Catholic Trials and Joys: Essays Collected Since 2019

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By Dr. Jeff Mirus ( bio – articles – email ) | January 14, 2022

I recently reviewed all the essays I have written since March 2019, which is the last time I collected my writings on CatholicCulture.org into eBooks. The only exception was the combined COVID essays written by Phil Lawler and myself, which we jointly published last November. I have therefore now generated all the rest of the material in ebook form, available for free download by clicking on the cover images, or by following the link given for each ebook.

Most of the material from this period that remains relevant deals with issues in the Church today, how we all feel trapped in the current ecclesiastical and cultural situation, and observations that (I hopes) make it easier for all of us to live each day full of Christian hope. These accents are reflected in the titles of the three new e-books. The first, titled Ecclesiastical minefield: papacy, synodality, renewal, explores key issues in the Church today that rarely seem to live up to the promise of the ringing phrases used to describe them.

When we combine the challenges within the Church, the challenges to the Church raised by our dominant secular culture, and of course our own personal spiritual and moral challenges, it is all too common for Catholics today to to feel trapped – to feel, indeed, that there is no way out of the perpetual problems that plague the Body of Christ in this world.

The second series of essays tends above all to address this question, under the title of Feeling Trapped: Why Catholicism Must Be Countercultural. We cannot begin to look at the Church, the world and our own souls positively unless we recognize that Catholics, despite the enormous influence of the Church on Western civilization, have always been under great pressure to compromise their faith, no matter when or where. Our Lord promised, in effect, that in the world we would be in trouble (Jn 16:33).

Understanding that this kind of problem is an integral part of the Christian life is essential to temper our expectations, that is, to have truly Christian expectations. This, of course, means living lives which, to some degree, must be full of sacrificial love.

But it is precisely this understanding that sets us free. If we free ourselves from the idea that the Church and its members are meant to be victorious in this world, we more easily recognize two important truths. First, to the extent that Church leaders seem to be changing direction in order to seek worldly approval, they are on exactly the wrong track. And secondly, that insofar as we either do the same thing or allow ourselves to become frustrated and unhappy with our trials, we always try to escape the Christian life, instead of taking advantage of our friendship with God to live always in hope and joy.

The essays of the third collection, Breaking Free: Spiritual Recovery in Times of Hostility, underline the growing awakening of the life of Christ in us which gives us, as Saint Paul wrote, “the glorious freedom of the children of God”.

All our ebooks are freely downloadable in three forms: .mobi (for Amazon Kindle); .epub (for standard readers); and .pdf (for all computing devices). You must be registered and logged in. But just click on the images or links above to go to the right page for each ebook, and if you’re not already recognized as a subscriber, you’ll find links to take care of that.

Jeffrey Mirus holds a doctorate. in Intellectual History from Princeton University. Co-founder of Christendom College, he also pioneered Catholic Internet services. He is the founder of Trinity Communications and CatholicCulture.org. See full biography.

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