I got this book for free at one of our local parish, St. Bonaventure during the Feast of Mary, the Mother of God. To be honest, I never liked reading biographies, because they simply do not interest me. I would only read biographies when I am doing a paper on that specific individual (which by the way I just really skim through). As one of the parish volunteers handed me the Mother Teresa book, I knew it will either become part of my pile on “want-to-read-books-but-don’t-have-time” bookshelf or simply the “donate-pile” books. Don’t get me wrong, I admire Mother Teresa and the work she had done. I admire her life, her ministry and her charity… I just rather prefer not to read about them, and just watch documentaries instead.
My perception changed as soon as I started reading the book, her character, her humility, and her kindness intrigued me. Father Maasburg’s preface about her caught my attention and I started reading… reading until I did not realize I could not put the book down. Her character is amusing and very interesting to read. The things she says are so genuine that the people she encounters truly sees Jesus within her.
Matthew Kelly once said, “Immerse yourself in things that make you the best version of yourself.” I can truly say that this book left me being the best version of myself, because it taught me to love, to see, and to look at others like Jesus.
“Mother Teresa never made herself the center of attention. But when she was put in the spotlight by others–after she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979–that was practically a perpetual state. She used the opportunity to point attention away from herself and toward Christ. (p. x)”
I had always limited myself to books that are easy to understand, relatable, and those that are very engaging with lots of anecdotes. Ever since, I’ve read this book, I’ve become more and more interested in books that enhances my Catholic faith, because indeed I felt the Jesus Shock! This is indeed a very shocking book that makes you feel happy to be a Christian–to be a Catholic. Jesus is indeed a very shocking subject, and Peter Kreeft had done an amazing job portraying the Jesus Shock in his book. Jesus is not a self-proclaimed King. He is King because of who He is– because of what He had done and continues to do, whoever holds the the truth, holds Jesus. Peter Kreeft’s excitement about Jesus can be felt throughout the book and I do encourage everyone to read this very short book! It’s a must read!
One of my fave quotes from the book,
“Those who meet Jesus always experience either joy or its opposites, either foretastes of Heaven or foretastes of Hell. Not everyone who meets Jesus is pleased, and not everyone is happy, but everyone is shocked.”
I am the type of person that hates, loathes, despises anything violent. I avoid it. It is just plain disturbing for me when I see or hear someone in pain. As soon as I know something excruciatingly painful is about to happen or show up in movies, in the news, or on the internet; I run the other way and avoid the subject entirely. I once walked out of the movies because it was mentally challenging for me. I felt like I was getting sick. I practically self-diagnosed myself of algophobia (fear of pain) because it haunts me.
Last night, I decided to watch Mel Gibson’s The Passion of Christ movie. As I turned the lights off, I wondered why on earth I would watch a movie so physically and emotionally disturbing for me. I told myself that I owe it to Jesus to be with Him on His passion. By trying to bear the gut-wrenching moments of my self-diagnosed disorder, I forced myself to watch the movie without looking away, without avoiding the painful scenes, without holding anything back, and just to be in the moment. It was a whole new experience for me, because during the entire movie I was balling my eyes off. Every hit and miss, every blow, every slap and spit, every single one they threw at Jesus, my heart started hurting. I couldn’t take it… I kept saying, “Lord… please no, stop” literally. I feared that I must’ve woken someone up while watching, because I was literally wailing. I have never forced myself to watch something that disturbed me so emotionally and it was distressing. It hurts. My heart was in pain.
Imagine… Jesus who is without sin, died for me. Why me? You don’t just look at the cross and see Jesus, you look at the cross and see love. That is love, brothers and sisters, pure love. True love.
I challenge you to journey with Jesus today. Journey with Jesus everyday, and remember why He took on that cross for you. Do you feel it?
Crucem tuam adoramus Domine, resurrectionem tuam laudamus Domine. Laudamus et glorificamus.
1. The Bible
2. Rome Sweet Home – Scott and Kimberly Hahn
3. Ordinary Lives Extraordinary Mission – John R. Wood
4. Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic – Matthew Kelly
5. The Screwtape Letters – C.S. Lewis
My faith grew, and the passion I felt, after reading these books definitely changed my life’s perspective. Of course, there are tons of books out there that can be added to this list. I especially would like to commend authors such as Peter Kreeft, Curtis Martin, Allen Hunt, Fulton Sheen, Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI (Read their books y’all!) All these authors shaped me to become the better version of myself, inspired me to create this blog, motivated me to share my faith, influenced me to save souls, and to find my life’s purpose–to become a saint. We can’t be lukewarm Catholics anymore, if we are to do this, we are to do this right, and we have to start with ourselves. Saint Catherine of Siena once said, “If you are what you should be, you will set the whole world ablaze!”
“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” – Revelation 3:15-16
Written by Scott and Kimberly Hahn
This is a book written by a couple converting to Catholicism, sharing their difficulties and struggles into finding their way to the Catholic Church. It is written in first person point of view, alternating between the two couples in each of their own perspectives.
This is the first ever Catholic book I have read, given to me by St. Albert the Great Church last April of this year while I was fulfilling my Lenten obligations to attend daily mass for the 40 days of Lent. For the past years, I have given up material addictions, things, and favourite pastimes for Lent. I hoped that by attending daily mass, it would be more spiritual and more uplifting to experience this journey with the Lord. It was a fulfilling 40 day journey. Although I did not read this book until the month after Lent, this book definitely increased my love for my faith and the importance and purpose of being a Catholic.
As long as you’re open and willing, this book will definitely help you embrace the desire to share your faith of being a Catholic. The number of empty churches and parishes today are alarmingly increasing, and more and more young people are leaving the church. I hope this book will inspire more people to share the faith.
“It is the Church about which Christ spoke: “I will build my Church.” She is not your Church, nor she is mine; she is Christ’s. He is the builder; we are only the tools.” -Scott Hahn □