Friday, July 6, 2012

A review of "Rome, Sweet Home"

Scott Hahn, Kimberly Hahn, and their road to Catholicism turned out to be much more problematic than I had anticipated. I've heard of this couple so long that I assumed, wrongly, that their conversion was easy. It was anything but easy. "Rome Sweet Home: Our Journey to Catholicism" is their story, told by both alternately, of a difficult conversion.

Kimberly came from a family of Presbyterian ministers and herself planned to be a pastor. After meeting Scott, dating for a while, separating to settle as friends, then finally deciding to marry, at that point, Kimberly wanted more than anything to be a pastor's wife. That was the major discrepancy in their story, but in following the biblical command of submitting to the husband's leadership, they had no choice. A woman cannot lead a church.

I recently joined a Catholic book club with this book as our first reading. As a former Protestant myself, I waded through the vitriolic anti-Catholic words that Scott and Kimberly spewed prior to acknowledging the rightness of Catholic beliefs. One club member grew angry in reading the section, but having heard those accusations against Catholics all my life, I knew exactly that mindset (not a pretty sight, mind you).

Scott had the distinct advantage of having time to study every night, earning degrees, having detailed debates with other students, professors, and great scholarly minds all over the country. Each time he tried to disprove a Catholic belief, he found each to be true. First Luther fell, then other Protestant leaders, until Scott was faced with his conscience: convert or live a lie. Kimberly could not join him. Not yet.

I felt sorry for Kimberly, raising children, leading study groups, crusades, but not going where Scott was headed. They wavered in their marital connection. As one member of our group pointed out, she was not sure just exactly when Kimberly was convicted. Nor is it clear.

If anyone asked what was the most benefit I gained from this read, I would say: The book made me want to locate my old study books on the early church and reconnect with the Word of God. That's more than worthy of any book. The rest is lagniappe.

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A favorite souvenir

A favorite souvenir
These are my two girls from Ireland!

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Books on my very ambitious TBR list (*denotes read)

  • *Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever by Mem Fox
  • The Odd Women by George Gissing
  • The Zen of Fish by Trevor Corson
  • How to Get Your Child to Love Reading by Esme Raji Codell
  • The Cod Tale by Mark Kurlansky
  • In This House of Brede by Rumer Godden
  • *Joan of Arc by Mark Twain
  • Dag Hammarskjold by Elizabeth Rider Montgomery
  • The Wisdom in the Hebrew Alphabet by Rabbi Michael L. Munk
  • Children of Strangers by Lyle Saxon
  • Spiritual Writings by Flannery O'Connor
  • Nightmares and Visions: Flannery O'Connor and the Catholic Grotesque by Gilbert H. Muller
  • The Violent Bear It Away by Flannery O'Connor
  • Flannery O'Connor's South by Robert Coles
  • Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor
  • Sylvanus Now by Donna Morrissey
  • *Vincent de Paul by Margaret Ann Hubbard
  • Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
  • A Briefer History of Time by Stephen Hawking
  • The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel
  • Readicide by Kelly Gallagher
  • *Ruined by Paula Morris
  • Say You're Not One of Them by Uwem Akpan
  • Wandering Star by J.M.G. Le Clezio
  • Silence by Shusaku Endo
  • *The Assault by Harry Mulisch
  • Kari's Saga by Robert Jansson
  • *The German Mujahid by Boualem Sansal
  • Western Skies by Joseph Conrad
  • *The Giver by Lois Lowery
  • *Imperium by Ryszard Kapuscinski

School Library Journal - NeverEndingSearch


A semester course in one book about the Soviet Union. Click on image for my review.