A wonderful book filled with reflections and stories that reveal the mysteries of Catholicism.
Catholicism, by Father Robert Barron, was written as a companion to a study program that is based the DVD series by the same title. Even so, it stands on its own quite well.
While seasoned Catholics already know most of the stories and the basic information in the 279 page hardcover volume, the delivery of the message is new, and as with any subject - reviewing the basic facts repeatedly helps with mastery. I am also a firm believer in taking advantage of a great teacher when the opportunity arises.
One of Father Barron's greatest gifts is his ability to tell a story. His words and reflections make the characters real to me, and I can imagine myself as a part of the scene. I especially appreciate his insertions about history and culture. What were once small details are now illuminating shining greater meaning and understanding onto each parable or action. He also refers back to the works of many celebrated Catholic scholars and breaks their teachings down into easily understandable pieces.
The text is solidly Catholic, and a fine addition to any Catholic library. Each chapter is sprinkled with photos of the faithful, our saints, teachers and most often, the beautiful artwork that creates such a breathtaking backdrop to the DVDS. To keep it affordable, most are in black and white, but there is a beautiful color insert in the center with some of the more stunning pieces like The Last Judgment, La Pieta, and a view from inside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher Chapel of Calvary.
After a brief introduction, the book begins with Jesus, God in the form of man walking among us. This is the perfect lead into discussion of his teachings, His mother, His friends, then His ultimate suffering and sacrifice. Chapters about the sacraments, saints, the Holy Spirit, and prayer then lead the reader to the final pages about Heaven. A few pages of an A Coda complete the volume.
I would recommend this book to both Catholics, and those who have questions about Catholicism.