In recent years there have been quite a few books released geared towards Catholic men. I have reviewed a number of them here already including Be A Man by Father Larry Richards, Man to Man, Dad to Dad : Catholic Faith and Fatherhood by Brian Caulfield and Man Up!: Becoming the New Catholic Renaissance Man by Jared Zimmerer. Author Randy Hain has added his own contribution to this category with his recent book Journey to Heaven: A Road Map for Catholic Men.
Randy points out a number of obstacles in Chapter One that stand between men and their ability to have a closer relationship with Christ. Upon presenting this list, the remainder of the book is spent addressing ways in which we men can improve ourselves in each area. As I read this list I couldn’t help but recognize a few I needed to work on and, if truthful with yourself, I’m certain you will as well. The list is as follows: pride, we don’t fully appreciate the Eucharist, lack of a prayer life, misunderstanding our true vocation, lack of courage, lack of detachment, pornography, lukewarmness, and diminished manhood.
Randy states it very well when he said in the first chapter: “We have a goal (to get to Heaven and to avoid hell), a road map (Scripture and Tradition), examples to follow (the saints, particularly St. Joseph), leadership (the pope, bishops, priests, and deacons), clear teaching authority (the magisterial of the Church), help along the way (the sacraments) and divine guidance (the Holy Spirit). It is clear that we are well equipped and have the tools and resources we need, but are we willing to make the necessary changes? “
As the book progresses Randy gives us men some tips and advice on how to address the issues he pointed out. He calls in a number of men involved in Catholic ministries today to help. This is achieved nicely thtough interview style Q and A sessions in each chapter. Upon laying out some great tips on prayer Dan Burke is brought in to add his thoughts. Father Martin Connor shares some advice on letting go of our material attachments. Brian Caulfield discusses how the brotherhood of Catholic men can help each other on our faith journey. Matthew Warner shares his thoughts on being courageous in today’s world. Kevin Lowry helps pinpoint the difficulties integrating faith and work. There are many more additions in the book and and I am merely highlighting a few here.
When you start reading this book prepare for a gut check. Us men may not like gut checks but we must look inward to improve ourselves. The books layout lends us to that success. Divided into three parts it begins by dwelling on our faith, than how that faith can help us grow in our roles as husband’s and father’s and lastly what we can do to integrate our faith at our jobs. Three core areas all men deal with but how we deal with each is where our reward in heaven will come from. Take up the book Journey to Heaven and follow the road map Randy Hain has done a wonderful job laying out for us.
I received a copy of the book for this review from the publisher, Emmaus Road Publishing.