This book was a joy to read. Groome "unpacks" several key defining characteristics of the Catholic faith, including the sacramental view of God as present in the world around us, the thirst for social justice, the need to recognize and include people of all cultures. This book is a wonderful synthesis of what makes Catholics Catholic, and even though I was familiar with these ideas before reading the book, I found Groome's thoughtful explanation of each characteristic in its Scriptural and historical context to be particularly enlightening. Very refreshing was his empowerment of the laity to actively live their faith,and he offers many practical ideas on how to do so. Groome is also very honest about times when the Catholic church has fallen short of its own ideals, both in the past and in the present day, but the overall message is one of hope: the Holy Spirit is continuing to move throughout the Church and, as was stated at Vatican II, "as the centuries succeed one another, the Church constantly moves forward toward the fullness of divine truth." This book is truly a refreshing drink for a thirsty soul.
If you're a 'Catholic' you will probably love this book. But if you're a 'Christian' you may debate some issues. Even though the author uses the words Catholic and Christian synonymously he is promoting Catholicism as the true religion. However, Presbyterians, Pentecostals, Baptists, Lutherans, and a whole host of other denominations also call themselves Christians. Then I must ask myself, "What's the difference between a 'Catholic' Christian and a 'Pentecostal' Christian?" Obviously both consider themselves Christian, yet if you look at the two religions they have very little in common. I read the gospels and I couldn't find where Jesus made distinctions between those who followed Him, He preached only one consistent gospel.