Book News

When I picked up this hefty tome, a compendium of snippets from Franciscan Father Richard Rohr’s many writings (some of it previously unpublished), I expected a series of reflections in familiar groupings: personal faith, compassion, social justice, the natural world, grief — the standard mix that is often a blessing to preachers or educators who need a little help getting started on a selected topic or biblical passage.

Delving into Catholic moral reasoning


The Ethical Being: A Catholic Guide to Contemporary Issues by Scott Kline (Novalis, 264 pages, softcover, $19.95)

It is not inevitable that a Catholic book about ethics must become a Catholic book about sex. Despite the popular notion that morality is the conservative, judgmental and unkind mode of talking about sex, Catholic moral science is not primarily a list of forbidden thoughts and acts which originate south of the belt buckle.

Examining the ‘powerful murder weapon’ of religion


The coastal town of Shediac, N.B., is the lobster capital of the world. Two centuries ago, it was the site of one of the most gruesome murders in Canadian history.

‘Theology of dirt’ can stem ecological devastation


Sacred Acts: How ChurchesAre Working to Protect Earth’sClimate, edited by Mallory McDuff(New Society Publishers, 288pages, softcover, $17.95).

The environmental movement has much to learn from religion


TORONTO - Curbing the effects of climate change and curing the environment will take religiously minded imagination, said author and professor Stephen Scharper.

We cannot serve both God and wealth


Editor’s note: Cornerstones of Faith: Reconciliation, Eucharist and Stewardship, by Cardinal Thomas Collins, was recently published by Novalis. What follows is an excerpt from the book.

Works of mercy rooted in human dignity


The Work of Mercy: Being the Hands and Heart of Christ by Mark P. Shea (Servant Books, an imprint of St. Anthony Messenger Press, 144 pages, $14.99).

American Catholic author Mark P. Shea delves into the topic of spiritual and corporal works of mercy without presenting new theology. Instead, his book offers a modern, and refreshing, update.

Along the way to where we should be


Most people are still seeking their life’s purpose, Fr. Frank Freitas believes.

Debunking the myths of the Council of Trent


In time for the 450th anniversary of the closing of the Council of Trent, eminent Jesuit historian Fr. John W. O’Malley has written this concise and readable account of the council that determined the features of modern Roman Catholicism.

The journey into medical purgatory


Imagine crawling to the bathroom 15 times a day with painful rectal cramping, bloody diarrhea and in searing pain from swollen joints. Then, when you make it to the hospital’s emergency room, you’re finally rolled into, wait for it… a psychiatric ward storage room.