Saturday, January 1, 2011


I recently received a copy of the book Motherless by Brian J. Gail.  This book is part 2 of a trilogy that started with Fatherless.  I loved the Fatherless book and was very excited to read this one.  If you are looking for Catholic fiction, this is a book for you.  It did take me longer to read Motherless than Fatherless because the book arrived the week baby Ellie was born.  Good book it may be but nothing trumps snuggling with a newborn.

This book is full of real life characters struggling with the same moral issues we all face.  Not just the simple ones, but the more complex moral issues that are being thrown at us by modern society.  Do you continue to work for an employer who is supporting immoral causes?  Do you encourage the infertile couple to go against the teachings of their faith and explore modern fertility treatments in an attempt to conceive? Do you ignore a lack of annulment and delve into a romantic relationship anyway?

This book explores the problems faced by the Catholic Church today by walking you through the daily life of several Catholic families. You meet folks who are just like the ones you see on Sunday in church and like those who you don't see in church anymore.  You meet folks yearning to learn more and those who have decided it is ok to consider Catholicism as a cultural identity rather than a faith.  This book challenges you to consider if you are learning enough and doing enough to support your own faith life.  It challenges you to consider if you are going through the simply going through the motions or if your faith means something else to you right now.

One particular paragraph in the book stood out to me as I was reading.  While giving a talk to his congregation, a priest in the book says:

               "The taproot of all the problems in the Catholic Church today is unworthy and
                sacrilegious Communions. . .The problem we now have, and it is pandemic, is too many
                people believe proper reception of Holy Eucharist is simply a matter of individual
                conscience.  There is no such thing as mortal sin, short of murder. . .There is no need for
                confession and absolution.  No need for penance and repentance."

This book is a very easy and quick read.  While it does challenge you to think, it is easily a book you can share with your high school age kids.  It is a book that can spark discussion and dialog.  I am eagerly awaiting the release of the third book in the trilogy later this year.

This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Motherless. They are also a great source for serenity prayer and baptism gifts.

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