– Léon Bloy
The ever-popular and prolific Peter Kreeft says that the most important question he has written about is how one becomes holy; or to put it another way, how one becomes a saint. This question is central to all the great religions, Kreeft demonstrates, for striving toward holiness, moving toward perfect love, is the whole purpose of life.
Kreeft admits that he is only a beginner on the climb to holiness, and it is to novices like him that he has written this engaging and encouraging book. Using the insights and experiences of saints and great spiritual writers throughout history, Kreeft shows what holiness is and how it can be achieved. He especially draws upon the spiritual classic Abandonment to Divine Providence by Jean-Pierre de Caussade, S.J. The core of Caussade's timeless gem is that God reveals himself to all of us through the daily events of our lives. The surest way toward spiritual growth, therefore, is by perceiving and accepting the merciful will of God in every situation.
Kreeft stresses the simplicity of his approach to holiness, which focuses mainly on the virtue of love. Sanctity is love, he asserts, and only that can give us what we all long for—deep and lasting joy.
Since the Catechism of the Catholic Church was written for the express purpose of grounding and fostering catechisms based on it for local needs and ordinary readers, Kreeft does just that, offering a thorough summary of Catholic doctrine, morality, and worship in a popular format with less technical language. He presents a systematic, organic synthesis of the essential and fundamental Catholic teachings in the light of the Second Vatican Council and the whole of the Church's Tradition.
This book is the most thorough, complete and popular catechetical summary of Catholic belief in print that is based on the universal Catechism.
The style of this book is modeled on Pascal, Solomon, and Jesus: short answers and single points to ponder rather than long strings of argument. The writing is direct, simple, and confrontational, but vertically rather than horizontally by "directing arrows not against each other (Protestant or Catholic) but against our own hearts and minds and wills."
The purpose of this book, writes Kreeft, is to be "like an Australian sheepdog, herding and hectoring Christ's separated sheep back to His face. For that is the only way they can ever return back to each other."
Kreeft also provides practical guidance for praying the scriptures every day, allowing the reader to delve into the messages of scripture in a manner that will surprise, delight, and reward.
Like every religion, this faith has three aspects, corresponding to the three parts of the soul and filling the innate needs of all three parts. Kreeft uses these three divisions as the basic outline for his Christian apologetics. First, every religion has some beliefs, whether expressed in creeds or not, something for the intellect to know. Second, every religion has some duty or deed, some practice of program, some moral or ethical code, something for the will to choose. Finally, every religion has some liturgy, some worship, some "church", something for the body and the concrete imagination and the aesthetic sense to work at. Creed, Code and Cult; Words, Works and Worship, are a most useful way of outlining any religious faith, including the Catholic Faith of Christians.
Posing the hard questions about love that rankle the heart, Peter Kreeft never settles for easy answers. He exposes today's superficial attitudes about love to lead people to a deeper understanding of what it means to be loved by God, addressing these issues and many more:How can I really know God's love for me?
If God is love, why do bad things happen to good people?