Book Review – The Catholic Catalogue by Melissa Musick and Anna Keating

As a fairly new Catholic I was intrigued when I saw ‘The Catholic Catalogue’ by Melissa Musick and Anna Keating. It seems like I always have questions about various aspects of the faith, but my husband is not always able to answer them so I turn to books like The Catholic Catalogue.

There are so many aspects of the Catholic faith that you could discuss and I think that Ms. Musick and Ms. Keating did an excellent job in both selecting the topics and organizing them in the book. The book is not only separated by sections such as “Seasons of the Church Year”, but it is further separated into topics like “Lent” with chapters relating to the topic, in this case “Stations of the Cross.” This makes it easier to answer the questions that you have first, and then perhaps go back and read other topics later. You don’t have to read this book all at one time, either. You can read a single chapter or read all of the chapters related to that topic since they are all grouped together.

I have read quite a few books on Catholicism and the practices, but I love it when I am surprised with a new fact. How many times have you seen people making the sign of the cross? I myself make the sign multiples times at Mass and as needed during the week. After all, I don’t think that there’s really any such thing as blessing yourself too much, right? In the chapter ‘Holy Water And the Sign of the Cross’ I learned that there are actually two ways in which you can make the sign of the cross. “In the Latin Rite, we trace the outline of the cross over our upper body with our right hand, palm open. (The five fingers of the hand symbolize the five wounds of Christ.)…” “In the Eastern Rite, the sign of the cross is made with the first three fingers of the right hand joined at the fingertips. These fingers represent the Trinity. The remaining two fingers are pressed against the palm, to represent the unity of Jesus’ human and divine natures.” Did you know that there was a reason behind how you hold your hand when signing yourself? Now you do!

There are many other little tidbits of information throughout the book that I feel are just as interesting. It doesn’t matter whether you are a newly minted Catholic or a Cradle Catholic, there’s something in here for everybody. The writing is clear and easy to understand so that you can easily read it to a child to answer questions that they might have, too. If nothing else this would be a terrific resource to have sitting on your bookshelf. I highly recommend it.

As a disclaimer I must tell you that I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in return for my honest review.

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