Almost Catholic: An Appreciation of the History, Practice, and Mystery of Ancient Faith
February 2008, Jossey-Bass
In Almost Catholic, Sweeney offers an appreciation of Catholicism, weaving in the story of his own explorations with those of others who have also been attracted to this tradition. He finds himself drawn to the Church’s ancient and medieval traditions out of a desire to connect with the deepest and widest paths on the way. Two millennia of saints and practices and teachings and mystery form a connection for him to the very beginnings of Christianity.
SECTION ONE: The Language and the Spirit.
Forget What You Thought You Knew.
Forget About Conversion.
Doubters and Believers, Atheists and Agnostics.
Eleven Steps to Becoming a Truly Catholic Christian.
SECTION TWO: The Catholic Imagination.
God Is Here.
Sacred Spaces and Places.
Privy to a Revealed Secret.
But It’s Too Easy.
Becoming a Saint.
SECTION THREE: Faith with Flesh.
He Loved His Own Flesh.
The Sensuousness of Jesus.
Stations of the Cross.
Bones and Bodies.
Something Good About Hell.
SECTION FOUR: Much More Than Kitsch and Jesus Junk.
Images That Speak.
Novenas for Heathens and Outcasts.
Going to Confession.
The Sacred Heart of Jesus.
SECTION FIVE: My Own Cloud of Witnesses.
Saint Francis of Assisi.
Every Idealist Who Has Ever Tried.
G. K. Chesterton.
The Catechism as a Mystical Novel.
SECTION SIX: Together with Others.
Take Me to the River.
Sacraments and Sacramentals.
Eating and Kissing.
Millions of Blessings.
Appendix: Defining a Few Terms.
Suggestions for Further Reading.