Beautiful Reflections About the Faith

Amy Gentile

5 Stars

September 28, 2012

This book is both deep and beautiful. It's not something that should be read quickly, but a treasure to be savored and reflected upon.

Halik captured me from the very first chapter, as he spoke about the paradoxes of the faith, especially the Paschal paradox: "At the core of Christianity is the enigmatic Easter story--that great paradox of victory through defeat." This thread runs through various parts of the books as a subtle theme; it's hard to call it an explicit focal point [though it is the focus of a chapter or two], because the book feels more like a series of reflections on similar topics as opposed to an exposition of just one theme. Yet it all fits together quite beautifully.

There are parts of the book that might push the reader--Halik mentions several different philosophers and sociologists and their views, and while he explains them, those passages might merit a second or third reading in order to absorb the concepts and his reflections upon them. There are other parts where Halik talks about his experiences in Czechoslovakia during and after Communism; these give a poignancy to his writing. I felt as though I was seeing the world, and my faith, from a different perspective...one that I resonated with, but that gave me a taste of how persecution and oppression and suffering shapes one's faith and life.

Haliks' vision of faith is ultimately centered on the Paschal mystery and paradox; he captures this idea beautifully. He truly puts forward a vision of what faith might look like in the "age of uncertainty" as it strips off some of the false forms picked up through the Enlightenment and modernity. I am truly excited to read more of his works, and thankful to have encountered his perspective; he put voice to many of the thoughts that have been rolling around in my own head for the past few years.