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Books

Streams of Grace: Spiritual Movements that shaped the Church

Julian Porteous
Streams of Grace, explores the history of the Church by considering the various spiritual movements which have revitalised the Church at particular times and given fresh vigour to its life and mission. Bishop Porteous argues that the heart of the many and varied spiritual movements that have shaped the Catholic Church is the mysterious activity of the Holy Spirit. Often the Spirit has acted in surprising and unexpected ways, yet as spiritual movements flourished it has become clearer that they have been critical to maintaining and enriching the calibre of the faith and provided impetus to the evangelical mission of the Church. These movements often have had saints at their forefront, or have become vehicles for the emergence of saints. Spiritual movements emerge at particular moments in history and in particular places. The historical and social context of these movements is important in order to appreciate their significance. It is also true that these movements have had a marked influence on the life of the Church lived most immediately by "ordinary" Catholics. Many movements, the author explains, have shaped the character of Catholic faith and how this faith has come to be expressed in the life of Catholics. The spiritual movements have not just influenced a small number of the spiritual elite, but have become sources of inspiration and fruitfulness for countless thousands. This book examines some twenty movements that have had an important effect on the Church at different times in its history. It also outlines how these various movements - as movements of grace - have shaped the nature of the Catholic spiritual heritage which we continue to benefit from today.
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New Evangelisation: Pastoral Strategy for the Church at the beginning of the Third Millennium

Julian Porteous
As a young newly ordained priest, Pope Paul VI’s Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Nuntiandi, had a profound effect on me. As I read it I saw the nature of the mission of the Church presented in a clear and decisive manner. This mission was to proclaim Jesus Christ to the world and to enable people to enter into a real and personal relationship with him. It gave clarity and direction to my priestly ministry. This book brings together my developing understanding of what evangelisation entails. It gives expression to what I have experienced over a period of some 40 years of being actively involved in various works of evangelisation and to my deep conviction that the new evangelisation must be the pastoral strategy for the Church as it enters the third millennium of Christianity.
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Become What You Are: Growing in Christian Character

Julian Porteous
The question of the formation of Christian character is an important contemporary issue. Our society is undergoing radical change at the personal and social level. There are forces at work that deconstruct the traditional patterns of human life - the family, the understanding of masculinity and femininity, our view on the nature and use of our sexuality. These forces are rebuilding human society in such a way that it is free from the influence of a religious perspective on life and free from the constraints of a moral approach to human living. The modern attitude is to reject traditional models of the virtuous life in favour of a self-realisation freely pursued outside the constraints of moral codes. There is a certain "morality" which is fashioned by society. Certain things are determined to be "politically correct." Certain stances become fashionable like ecological sensitivity or the perceived threat from sexism, but these are fluid positions and change with fashions of thought. They do not impinge particularly on the inner quality of character but rather reflect certain acceptable attitudes. They are superficial and do not promote serious inner growth. This book seeks to explore the nature of the human person. Then, by drawing on our Christian tradition, consider the ways in which we can build a healthy and happy life fulfilling what God has intended us to become as a faithful imitation of his Son. This is a book about identifying the nature of Christian character. It offers a path which will lead to mature Christian character.
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Foundations: Preparing the Church in Australia for the Plenary Council and Beyond

Julian Porteous
For any Catholic living in Australia at the present moment the challenges to the faith are great indeed. The culture around us is changing rapidly, not only abandoning its Christian heritage but becoming increasingly hostile to the Church. Within the Church there is a serious struggle to know how to respond to these changes. Does the Church adapt itself to the culture? How can it preserve its true identity? The evident decline in religion and in numbers of Catholics attending Sunday Mass and living a sacramental life is another area of concern. Is this decline terminal? Experiences like the sexual abuse crisis have further eroded the confidence of many Catholics, and some have lost confidence in the leadership of bishops. Is it time to change the governance structures of the Church? As the Church prepares for a Plenary Council, these and many other issues challenge the Church here in Australia. Will the Council find the right way forward and plot a course which will ensure that the Church is able to effectively carry out the mission entrusted to it by the Lord? The response we make to the issues we face must be grounded in a deep spirit of faith. It must be faithful to the revelation of Sacred Scripture. It must be grounded in its living Tradition, and continuous with the body of Magisterium. The Plenary Council will shape the direction of the Church in Australia for decades to come.
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Christians The urgent case for Jesus in our world

Greg Sheridan
Passionate and compelling, Greg Sheridan, bestselling author of God is Good For You, examines the role of Christianity in our modern world. From the historical Jesus and his disciples through to the present day, Greg Sheridan has written an impassioned, informed and utterly compelling case for the truth and importance of Christianity in our lives. He presents a strong argument for the historical reliability of the New Testament, meets the living Jesus there, explores the extraordinary personality of Paul, celebrates Mary's activism and examines the magnificent richness of John. Filled with insights, intelligence, warmth and humour, Greg also introduces us to a range of fascinating Christians today, among them political leaders, and young activists offering the radical Christian interpretation of love to their generation. His book explores the journey of those who have been guided by faith, such as Gemma Sisia, whose school in Tanzania has transformed the lives of thousands of children, and the dynamic Chinese Christians pursuing their beliefs under harsh restrictions. He examines where Jesus can be found in popular culture and talks to Christian leaders - Pentecostal, Catholic, Evangelical and others - in Australia, the US and Britain. At a time when the chasm of understanding between secularism and faith has never seemed wider, Christians is timely, relevant and convincing. 'At the heart of the Christian story is the truth about the life of Jesus ... Greg Sheridan's book is a good read about Good News.' Peter Comensoli, Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne 'If there is ever going to be a Renaissance of Christian belief to save us from the dreariness of much secular humanism, it will come from a book like Christians. I will be buying it and giving it away to believers and sceptics alike.' John Dickson, author and historian.
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Light from Light A Theological Reflection on the Nicene Creed

Robert Barron
In recent decades, antipathy toward religious belief in general, and Christianity in particular, has been on the rise, with over a quarter of Americans now identifying as religiously unaffiliated. The dumbing down of the faith, the influence of the new atheists, and the culture of self-invention have all contributed to obscuring the truth of what thoughtful Christians actually believe. In Light from Light: A Theological Reflection on the Nicene Creed, one of the Church’s leading thinkers invites skeptics and seekers to discover the intellectual richness of the Catholic faith. Walking through the venerable Nicene Creed, an ancient statement of doctrine accepted by most Christians around the world, Bishop Robert Barron opens readers to the theological and philosophical depths of Christianity: the nature of belief, the mystery of God, the story of Christ, the work of the Spirit, the life of the Church, and the resurrection of the dead. In a number of recent studies, people who have left the practice of religion were asked why they disaffiliated. One of the most prominent reasons they gave was simply that they no longer believed in the teachings of Christianity. Light from Light is a clear and compelling explanation of those teachings for a new generation, especially those who have wandered away.
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Breakthrough

Fr Rob Galea
Breakthrough is the story of Rob Galea's journey from troubled teen to Catholic Priest in the Sandhurst diocese in Victoria.   Struggling under the weight of addiction and depression, Fr Rob was considering ending his life when redemption came through a phone call. Knowing that he needed help, Fr Rob fought his demons to forge a relationship with Jesus Christ and has never looked back. Breakthrough asks the reader to find their own way through adversity to the better life that awaits them. It’s a powerful story about recovery, redemption and faith, and is told by one of the most charismatic priests of our time.
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