resist. Politics offers little help in this spiritual crisis. What is needed is the Benedict Option, a strategy that draws on the authority of Scripture and the wisdom of the ancient church. The goal: to embrace exile from mainstream culture and construct a resilient counterculture. The Benedict Option is both manifesto and rallying cry for Christians who, if they are not to be conquered, must learn how to fight on culture war battlefields like none the West has seen for fifteen hundred years. It's for all mere Chris­tians—Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox—who can read the signs of the times. Neither false optimism nor fatalistic despair will do. Only faith, hope, and love, embodied in a renewed church, can sustain believers in the dark age that has overtaken us. These are the days for building strong arks for the long journey across a sea of night.

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Author by Rod Dreher
Genre eBook Religion
Read Book 272
ISBN Number 9780735213319

Arriving At Amen


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In 2012, media outlets from CNN to EWTN announced that Leah Libresco, a gifted young intellectual, columnist, and prolific blogger on the Atheist channel on Patheos, was converting to Catholicism. In Arriving at Amen, Libresco uses the rigorous rationality that defined her Atheism to tell the story behind that very personal journey and to describe the seven forms of Catholic prayer that guided her to embrace a joyful life of faith. As a Yale graduate, Libresco launched her writing career by blogging about science, literature, mathematics, and morality from a distinctively secular perspective. Over time, encounters with friends and associates caused her to concede the reasonableness of belief in God in theory, though not yet in practice. In Arriving at Amen, Libresco uniquely describes the second part of her spiritual journey, in which she encountered God through seven classic Catholic forms of prayer—Liturgy of the Hours, lectio divina, examen, intercessory prayer, the Rosary, confession, and the Mass. Examining each practice through the intellectual lens of literature, math, and art, Libresco reveals unexpected glimpses of beauty and truth in the Catholic Church that will be appreciated by the curious and convinced alike.

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Author by Leah Libresco
Genre eBook Religion
Read Book 192
ISBN Number 9781594715884

Called To Community


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Why, in age of connectivity, are our lives more isolated and fragmented than ever? And what can be done about it? The answer lies in the hands of God's people. Increasingly, today's Christians want to be the church, to follow Christ together in daily life. From every corner of society, they are daring to step away from the status quo and respond to Christ's call to share their lives more fully with one another and with others. As they take the plunge, they are discovering the rich, meaningful life that Jesus has in mind for all people, and pointing the church back to its original calling: to be a gathered, united community that demonstrates the transforming love of God. Of course, such a life together with others isn't easy. The selections in this volume are, by and large, written by practitioners--people who have pioneered life in intentional community and have discovered in the nitty-gritty of daily life what it takes to establish, nurture, and sustain a Christian community over the long haul. Whether you have just begun thinking about communal living, are already embarking on sharing life with others, or have been part of a community for many years, the pieces in this collection will encourage, challenge, and strengthen you. The book's fifty-two chapters can be read one a week to ignite meaningful group discussion.

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Author by Eberhard Arnold
Genre eBook
Read Book
ISBN Number 0874867436

The Little Way Of Ruthie Leming


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THE LITTLE WAY OF RUTHIE LEMING follows Rod Dreher, a Philadelphia journalist, back to his hometown of St. Francisville, Louisiana (pop. 1,700) in the wake of his younger sister Ruthie's death. When she was diagnosed at age 40 with a virulent form of cancer in 2010, Dreher was moved by the way the community he had left behind rallied around his dying sister, a schoolteacher. He was also struck by the grace and courage with which his sister dealt with the disease that eventually took her life. In Louisiana for Ruthie's funeral in the fall of 2011, Dreher began to wonder whether the ordinary life Ruthie led in their country town was in fact a path of hidden grandeur, even spiritual greatness, concealed within the modest life of a mother and teacher. In order to explore this revelation, Dreher and his wife decided to leave Philadelphia, move home to help with family responsibilities and have their three children grow up amidst the rituals that had defined his family for five generations-Mardi Gras, L.S.U. football games, and deer hunting. As David Brooks poignantly described Dreher's journey homeward in a recent New York Times column, Dreher and his wife Julie "decided to accept the limitations of small-town life in exchange for the privilege of being part of a community."

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Author by Rod Dreher
Genre eBook Biography & Autobiography
Read Book 288
ISBN Number 9781455521906

Out Of The Ashes


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"Out of the Ashes is a full-throated, stout-hearted call to arms—soul-stirring,uncompromising, and irresistible." —ROD DREHER, author of The Benedict Option "Out of the Ashes is an astonishing combination of energy, humor, insight, and exceptional erudition, topped off by a vivid personal style and a special gift for tweaking the nose of secularist nonsense-peddlers. If you’re looking for a guide to our current cultural predicament (and how to fix it), one that’s sobering and invigorating at the same time, start with this book." —CHARLES J. CHAPUT, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Philadelphia "Anthony Esolen is one of our nation’s best writers because he’s one of our best thinkers. Out of the Ashes is vintage Esolen: eloquent, bold, insightful, profound." — RYAN T. ANDERSON, Ph.D., Senior Research Fellow, The Heritage Foundation, and author of Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and ReligiousFreedom What do you do when an entire civilization is crumbling around you? You do everything. This is a book about how to get started. The Left’s culture war threatens America’s foundation and its very civilization, warns Esolen in his brand new book, Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture. They will tell you that babies in the womb are fetuses, that gender is a social construct, and that the backbone of society is government not the community. In Out of the Ashes, Esolen outlines his surprisingly simple plan to take back American culture— start at home. Esolen urges us to demand a return to values in our homes, our schools, our churches, and our communities, and to reject political correctness. “We must become tellers of truth again—and people who are willing to hear truths, especially when it hurts to hear them.”

