Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Book Review: THE SACRAMENTS: DISCOVERING THE TREASURES OF DIVINE LIFE

Tan Books was kind enough to send me a review copy of Father Matthew Kauth's THE SACRAMENTS: DISCOVERING THE TREASURES OF DIVINE LIFE. The book is just 145 pgs but filled with lots of information on the Seven Sacraments. Fr. Kauth wastes no time going into each Sacrament. With clear and simple language, he explains the meaning behind each Sacrament.

By "simple," I mean that he does not drown the reader's mind with technical theological or liturgical terminology. The book presents the information in a way any reader can understand. One does not need to have a dictionary or other reference to look up what father is writing about. He does an excellent job making complex theological and liturgical concepts understandable. This is what makes this book a must-have for every Catholic, especially those in religious education. It is easy to read and to-the-point.

Father begins with the introduction and explanation of what is a Sacrament. He relies on the traditional definition of a Sacrament and uses Scripture and other sources for reference. He ties in the importance of the Sacraments and how they are necessary for living a life in Christ and salvation.  He continues dedicating a chapter for each Sacrament. For each Sacrament, he shows their origin in Scripture, cites tradition and explains the effects and elements of each. This is important because it gives a full picture of each Sacrament.  Instead of stating, "Holy Baptism" removes Original Sin and makes on a Catholics, father goes beyond that and explains why and how. He explains why certain elements or sacramentals are used to bring about the Sacrament (i.e. water, oil, laying of hands, etc). 

He does an excellent job showing how each Sacrament works in us and how we must cooperate with grace in order to keep the Sacrament working. I highly recommend this book to every Catholics. While it is an easy read, it does not water down anything. Father provides orthodox information in line with the Church's teachings and presents it in a way anyone without a theology background can understand. The book will be understandable to readers from middle school and up. Protestants and others will benefit greatly from this book as well. This book should be on every Catholic shelf and in the satchels of every catechist or religious education teacher. Even theology students and seminarians can greatly benefit from reading this book before engaging the more complex and wordy academic books used in courses. 

I want to thank Tan Books for sending me this book and thank Father Kauth for giving us this treasure which tells us about the Divine Treasure found in the Sacraments. 






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