Matthew Kelly is an internationally acclaimed speaker, author, and business consultant. His books have been published in more than twenty-five languages, have appeared on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestseller lists, and have sold more than fifteen million copies.
He is also the founder of The Dynamic Catholic Institute a Cincinnati based non-profit organization whose mission is to re-energize the Catholic Church in America by developing world-class resources that inspire people to rediscover the genius of Catholicism.
Recently he answered a few questions for me about his latest book Rediscover Jesus: An Invitation. Here is our interview.
PETE: Why is it so important that people rediscover and rekindle a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?
MATTHEW KELLY: When I come back from a trip, however long or short, I get the joy of rediscovering my wife and children. It is a beautiful thing to rediscover people and places. In the same way, it is a joy to rediscover the true Jesus and his true message.
Sometimes it is distorted views of Jesus that need to be healed, and sometimes we need to confront distorted views of ourselves. One of the essential problems of Christianity at this moment in history is that most people think they are pretty good Christians—even non-Christians. But compared to what? We find comparisons to comfort ourselves, but when we measure our lives against the Gospel we are challenged to change.
PETE: How can your new book Rediscover Jesus help people with this relationship?
MATTHEW KELLY: There seems to be a lot of talk about having a personal relationship with Jesus. But I think most people don’t have a personal relationship with him—they know they don’t have this relationship—and they are ashamed or afraid to admit that. More importantly, they don’t know what to do about it. I wrote this book to help people with that relationship. The forty short chapters and reflections are designed to be experienced over a forty-day period . . . and the hope is that this helps people develop the habit of a daily encounter with Jesus.
PETE: You have helped people rediscover Catholicism in a previous book and now you have helped them rediscover Jesus. Are there any other topics you will be tackling to help people gain a deeper understanding of?
MATTHEW KELLY: It is my hope to continue to write a series of Rediscover books. There are so many possibilities—the Mass, the saints, and Mary, to name a few. But each one needs a unique concept and that takes time. There have been thirteen years between Rediscover Catholicism and Rediscover Jesus. Hopefully the next Rediscover book doesn’t take that long.
PETE: Can you tell us a little about your mission at Dynamic Catholic?
MATTHEW KELLY: Our mission at Dynamic Catholic is to re-energize Catholics and their parishes. We do this in a variety of ways, but currently our main focus is our Catholic Moments programs. Over the next ten years, our plan is to deliver ten programs that every parish in America will be able to use for free. Last year we released DECISION POINT©, the Dynamic Catholic Confirmation Experience. Earlier this year we released Best Lent Ever™, an online Lenten program designed to help people have a transformational experience during Lent rather than just giving up chocolate.PETE: If there was one thing you could write about that you have not yet, what would that be?
MATTHEW KELLY: It’s really hard to say. I never want to just write about a topic. I want to write in a way that can create deep and lasting transformation for readers. The subject is easy to arrive at, but the concept that allows a book to reach deep into a reader’s life takes time. That being said, I would love to write a book about the saints; I’d love to write a book about the Rosary. And for about ten years I have been working on a novel in my “spare” time, so it would be great to finish that.
PETE: Time for my signature-ending question. This is a blog about books. What is currently on your bookshelf to read?
MATTHEW KELLY: I am always reading a biography—at the moment Men in Green, which is about winners of the coveted masters golf tournament. I am always reading a novel—currently The Paris Architect, which is about an architect who designed ingenious places to hide Jews from the Nazis. And I am reading the Baltimore Catechism, as I did not grow up in that era—I’m trying to get a sense of how that worked (or didn’t) and what it was like to have that form of religious education.
Other books by Matthew Kelly: