Friday, August 7, 2009

Book Review: Meat and Potatoes Catholicism

Mmm...the title of this book kind of makes you hungry, doesn't it? Burgers and Fries, filet mignon and a delicious baked potato, meatloaf and mashed potatoes...and the list goes on. Who, besides vegetarians, doesn't like a nice dish of meat and potatoes? Gosh, I'm making myself hungry now (probably because it's lunch time). Since I've probably never mentioned it here, I LOVE potatoes. I think it's the Irish in me. Anyway, I've scarcely gotten into this review and already I digress.

Let's stop thinking about food for a few minutes now that I've probably made you hungry. Fr. Joseph Classen's Meat and Potatoes Catholicism is aptly named. In this book he addresses the all too common issue of the Catholic who doesn't know his or her faith and is essentially spiritually starved or "malnourished" as a result. His book is a good healthy serving of solid Catholic catechesis. In the introduction of this book, Father Classen gives us some background information on himself and how he struggled early on in his Theological education as he tried to wade through writing that is often difficult to understand. He goes on to address the epidemic of poor catechesis (I can personally attest to this for both myself as someone who went through RCIA and my husband who went to both Catholic school and CCD.). This segues us into the first chapter of the book that address the litany of reasons why many Catholics "quit" the church and why they should stay. (Sorry, but I couldn't help but think about the episode of Friends where Chandler wants to quit the gym. I can't be the only one with a mind that wanders all over the place finding pop culture references.) This is then followed by chapters that discuss signs from God, and each of the seven sacraments.

So now you're probably wondering if this is a dreadfully boring book that is written in such a way that you need a course in theology, Latin and pre-law to wade through, right? (Catechism of the Catholic Church, anyone?*) Fortunately, Fr. Classen has been there and knows how often books on this subject can make your head spin and so he has written this book in a way that anyone can easily understand. I think what I liked best about this book was how well he blended humor and anecdotal stories with solid Catholic teachings. I found myself laughing out loud on many occasions as I read this book. I think what is great about this book is you can read it and walk away having a very good understanding about each and every concept presented. Fr. Classen writes to the average lay person. I think his overall approach is great. It should be required reading for every Catholic who hasn't got a clue what the basics of our faith entail. If nothing else, you'll walk away with a more properly formed conscience after reading this book. I'm already looking forward to the extra helpings of Meat and Potatoes Catholicism that are on the way.

This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Meat and Potatoes Catholicism.

As a member of The Catholic Company's book reviewer program I was given a copy of Meat and Potatoes Catholicism in exchange for my honest review of this book.

*For clarity's sake, I'm not saying that the Catechism is dreadfully boring (it's not), but it isn't an easy read and it does require a certain amount of concentration to fully (or partially) absorb the message. It's a book that I prefer to attack in bits and pieces.


  1. This is great, and I hear you on the last part....GOOD job!!

  2. I just started reading this book, I can barely put it down! :D


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...