Joy for the Journey
Book review of Along the Way: Lessons for an Authentic Journey of Faith
BY Matthew A. Rarey
Oct. 6-19, 2013 Issue | Posted 10/5/13 at 10:39 AM
Along the Way
Lessons for an Authentic Journey of Faith
By Randy Hain
Liguori Publications, 2012
122 pages, $12.99
To order: liguori.org
Have you run into a rut about how to live your faith?
Lay evangelist Randy Hain comes to the rescue with his new book, Along the Way.
Literally every page of its 22 chapters — short and easily read, perfect for an evening’s read before bed or before going to work — has some noteworthy insight into the faith and how to live it mightily.
Hain — who is the managing partner of an Atlanta-based executive search firm and co-founder of the e-magazine Integrated Catholic Life — has written another practical and powerful book suitable for any Catholic — or anyone who might wish to be.
Brought up Baptist, Hain fell away from any faith when he was a teenager and then went on to hit it rich in love as well as business. But he was spiritually lonely, having cast off the faith of his childhood and knowing nothing else to latch onto except the Protestant notion of devotion to duty.
Yet, through a series of gentle yet profound conversion experiences, he rediscovered his faith — and to his surprise, it was reborn in the fullness of the Catholic Church.
The Lord works in mysterious ways, as Hain joyfully discovers ever anew. Indeed, one of the chapters is entitled "Joy: O Joyful Catholics, Where Are You?" Considering the magnificent blessing of the faith, he challenges Catholics to realize that blessing in order to buoy their own lives as well as to make it attractive to others.
Writes Hain: "It is so easy to get lost in our problems and forget to be joyful. It happens to me and just about everyone else I know. But remember that we are surrounded by people who are watching us. They may be seeking him and looking for someone — anyone — to show them the way to Christ. They could learn from our good example, be inspired by our joy, and be encouraged by our faith journeys if we will only remember that we are called to share the Good News. If we are gloomy, frustrated, inward-focused and critical of the Church, we will never be able to help anyone and may put our own salvation at risk."
As a businessman of action, the author of The Catholic Briefcase — reviewed in these pages last year — gives practical follow-up points to help readers live joyfully:
First, "surrender to Christ every day," in order to put him first in all areas of your life. Second, "give up [your] burdens to Jesus in daily prayer," humbly admitting you are unable to go it alone. Third, be thankful for your blessings and express real gratitude to God, rather than falsely dwelling on your problems, a slippery snare of the devil. And four, "start with the end in mind." In other words, ask yourself at the start of every day if your actions will be serving the Lord.
How to live the devout life is a subject as old as the Church. But Hain presents his prescriptions for doing so with clarity, succinctness and precision. This is a book that one ought joyfully learn from and, when finished with it, pass along to others.
Matthew A. Rarey
writes from Chicago.
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