About a week ago, I was surfing through my plethora of emails and social media sites when I came across a posting which intrigued me. Being Catholic, and having a dickens of time getting my novel reviewed by all those famous fellow Catholics who review books (and you know who you are), I felt an instant kinship with this struggling author. The fact that he was writing about his conversion to Catholicism, and that he wanted to help those traversing the thorny trail toward entering the Church, was more than inviting, it was a put-up or shut-up moment for me. I agreed to do it.
One of the best parts of his premise, was that he wanted to explain why all those crazy Catholics do this and that, and why they believe that weird idea, in a simple this is what I found, straight from the heart way. He made my heart flutter with recognition. Almost thirty years ago, my husband and I, including our children, took the same path. I had stumbled across another fellow convert. Not just one of those who converts because they are marrying someone who is Catholic, but a knocked-down, crazy-in-love, finally-feeling-at-home, honest-to-God, fresh Catholic.
He sent me a copy for review: Waking Up Catholic: A Guide to Catholic Beliefs for Converts, Reverts, and Anyone Becoming Catholic by, Chad R. Torgerson. It's a quick read. Although, I would want more scriptural references and a deeper discussion about the continuity of Judaism into the Catholic Church, because, oftentimes, that's why the Church does this or that, this book definitely has its place. It works because it's from the heart. He speaks throughout the book about his conversion process, and the influence his brother-in-law had on him in those first tentative steps on his journey into the Church, without sounding preachy. He avoids that tone and exercises his frustration even with fellow Catholics, primarily because they don't participate as thoroughly as they should. I'm definitely with him there. He has all the ear-marks of a convert, though. He's sold-out. He sees the beauty when many Catholics sit and yawn. His eyes are open to the incomparable teachings, while many of his fellow pew-sitters snore through the Mass.
I believe this should be a book to give to an Evangelical. They should specifically read the chapter about the Trinity. It's true that Evangelicals can personalize their relationship with Jesus, but they can't tell you Who God is without spouting some Jehovah this or that, or How God can be Three Persons in One. He uses the classic Saint Patrick shamrock that has worked for hundreds of years because it's simple and true.
I recommend this book, not because it's well-written or because it's theologically accurate, or went through a perfect editing process, but because it came from his heart. I don't care about the English or the style, or the redundancy, because he wrote it in the belief he could reach someone, just as his brother-in-law reached him. For that, I applaud you Chad. I know there are a lot of people out there who will get what they need from this. And for all you nominal Catholics, WAKE UP!
You can purchase this book at: http://www.wakingupcatholic.com/book


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