Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Spring/Summer 2012

Election Day.  The day that we exercise our right to vote—to voice our beliefs, to choose our representatives, and to influence the future course of our nation.  This fundamental and solemn right brings with it the equally fundamental and solemn duty to prepare ourselves for the task.  This is a responsibility that cannot be met with 5-second sound bites and campaign ads.  This is a responsibility that requires us to make our best effort to understand the issues at stake and how they apply to our civic, moral, ethical, and religious obligations.

To that end, the Seasons of Reading book program at St. Patrick’s Book & Gift is recommending two different books for a combined Special Spring/Summer Election Year Season.

Our first book recommendation is Render Unto Caesar: Serving the Nation by Living Our Catholic Beliefs in Political Life by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput from the Diocese of Philadelphia, PA.  Archbishop Chaput is a staunch defender of religious freedom who proposes that people of faith not only have the right, but, in fact, have an obligation to influence and shape public policy.  Of course, Archbishop Chaput does not advocate a theocracy.  He does, however, encourage people of faith to stand up and be heard and to resist the pressure we often face to keep our beliefs out of the public forum.  The foundation of his approach is that “Christian faith is always personal but never private.”  We would all do well to remember that it’s not by accident that the very First Amendment of our Constitution forbids the passage of any law which would prohibit the free exercise of religion.

Our second book recommendation is Theology of the Body for Beginners: A Basic Introduction to Pope John Paul II’s Sexual Revolution by Christopher West.  Voters in several states, including Minnesota, will be casting ballots regarding how a state defines marriage.  Since the tradition of marriage and family life is the very backbone of society, we must thoughtfully consider all of the ramifications of re-defining this fundamental and basic unit of human existence.  Unfortunately, within the realm of public debate, Church teaching regarding the issues of life, family, and sexuality is rarely articulated in a fair or accurate way.  Sadly, even many Catholics are ill equipped to express the reasons why the Church so adamantly defends the sanctity of traditional marriage.

From 1979-1984, Blessed Pope John Paul II gave 129 talks at his Wednesday General Audiences presenting his Theology of the Body.  Theology of the Body for Beginners is just that—an entry level introduction to this incredible catechesis regarding the human body, marriage, sexuality and how our bodies reveal the love of God and His plan for our salvation.

During our special Spring/Summer Election Year promotion, you may purchase both of these titles at St. Patrick's Book & Gift at 20% off the regular retail price.  We hope that you'll take advantage of this special offer as you prepare to go to the polls this November and cast your ballot. 

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