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Author offers thought-provoking, unconventional insights on sacraments


This is the cover of "Be Transformed: The Healing Power of the Sacraments" by Bob Schuchts. The book is reviewed by Mitch Finley. (CNS)

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"Be Transformed: The Healing Power of the Sacraments" by Bob Schuchts. Ave Maria Press (Notre Dame, Indiana, 2017). 166 pp., $16.95.

Bob Schuchts is a retired marriage and family therapist and founder of the John Paul II Healing Center in Tallahassee, Florida. It is his conviction -- outlined in "Be Transformed" -- that for Catholics one of the fundamental purposes of each of the seven sacraments is to be a source of healing in a particular way.

Thus, baptism is a source of healing from rejection. Confirmation heals from powerlessness. Holy orders provides healing from confusion, and matrimony heals fear. The sacrament of reconciliation can heal us from shame, and the anointing of the sick heals from hopelessness. Also, Schuchts says, Communion (more on this terminology anon) "heals wounds of abandonment."

Following chapters on "How We Reflect God's Glory" and "How the Sacraments Restore Us to Wholeness," each sacrament gets a thought-provoking, if theologically unconventional, chapter of its own, including questions for discussion and further material for reflection.

For example, Schuchts begins his chapter on baptism with a look at the unhappy early life of Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood. He then launches his discussion of baptism by first describing it as "a public blessing declaring that you and I are precious and unrepeatable gifts of the Father."

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