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Author by Anthony Esolen
Genre eBook Social Science
Read Book 256
ISBN Number 9781621575696

In Search Of The Common Good


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Common life in our society is in decline—our communities are disintegrating, our public discourse is hateful, and economic inequalities are widening. In this book, Jake Meador reclaims a vision of common life for our fractured times: a vision that doesn't depend on the destinies of our economies or our political institutions, but on our citizenship in a heavenly city. Only through that vision can we truly work together for the common good.

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Author by Jake Meador
Genre eBook Religion
Read Book 208
ISBN Number 9780830873784

One Beautiful Dream


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Pursue your passions, love your family, and say goodbye to guilt—pipe dream or possibility? Work and family, individuality and motherhood, the creative life and family life—women are told constantly that they can’t have it all. One Beautiful Dream is the deeply personal, often humorous tale of what happened when one woman dared to believe that you can have it all—if you’re willing to reimagine what having it all looks like. Jennifer Fulwiler is the last person you might expect to be the mother of six young children. First of all, she’s an introvert only child, self-described workaholic, and former atheist who never intended to have a family. Oh, and Jennifer has a blood-clotting disorder exacerbated by pregnancy that has threatened her life on more than one occasion. One Beautiful Dream is the story of what happens when one woman embarks on the wild experiment of chasing her dreams with multiple kids in diapers. It’s the tale of learning that opening your life to others means that everything will get noisy and chaotic, but that it is in this mess that you’ll find real joy. Jennifer’s quest takes her in search of wisdom from a cast of colorful characters, including her Ivy-League-educated husband, her Texan mother-in-law who crushes wasps with her fist while arguing with wrong number calls about politics, and a best friend who’s never afraid to tell it like it is. Through it all, Jennifer moves toward the realization that the life you need is not the life you would have originally chosen for yourself. And maybe, just maybe, it’s better that way. Hilarious, highly relatable, and brutally honest, Jennifer’s story will spark clarity and comfort to your own tug-of-war between all that is good and beautiful about family life and the incredible sacrifice it entails. Parenthood, personal ambitions, family planning, and faith—it’s complicated. Let this book be your invitation to the unexpected, yet beautiful dream of saying yes to them all, with God’s help.

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Author by Jennifer Fulwiler
Genre eBook Religion
Read Book 240
ISBN Number 9780310349754

The Idol Of Our Age


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This book is a learned essay at the intersection of politics, philosophy, and religion. It is first and foremost a diagnosis and critique of the secular religion of our time, humanitarianism, or the “religion of humanity.” It argues that the humanitarian impulse to regard modern man as the measure of all things has begun to corrupt Christianity itself, reducing it to an inordinate concern for “social justice,” radical political change, and an increasingly fanatical egalitarianism. Christianity thus loses its transcendental reference points at the same time that it undermines balanced political judgment. Humanitarians, secular or religious, confuse peace with pacifism, equitable social arrangements with socialism, and moral judgment with utopianism and sentimentality. With a foreword by the distinguished political philosopher Pierre Manent, Mahoney’s book follows Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in affirming that Christianity is in no way reducible to a “humanitarian moral message.” In a pungent if respectful analysis, it demonstrates that Pope Francis has increasingly confused the Gospel with left-wing humanitarianism and egalitarianism that owes little to classical or Christian wisdom. It takes its bearings from a series of thinkers (Orestes Brownson, Aurel Kolnai, Vladimir Soloviev, and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn) who have been instructive critics of the “religion of humanity.” These thinkers were men of peace who rejected ideological pacifism and never confused Christianity with unthinking sentimentality. The book ends by affirming the power of reason, informed by revealed faith, to provide a humanizing alternative to utopian illusions and nihilistic despair.

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Author by Daniel J. Mahoney
Genre eBook Religion
Read Book 186
ISBN Number 9781641770934

The Seven Big Myths About The Catholic Church


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The Roman Catholic Church has long been the target of suspicion and hostility. But how much of this is based on ignorance and prejudice and how much is the fruit of thoughtful consideration of the facts? This book separates fact from fiction. Without excusing or justifying wrongdoing, author Christopher Kaczor clarifies official Catholic teaching and demonstrates that much popular opinion about Catholicism is based on misunderstanding and misinformation. He also provides robust and lucid arguments for Catholic belief and practice. No one book can answer everyone's questions or objections about Catholicism, but this work examines seven of the most controversial and most common myths about the Catholic Church. The Seven Myths: The Church Opposes Science: The Myth of Catholic Irrationality The Church Opposes Freedom and Happiness: The Myth of Catholic Indifference to Earthly Welfare The Church Hates Women: The Myth of Catholic Misogyny Indifferent to Love, the Church Banned Contraception: The Myth of Opposition between Love and Procreation The Church Hates Gays: The Myth of Catholic "Homophobia" The Church Opposes Same-Sex Marriage Because of Bigotry: The Myth That There Is No Rational Basis for Limiting Marriage to One Man and One Woman Priestly Celibacy Caused the Crisis of Sexual Abuse of Minors: The Myth of Priestly Pedophilia

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Author by Christopher Kaczor
Genre eBook Religion
Read Book 164
ISBN Number 9781681495545