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Posted September 15, 2006

Book: My Struggle with Faith
Author: Joseph F. Girzone
Doubleday. New York. 2006. Pp. 237

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

Joseph Girzone has attracted a tremendous following with his series of novels that imagine Jesus living in the contemporary world. His nonfiction writings and talks on spirituality have affected audiences around the world. Girzone’s ability to capture the meaning of faith in simple, direct language is more apparent than ever in this moving book about his personal journey through a dark night of the soul.

In My Struggle with Faith, Girzone recounts the long, complicated, and often painful process he went through as he sought to find peace with his beliefs. He writes about hard decisions that set him on unexpected paths and about the immense feelings of loneliness he experienced in making those choices. In thoughtful and thought-provoking reflections he brings to life the years of searching and the deep, critical thinking that gave him the courage to embrace his beliefs, opening a world of excitement and adventure for him.

In writing about what his beliefs have meant to him and about the intimate relationship with God that has sustained and guided him, Girzone illuminates the universal human struggle to find meaning in life. My Struggle with Faith offers readers insights, inspiration, and encouragement to follow their beliefs and created a more meaningful spiritual life.

An Excerpt from the Book:

When do we speak out strongly against politicians’ assassination of opponents’ character, or cruelty and injustice in business relationships and destroying others in our attempt to get ahead in business, or the insidious ways the police try to entice panic-stricken suspects, sometimes innocent one, into saying something that could be used to indict them on a totally unrelated issues, or promising immunity or a lesser sentence to someone to lie about a person the police would like to indict? Such acts may not be entrapment, but they are nonetheless disgustingly immoral and vicious, yet so common. When do we speak out against the criminal assaults against nature that threaten the very health and vitality of our planet? When do we speak out against human sexual slavery so rampant today? When do we express our heartfelt concern for the geometric growth of the human population in undeveloped countries, when the capitalistic world has done woefully little to prevent the massive starvation and premature death of so many millions on earth today? Why do not churches speak out loudly to prick the conscience of the world about these frightening crises? I would love to see papal encyclicals discussing these issues and the multifarious ways charity is trampled on in society, rather than another encyclical on artificial birth control or priestly celibacy or statements opposing women priests or decrees limiting freedom of theological expression.

Table of Contents:

1. Is there a God?

2. Creation on the universe

3. Art reflecting the soul of the artists

4. Does God really care?

5. The Bible: history or myth?

6. Jesus, Emmanu-el

7. Organizing the kingdom

8. The raise of Lazarus

9. The resurrection of Jesus

10. The fifty days that followed

11. Life after Jesus left

12. Difficult choices

13. Journey along a new road

14. Unanswered questions

15. Constantine and Pope St. Gregory the Great

16. The mystery of the church

17. Christian marriage and the Eucharist

18. The church and scripture

19. The gates of hell shall not prevail

20. The church and democracy

21. Jesus: a problem for the churches?

22. Ecumenism

23. Confession: the sacrament of peace

24. Celibacy, mandatory or optional?

25. Death and dying

26. What is sin?

27. What is Christianity?

28. What is the great commandment?

29. Forgiveness