Monday, September 21, 2009

Tracking Virtue, Conquering Vice: A Guide for Spirtual Survival--A Book Review

Have you ever sat down with a book on spirituality or religion and thought, "Boy, I'd like to enhance my faith. I should read this and hopefully I can learn something and grow closer to God." So you find a book that sounds interesting and about a chapter in you wonder, "What in the HECK are they talking about?" I just read a book that has the opposite effect. After each chapter you will sit there and think, "CRAP! I just learned something and I didn't even realize it!"

Tracking Virtue, Conquering Vice: A Guide for Spiritual Survival by Fr. Joseph Classen is a very basic book covering virtues and vices. Fr. Classen describes the book as covering three concepts, "'tracking God,' the 'seven deadly sins' and their remedy virtues, and finally, 'spiritual survival.'"

The author is an avid hunter and his book looks at the seven deadly sins: pride, greed, jealousy, anger, gluttony, lust and sloth through the eyes of an outdoorsman. It is definitely a man's book. Each chapter starts off with a story of Fr. Claussen someplace in God's creation telling a story of fishing or hunting. The stories range from fishing in Alaska, to elk hunting in Idaho to deer hunting back home in Missouri. Like an expert fisherman, Fr. Classen lures you and hooks you in and twists the story into a discussion of vice and the opposing virtue and before you realize it you think, "CRAP! He did it again---I learned something!"

If you are looking for some deep theological discussion with quotes from the church fathers then this book probably isn't for you. But, if you ARE looking to enhance your faith and growing closer to God but you are afraid of getting bogged down then this book is for you.

This review was written as part of the Catholic Book Reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Tracking Virtue, Conquering Vice.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for writing this review! Fr. Joe and I went to high school together and spent some time in the seminary together. I've been debating whether or not to read this. I'm not an outdoorsman and I feared that I wouldn't get much from the analogy, but after reading your review, I've decided to read it.

    Thanks again! Tim