Abp. Chaput and Christian Life in the 21st Century

After a few months off, it’s time to update the Guild website and give some details about upcoming events.  We are looking forward to an excellent set of speakers this fall, with two bishops speaking to us, and a discussion/debate (something new!) on Martin Luther.  Details for the bishops’ talks are available already, and we’ll have information about September’s event up in the next few days.

Over the summer months I’ve been reading a number of recent books that detail the crisis of Christendom, specifically in its social and political aspects.  Books such as Rod Dreher’s Benedict Option, Anthony Esolen’s Out of the Ashes, and Ryszard Legutko’s (Polish philosopher) The Demon in Democracy are all excellent books on the topic, and for those interested in some reading, are highly recommended.

One other book though, just finished today, is the one I’d like to highlight.  It is by Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia – Strangers in a Strange Land: Living the Catholic Faith in a Post-Christian World.  This book, by a solid Catholic leader and shepherd, is definitely recommended to all Guild members.  Although it focuses on the American experience (especially in the first half), its critique, recommendations and wisdom have much to offer all Catholic men who are trying to navigate the confused and confusing swamps of post-modern Canadian society as faithful Christians.

To give you a taste of the content, Archbishop Chaput recently gave an address at the Napa Institute that briefly summarizes many of the key ideas in the book.  Please read the talk here.  If you decide to explore further, the book is readily available at various Internet bookstores.

As Christian men, called to serve Our Lord in the world, it is essential that we are continually forming ourselves in such a way that we can do battle using the weapons of prayer, truth and charity.  To this end, we must read good Catholic books.  As the Archbishop says:  We need to pray.  And we need to read – above all the Word of God, but also history and biographies and great novels.  If we don’t read, we condemn ourselves to chronic stupidity and a conditioning by mass media that have no sympathy for the things we believe.