Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Book Review | The Price to Pay: A Muslim Risks All to Follow Christ

I am not an avid reader, but I'm trying to spend more time reading. As I complete good books, I will try to post on them for you to consider.  I do much more reading since getting a Kindle Reader. I actually have two - a Kindle Fire and one of the earlier, graphite screens that I keep for reading outdoors. Now they have the Kindle Paper White, which also reads well outdoors. I also have the free Kindle software downloaded on all my devices. On a PC, it is great for quoting since limited text can also be copied and pasted - a great thing for research papers, or blogging. But, I've also read Kindle books on my laptop in my recliner.

I will be suggesting to Amy, who runs the Grotto gift shop, to get this book in there. Don't hesitate to ask her to order and reserve you a copy this weekend.


The Price to Pay: A Muslim Risks All to Follow Christ was recommended to me by one of the canons at Assumption Grotto.  He was trying to get me the hard copy, but another priest was reading it.  I decided to get the Kindle version.  When I finished, I loaned the e-book out to another priest at Grotto.  Yes - Kindle books can be loaned out, but just once, and for 14 days - a period in which the owner is temporarily locked out.  I can guarantee you that if you get this book, you won't be needing 14 days.

The hardcover of this Ignatius Press book just over 230 pages.

The Price to Pay grabs you by the seat of your pants right on the first page and doesn't let go until you are done.  It begins in Iraq in the late 1980's with a Muslim man from a tribe with considerable esteem who encounters an Iraqi Catholic while in mandatory military service.  Without spoiling it, suffice it to say, that after initially having a serious aversion to the guy, he has an experience that will change his life forever.

The man lived to write about his epic and heroic journey into Catholicism.  In fact, it wasn't a journey, it was a roller-coaster ride, running at a fast pace, with many ups and downs.  As one priest said, "if you didn't know he survived, you'd have a heart-attack reading the book."

Throughout the book you see God initiating contact with a man who has no knowledge of Christianity,  much less Catholicism, other than the false notions served to him by his anti-christian culture.  You then see a man's free-will response to each grace God sends  him.  Divine providence is visible so many times throughout the book, I lost count.

The book is ultimately hope-filled and triumphant. It was fascinating to see how some people today pursue Jesus and His Church with the boldness of yesterday's first Christians. His thirst for Baptism and the Eucharist catapulted me into an examination of conscience of a very different kind.  He wanted badly to share his new found faith with his family in a country where certain death awaits one who converts from Islam to Christianity. Among the many virtues visibly infused by God, is long-suffering as he must wait years to get the sacraments of which he desires. The book makes us think about the subtle and various ways we do not want to live our faith in the open, perhaps because family and friends will think less of us, or even reject us. If getting to Mass is a struggle, our excuses will seem quite lame in contrast to all this man went through just to go to Sunday Mass.

There is a price to pay for following Christ.  Joseph Fadelle shows us how high that price can be for some people as his picks up his cross and carries it. His story is sure to increase your faith.  It also reminds us to pray fervently for Christians in the middle east and in other countries where religious freedom is non-existent.

Get this book! I especially recommend it for late teens and young adults who are faced with some of the highest pressures of the world, the flesh, and the devil.

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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church;
it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

- Diane M. Korzeniewski

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