Meat & Potatoes Catholicism

Author(s): 
Rev. Joseph F. Classen
Copyright: 
2008
Publisher: 
Our Sunday Visitor
Binding: 
Sewn Softcover
Number of pages: 
238 pages
Grade / Age level: 
Resource Type: 
Review: 

Are you malnourished? Many Catholics feel that they don’t know the faith, they are spiritually malnourished. To satisfy your hunger for the faith, Fr. Classen wants to feed you the fundamentals of your faith in Meat & Potatoes Catholicism.

Determined to write a book that makes sense to those who sit in the pews, Fr. Classen has set out to educate you in the essentials of the faith. As he says, “We need to nourish ourselves and feed voraciously on the basic fundamentals of our Catholic faith and redefine the way we live our lives.”

Broken down into nine chapters, he addresses the real questions of our faith. In chapter one, he tackles the question of why people quit the Church and why they should stay. Chapter two deals with how God leaves signs in our lives. One of the most important ways is through his sacraments. The subsequent chapters in the book each cover a sacrament.

What makes this book different is his friendly conversational style and his real life examples. Given a choice between reading a catechism, which can be dry at times, or sitting down with someone and discussing the faith, most people will take the latter. That is what he offers the reader, a friendly conversation about the faith, with real life examples.

Imitating Christ’s example of drawing on real life analogies, he uses vivid examples to answer the usual questions about our faith. “What is the Church?,” “Why can’t I just confess my sins directly to God?” He doesn’t shy away from the tough questions like, “What’s wrong with a homosexual marriage?”

Each chapter follows a similar format. He introduces the chapter with an interesting story, explains the important information about the topic and follows up by answering the typical questions people have about that subject, all in a lively conversational tone. Woven throughout are quotes from both scripture and the CCC to help define the topic at hand.

The highlights of the book include his clever analogies and interesting stories. My favorite analogy is his comparison of a priest during confession to a spiritual garbage man. His vocation story is particularly inspiring. It demonstrates how the example of others can dramatically influence our own personal decisions.

If you know someone who has questions about the faith or could use a refresher course in the sacraments, Meat & Potatoes Catholicism sets out the truth in a friendly readable manner. Entertaining and informative, Meat & Potatoes Catholicism may be just what they are looking for.

Perspective: 
Catholic
Additional notes: 

Ordained in 2003, this is Fr. Classen's second book published by Our Sunday Visitor.

Review Date: 
1-10-2009
Reviewed by: