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Posted December 20, 2010

Book: Win it All: The Way to Heaven for Catholic Teens
Author: Justin Fatica
Ave Maria Press. Notre Dame, IN. 2010. Pp. 147

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

Known across the United States for his fierce, emotive, and attention-grabbing stage presence, Catholic evangelist Justin Fatica contradicts the barrage of ungodly messages about sex, drugs, violence, and hate that teenagers ingest every day through media and pop culture.

Through the witness of his own dramatic faith journey, the wisdom of scripture, and the time-tested teachings of the Catholic Church, Fatica calls teens to a higher standard with his eight steps toward God-centered living:

1. Recognize your importance

2. Discover God’s plan for your life

3. Make you mess your message

4. Keep your passion

5. Remain fearless

6. Commit to loving

7. Never give up

8. Live every day as if it were your last

An Excerpt from the Book:

Choose a side: a little more about passion!

The thing about passion is that you have to choose a side.

Don’t be all about Heaven if you are not ready to make sacrifices.

Don’t waffle from one side to the other.

Don’t go halfway. Give it all you’ve got.

Don’t forget the words from Revelation 3:16: “So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”

Are you in or out?

I am going to make a strange comparison here.

Do you know the rapper call 50 Cent? Do you know the holy nun named Mother Teresa?

They both have something in common. What?

“50 Cent” as a “metaphor for change.” As a young boy, after his mother died, he lived with his grandmother and openly sold drugs. When he was arrested going through a metal detector at school, he said he was “embarrassed that I got arrested like that.”

50 Cent has been shot. He has been sued (by his ex-girlfriend). He has written several controversial songs. He is rich.

It is not all good stuff about Curtis Jackson III, from his difficult childhood to some bad choices he has made as an adult. But another thing is true about him: he is what he is. He does not do anything halfway. While his passions have not always been directed to positive outcomes, at least he does have passion! I appreciated his passion so much that in 2004 I decided to ask more than five hundred young people to write letters to 50 Cent to encourage him to change. Did it happen? Who knows? Could it happen? Absolutely.

Pray for 50 Cent. He is a father. He also has passion about raising his son!

Mother Teresa was not a rapper! But what she has in common with 50 Cent is that she didn’t live here life halfway either. You might say that Mother Teresa, for the most part, lived out on the other edge of life from 50 Cent.

Her passion led to life-altering decisions.

On of the first of these was when she arrived in India in 1929. She took her final vows as a nun and began to teach in eastern Calcutta. She was distressed by the poverty she saw each day in the streets that encroached right up to the school. Mother Teresa prayed for these people until one day she heard God tell her to help them herself. She left her religious community in 1948 to form the Missionaries of Charity.

She explained, “god still loves the world, and he sends you and me to be his love and compassion to the poor.”

Make a choice. Which side will you be on? Pick one. Don’t play it down the middle. Give life everything you’ve got. Winning is all is about making the choices and living the life today that can guarantee you Heaven. 50 Cent or Mother Teresa? I am going with Mother Teresa! And I don’t want to be anywhere in between.