Taking a new and contemporary look at the Catholic faith, The Grateful Disciple is an inspirational book for those wishing to understand how their faith can be incorporated into their everyday lives. David Wells takes the reader along with him, once again, through his journey in becoming a better teacher, father and Catholic.
No matter how strange or mundane the situation Wells seems to find himself in, he is always able to spin it into something beautiful. Each anecdote begins with a Bible passage, which enables the reader to begin thinking about the relationship that it may have to scripture while they read. To further establish religious sentiment behind the short passage, Wells outlines the lessons he himself has learned from his experience through a section called “Making Connections.” Facilitating this interactive reading and engagement with the text are questions placed at the end of each chapter, which seem to be what he had asked himself while writing this book. Through these various elements, The Grateful Disciple becomes more then simply a collection of short stories. It is a source of inspirations for our lives and the outlook we have on Catholicism in a constantly changing world.
Although this book could be misread as an analysis of Biblical passages, it is much more then that. The reader is taken along with Wells through his navigation of Catholicism and modern interpretation of scripture he is able to create out of it. He highlights the mistakes he has made and insecurities about his Catholic practices that allow the reader to feel as though they are not alone in their own imperfections. Wells brings God and His teachings into the most unexpected places, like football stadiums and James Bond films, showing us that our faith should not just be something conveyed only at church or during prayer. It should be apart of our daily lives and interactions with the world around us.
For both readers familiar and unfamiliar with the work of Wells, The Grateful Disciple allows a closeness to be felt through the unique voice of the author. He treats you like an old friend instead of a distant reader, bringing you into the inner workings of his faith and the anecdotes he shares. Wells is able to inspire us with his writing and open our eyes to situations from our lives that, at first glance, seem to be unremarkable but actually hold great meaning when we look at them through the eyes of God.
-Christina D’Agnillo, Marketing Intern