I admit to being a bit of a Marcus Grodi fanboy. I’ve watched the Journey Home on EWTN since the very first episode in I believe 1997 which coincided with my increased investigation of the Catholic Church. I’ve even read his book of fiction “How firm a foundation.” So I was quite happy to receive a review copy of “Thoughts for the Journey Home.”
One of the things I have enjoyed about his show is that while the majority of guests are Protestant converts they appreciate what they learned as Protestants while at the same time rejoicing in receiving the fullness of the faith in the Catholic Church. The shows are never angered snipes at Protestantism, but more a reasoned awareness of the flaws inherent in Protestantism and also a acknowledgment that more unites us than divides us. Though this is also pretty much true of all Protestant coverts and not just the ones that were on the Journey Home.
Marcus Grodi as a convert himself is an excellent example of this attitude and this new book presents a thoughtful look at the Journey Home. It is only part autobiographical as Marcus thinks about a range of topics concerning conversion and the problems for mainly Protestant converts and of course the problems Protestant clergy have in adapting from what might have been a fairly well paid job to a very uncertain future. I have come to greatly admire those who have stepped out in the deep believing the truth of the Catholic Church while having other difficulties ranging from friends and family not happy with such a conversion.
Marcus has had years to think about this subject and of course took action with his Coming Home Network International to help converts and so has much experience in this area. Thus his thoughts on the subject are well worth reading even at a general level. While the book certainly has apologetic potentials it goes on to look at many human factors in conversions and various difficulties. Marcus Grodi is also skilled at making worthwhile parallels to make a subject understood that reminded me to some extent of Jesus’ parables that took the common subjects such as farming to make a point. Marcus Grodi does the same thing here and currently living on a farm takes some similar approaches. I really like one chapter comparing the Church to a football team that kind of takes off from the Body of Christ and at the same time shows that it is rather silly to blame the quarterback when the rest of the team is underperforming. We often seem to think of bishops/priests in this way forgetting we are also on the team and have our important roles to play also.
A part of this book is also addresses the struggles of the Christian life and growth in holiness that affects us all as his book of short essays covers a range of topics written in his engaging manner. The last section addresses the history of the Coming Home Network International along with a short history of EWTN.
This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Thoughts for the Journey Home. They are also a great source for serenity prayer and baptism gifts.