As a cradle Catholic in the tumultuous and exciting process of re-discovering my own Catholic faith, Thomas Howard's book is an absolute treasure! I read this book with alternating tears of gratitude and tingles of awe, and whenever I put it down I had to pick it up again within minutes to get more. At first I was inclined to scoff at the comparisons of Howard with C.S. Lewis, but I found they are quite accurate. Howard has the passion, elequence and grace of Lewis combined with a love for the Catholic faith (but with no antagonism for non-Catholic questions or (mis)understandings). The review by David Thomas was spot-on when he compared this book to a love poem. I mean it quite sincerely when I say that every Catholic, and every person interested in the Catholic faith, would do themselves a great service by reading this fabulous and inspiring book.
I've been reading a lot of heavy theology lately, a lot of patristic sources, a lot of Greek and Hebrew and Latin word studies, and a lot of philosophical arguments for the Catholic Church. This book gets past the technical, and into the experiential.
I'd not been exposed to Howard before this book, but I've since read his *Evangelical is Not Enough* and *Lead, Kindly Light* as well. I love his style. The way he strings his words together, the vocabulary he uses, and the reflective style would lead one to believe that he might very well be British, and that he might very well have been sitting in a big comfy chair with a cup of tea while he wrote this, and that he might even be C.S. Lewis, reincarnated.
If you're not a Catholic, this book will give a quick glimpse into the "family living room," and show you what Catholicism is all about from a practical view. If you are a Catholic, this book will remind you what it's all about, or, will give you a vision of what it all SHOULD be about in your own life if it's not already.
Yes, it's light on theology, in a sense. He DOES address the Mass, the Eucharist, Mary, etc., but not by saying, "Ok, well, let's look at this Greek verb here, conjugate the infinitive participial imperative tense..." Instead, he looks at these issues in light of the Incarnation, and shows how the Catholic Church only follows the logic of the Incarnation perfectly. He doesn't come at you saying, "Look, I'm going to prove something to you here," and so you're not on the defensive. When he explains it, you just sort of say, "Oh... duh, that makes total sense. How could it be any other way?"
Very comfortable book, like a good pair of slippers. You owe yourself a cup of tea, a warm fire, and a chapter of this book.