Rerum Novarum

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Letters to a Young Catholic
The author, George Weigel, is one of the leading authorities on the Catholic Church and perhaps best known for his biography on the late John Paul II, Witness to Hope (Michael Daniel. Paragraph 1). Letters to a Young Catholic (written by George Weigel) explores some of the key aspects of the Catholic faith. George begins his collection of essays by describing his childhood in a Catholic neighborhood in Baltimore during the 1950’s and 1960’s. He describes how Catholics had their own distinctive customs and religious practices that enabled them to observe a different view on life. This outlook is described by George as a Catholic “habit of being”. This Catholic habit of living is then depicted, which illustrates the world as an arena where the drama of creation, sin and redemption and sanctification is invariably construed. This moral sense leads him to another preposition, “there is nothing harder or less sentimental than Christian realism” (Weigel 12) His second letter explores the scavi, or excavations under St. Peter’s Basilica, where the first Roman pontiff’s remains were discovered in the 1940’s. Peter’s tomb manifests the “grittiness of Catholicism”: the real, discernible truth of God’s revelation to mankind. Peter, a normal, flawed person, was chosen to be the foundation on which Christ built his church because Peter was seized by love for Jesus and had perpetual faith in him. Subsequently, George goes fourth on a journey to the Holy Land, beginning at Mount Sinai, where God had declared his law to Moses. As of today, St. Catherine’s Monastery stands on the site and houses a famous icon called Christos Pantokrator, or Christ the All-Sovereign (The icon is meant to make Christ present to those who encounter it; indeed, both the humanity and divinity of Jesus shine forth through the icon). He then proceeds to elucidate the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, where Jesus’ body was anointed after the Crucifixion. It is here...
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