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A Manual of Theology for the Laity: Being a Brief, Clear, Systematic Exposition of the Reason and Authority of Religion and a Practical Guide Book for all of Good Will

A Manual of Theology for the Laity: Being a Brief, Clear, Systematic Exposition of the Reason and Authority of Religion and a Practical Guide Book for all of Good Will

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  • ISBN-13: 9781489591524
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Release Date: May 30, 2013
  • Pages: 416 pages
  • Dimensions: 0.94 x 9.00 x 6.00 inches


The progress of the Catholic Church in any country is attributable primarily to the indwelling Spirit which guides the Church,-next to the piety, zeal, and education of its priesthood, and lastly, though in no mean degree, to the devotion, activity, and education of the laity. When these three features combine, then is the Church writing the brightest pages of her history. The first of these conditions is with God. "The Spirit breatheth where He will," but the second and third under God's guidance are of our creation. Generally they go together, so that the saying "As are the people so is the priest," is true reversed, "As is the priest so are the people." It is therefore very meet and proper that a priest should write for the laity a "Manual of Theology," for the publication of such a book evidences at once the education and zeal of the priest, and at the same time his desire that the laity also should be educated. Not only is such a publication proper, but just at this time it is very opportune. Secular knowledge is daily being diffused and popularized, and the spirit of inquiry is fostered everywhere. PeopIe want to know and if possible obtain a reason for all things. They would like to know what Catholicity stands for: and whether we are able to give "a reason for the faith that is in us." With such conditions surrounding our Catholic laity, ignorance of their Faith would be little short of criminal. They should learn well their holy religion-become its apostles, and make life, word, and work all stand as the best evidence of the divine origin of that Faith that is theirs. The competition of daily life prevents many honest persons from devoting that time and attention to the subject of Religion which it deserves. In consequence of this lamentable fact there are persons to-day who profess no Religion, because they have no clear idea of its nature or of its necessity for human happiness. Others do not profess the true Religion, because they do not understand the reason and authority of its claims. Some, no doubt, profess the true Religion, but do not practise it as they ought, because they fail to appreciate its excellence. They regard it more as a burden than as a natural debt which man owes to the God of infinite goodness. Instead of regarding Religion as the only source of true happiness, they often shun it as something disagreeable. Hence they are unhappy even when surrounded with heavenly blessings, for their conscience is ill at ease. Knowledge can show men the way to happiness, but these persons scarcely have time to pause and listen to its counsel. This Theology for the Laity is specially intended to enlighten and encourage "all of good will" who are handicapped in this way. It shows them the nature, the necessity, the certainty, the beauty, and the harmony of divine Religion, as the masterpiece of the God of goodness. It is a complete religious handbook for busy people, especially for members of the true fold. Persons of leisure may find more profitable reading in the many excellent doctrinal and polemic works that have appeared in recent years. Still, a brief, clear, and systematic manual of theology for the laity has advantages of its own. It is calculated to interest even those who will not study larger and more learned works. It will often be taken up by those whose limited time will not permit more extensive reading. Its simple, direct method ought to recommend it, in a particular manner, to the honest inquirer, for it gives him a clear and comprehensive idea of that Religion which alone spans the chasm between the natural and the supernatural. For this reason Theology for the Laity may also be of special service to many pastors whose time for instructing converts is limited by other parochial work.

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