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How to Be Holy: First Steps in Becoming a Saint, by Peter Kreeft
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“Life, in the end, has only one tragedy: not to have been a saint.”
– Léon Bloy
The ever-popular and prolific Peter Kreeft says that the most important question he has written about is how one becomes holy; or to put it another way, how one becomes a saint. This question is central to all the great religions, Kreeft demonstrates, for striving toward holiness, moving toward perfect love, is the whole purpose of life.
Kreeft admits that he is only a beginner on the climb to holiness, and it is to novices like him that he has written this engaging and encouraging book. Using the insights and experiences of saints and great spiritual writers throughout history, Kreeft shows what holiness is and how it can be achieved. He especially draws upon the spiritual classic Abandonment to Divine Providence by Jean-Pierre de Caussade, S.J. The core of Caussade’s timeless gem is that God reveals himself to all of us through the daily events of our lives. The surest way toward spiritual growth, therefore, is by perceiving and accepting the merciful will of God in every situation.
Kreeft stresses the simplicity of his approach to holiness, which focuses mainly on the virtue of love. Sanctity is love, he asserts, and only that can give us what we all long for—deep and lasting joy.
- Sales Rank: #25630 in Books
- Published on: 2016-02-20
- Original language: English
- Number of items: 1
- Dimensions: 7.90″ h x .60″ w x 5.20″ l, .0 pounds
- Binding: Paperback
- 172 pages
“Dr. Peter Kreeft takes his formidable knowledge of theology and translates it into practical advice that can help anyone advance in the spiritual life. No one does that better than Kreeft. How to Be Holy is a rare book that will help you bring both your head and your heart to a deeper practice of your faith.” –Jennifer Fulwiler, Author, Something Other Than God
“Anyone can benefit from the illuminating truth, timeless wisdom, and affable encouragement found on each page of How to Be Holy.” –Patrick Madrid, Radio host and Author, Why Be Catholic?
About the Author
Peter Kreeft, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy at Boston College, is one of the most widely read Christian authors of our time. His many bestselling books cover a vast array of topics in spirituality, theology, and philosophy. They include Practical Theology, Back to Virtue, Because God Is Real, You Can Understand the Bible, Angels and Demons, Heaven: The Heart’s Deepest Longing, and A Summa of the Summa.
Most helpful customer reviews
54 of 55 people found the following review helpful.
In God We Trust
By Charles Schmidt
A great book on the purpose of life. What more could you ask for? And it only takes about 3 hours to read.
Like almost all of philosopher Peter Kreeft’s books, this book is full of wisdom, which is more precious than rubies. There are lots of insights in this book. One of the first is that the whole purpose of life is to be a saint. That in itself makes the book worth reading.
But there are other nuggets in this treasure chest of a book. For example, Kreeft points out that our feelings are not only motivator and rewards (and punishments), but feelings are a way of seeing the truth (in addition to reason, intuition, and experience).
Also noted is that faith is trust in God. And to top it off, being a saint brings not only happiness, but joy, which is happiness on steroids. This may be the first book to state that there is a level of pleasure or peace beyond happiness, called joy, and it is much stronger than happiness. And saints are joyful.
Another chapter explains how it is that people sin, when the wages of sin is death. As Kreeft writes, “For another thing, our passions are disordered and are stronger than our reason. For still another thing, our will is weak, so even when we see the truth, we often do not will it. So there are three reasons Plato is wrong: because our reason, our passions, and our will are all fallen.”
The book points out that for God to be God, He must be Good, Omnipotent and Omniscient, and any God without those traits isn’t really God.
This book is also a strong refutation of the problem of how a Good, Omnipotent, Allmighty God can allow evil to occur. The answer is given in the Bible in Romans 8:28, which says that “For those who love God all things work together for the good.” In other words, no matter what life throws at you, you can be confident that in the end, all will be well. In the end, God will set things right. The logic of the book’s argument that this must be true is quite compelling.
To top it off, this book gives 4 definitions of ‘heart’ that are heartful and worth studying. Add to that the real reason people aren’t saints is that they really don’t want to be a saint. They’re afraid it’s too demanding, too ascetic, ignoring that it’s the entire reason we are here.
To summarize, it’s reasonable and wise to place one’s faith in divine providence, and “In God We Trust” isn’t just on our currency, but it’s the foundation of wisdom.
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful.
I first purchased the Kindle edition simply because I like Kreeft’s writing and was curious about the title
By B. Conyers
I first purchased the Kindle edition simply because I like Kreeft’s writing and was curious about the title. Today I have ordered 3 paperbacks to give as gifts!
I wanted to write a solid review for this book, and I have been sitting at my desk writing for 30 minutes. But I cannot find the words to use for this book that weaves together solid theology, philosophy, and common sense to bring renewed hope and love into our lives.
It is a book you can give to ANYONE–believer or not! It is written simply, but in a way you will have to re-read the page as you ask yourself: “Is this for real?”
He has his own sense of humor that he interjects at just the right time to make a point that zings to your heart.
You will laugh…there are moments you will stop for a while to reflect…you will cry…you will pray.
It is one of those volumes that will be by my chair along with my Bible and Catechism to be read over and over.
I recommend it to anyone with one word of caution: you won’t be able to stop with one book, you will quickly want to share it with friends, family, and neighbors.
Kreeft has made the Good News clear, desirable, and share-able! Your heart will find love, hope and renewal!
Turn off the tv and give Kreeft ten minutes a day for two weeks—it will change your life!!!
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful.
By Amazon Customer
Peter never ceases to amaze me. He can take the most difficult subject and make it understandable. But, on the other hand, he can write a short sentence that requires several readings to even begin to understand.
See all 25 customer reviews…
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