This book is incredible. I started reading it the other day. I finished reading it the same day.
It starts off with an introduction. I skipped it and began at Chapter 1.
Chapter 1 delves into impurity and how evil it really is. BAM! Living in the world we live in today, it’s easy to fall into the trap of underestimating impurity. We joke about it. We toy with it. We may even admire it at times (such as a beautiful woman immodestly dressed or a man’s ability to commit and gloat confidently about his impure achievements).
We may also fall into the temptation of thinking, “Maybe an impure sin wouldn’t be too bad. After all, the whole world is doing it and we can always confess it and move on.”
Chapter 1 hits you like a sledgehammer with the cold hard reality of how impurity is extremely evil and how it can very easily lead to much worse sins. Ultimately, one grave sin of impurity is enough to send one to hell.
It also enlightens us as to how important it is to refrain from keeping bad company and instead to keep good company, as this has been the difference between damnation and salvation for many in the past.
Chapter 2 is on drunkenness – let me put it this way: if this book is a shotgun, it’s undoubtedly a double-barrel. There’s no reloading in between chapters. BANG-BANG!
Just after it drills in how bad impurity is and how we need to really assess our mentality towards it, the book addresses an issue which can be even easier to fall into: alcohol.
I found this very enlightening and it’s arguably easier to abstain from sins of impurity, yet, as it’s okay to drink in moderation, it’s easy to step over the line. This chapter clearly outlines how stepping over the line is an important matter.
Chapter 3 discusses bad books (the logic applies to movies and any other forms of modern entertainment as well!). I used the shotgun analogy for Chapter 2 so let’s use that again. If this book is like a shotgun, it’s not a shotgun… it’s a machine gun loaded with bullets of edification, reality and truth. Beware, readers will have trouble sinning again!
What stood out to me the most in Chapter 3 was its acknowledgment of how we treat evil entertainments with the mentalities: “I can handle it,” or “I’ll just refrain from the bad parts.”
Of course, the belief that we can handle what Satan has to throw at us in filthy art is sheer arrogance and ignorance and a disregard for what the Church teaches.
And the strategy of “skipping the bad scenes” is faulty as we won’t know what to skip until we’ve seen it. There's a saying: Can’t unsee. Ever heard it?
These three chapters tell so many accounts of the consequences of these evils – it really must be read in entirety to fully appreciate these truths.
Chapter 4 talks against the plan to sin while we’re young, and then repent and become holy in our old age. I don’t think much needs to be said here.
The subsequent chapters discuss the sacrament of confession and how important it is we make good confessions, and how much the devil despises and fears those who make frequent confessions. These chapters tell many stories that are scary, and also stories that are encouraging.
The final chapter is on the power and mercy of Our Blessed Mother, and is extremely edifying and consoling, finishing off the book nicely.
The Sinner’s Return to God – The Prodigal Son by Father Michael Mueller.
Father Muller, in another work, denied Baptism of Desire. To deny Baptism of Desire, however, is contrary to the teaching of the Council of Trent, Pope Pius IX, Pope Pius XII, as well as to the teaching of Saint Augustine, Saint Ambrose, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Saint Robert Bellarmine, all of them canonized Doctors of the Church, as well as to the teaching of all Catholic theologians, and to the common teaching of the Catholic Church as expressed in its catechisms. Nonetheless, there is no trace of this error in this work of Father Muller. Consequently I approve of this book, but at the same time I caution the reader against Father Muller’s error in another work. - Bishop Sanborn