Thursday, February 23, 2012

Seek First the Kingdom a Book By Cardinal Donald Wuerl #Catholic @CatholicCompany

Seek First the Kingdom

 Seek First the Kingdom:  Challenging Our Culture by Living Our Faith
  •  Hard Bound Book
  • 192 Pages
  • Published December, 2011 by Our Sunday Visitor
  • Written by Cardinal Donald Wuerl
  • Suggested Retail Price, $19.95
  • Available through The Catholic Company
I just finished reading Seek First the Kingdom:  Challenging Our Culture by Living Our Faith.  Written by Cardinal Donald Wuerl, this book felt like just the right thing to be reading in the midst of the HHS mandate debate.  Page after page contained inspiration and assistance to be a better witness.

I love the title.  Seek First the Kingdom.  How often do we say it?

Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be Done, 
And His Kingdom Shall Have No End, 
Blessed Are the Poor, For the Kingdom Shall be Theirs,

The Kingdom is referred to so many times in the Bible, but very few of us can relate the concept of the Kingdom as something tangible.  His Eminence implores us to take the time to understand the Kingdom as more than a nebulous idea of clouds and archangels - the past few weeks are a perfect example of why.

How can we defend what we do not truly know?  How can we say that we covet something we do not understand?  If our lives do not reflect what we profess to believe, then we are easily pushed away from our goal.  Our tendency is to think of the Kingdom only as Heaven, but the book makes that case that the Kingdom is also the presence of God - and that we have the power to show glimpses of the glorious Kingdom to our fellow man every day.

Our greatest tests come when we are carrying on our daily lives.  It is much easier to keep our spiritual selves private and hidden.  We have been conditioned to save outward expressions for Mass, and other "safe" places.  The challenge comes when we leave the comfort of the pews, and go out into the world.  What do our actions say about us?  Do our words and our deeds match our hearts?

I recall the refrain of a hymn we sang when I was younger, "They will know we are Christians by our love."  That is certainly where it begins, isn't it?  Love the Lord With All Thy Heart, and Love One Another, as You are Loved .  From there, we can build.  If we attend Mass weekly and on Holy Days, receive Eucharist, and gladly partake in Reconciliation, it is a good start.  The more I understand and embrace the Sacraments, the more I want them, and the more my life reflects my Catholicism.

My CCD students will often ask me, "When will we stop coming to CCD?"  When I tell them that I am STILL learning, and always will be, they seem surprised, and perhaps a little bit disappointed.  I go on to assure them that it is not because I HAVE to, but because I WANT to, and that hopefully, they will WANT to as well.

I share this to let them know there is always more to learn.  Our education shouldn't end at Confirmation.  Cardinal Weurl's book is a wonderful resource for further knowledge.  It has just enough doctrine to promote understanding, mixed  with  friendly conversation to keep readers interested, and encouraged.

I think this a great addition to the library in any Catholic home or institution.  I will add that it could make especially good reading for any person who has been feeling convicted, but unable to explain or defend their Catholic position regarding current events, as well as any Prodigal Catholics who have been feeling a pull back to return to the Church.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl Cardinal Weurl is currently the Archbishop of the Washington, D.C. area.  He has written several books, articles and catechisms.  His book The Mass   was published last January, and The Gift of Blessed John Paul II was published in April.  This book was released in November.

From the publisher:
In this insightful and highly relevant book, Cardinal Donald Wuerl makes the case that Catholics do not have the option of absenting themselves from the world, taking refuge in a completely private spirituality. As citizens of two worlds, it is precisely within the context of our faith that we can play a decisive role in transforming American society while furthering the goals of the kingdom of God.

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 Seek First the Kingdom: Challenging the Culture. They are also a great source for baptism gifts or first communion gifts.  I was not paid to write this post and my opinions are genuine.