Contagious Faith

Why the Church Must Spread Hope, Not Fear, in a Pandemic

$19.95

About this item

Even by the most unrestrained estimates, the Covid pandemic never approached the lethality of the Spanish flu of 1918. Yet the effect that our fears, amplified by the mass media, had on society were infinitely more debilitating.

In times such as these, our Christian faith has always offered hope and strength. But this past year was different. The reservoir of Christian belief was drained to dangerously low levels, and many Christians succumbed to the epidemic of fear.

In this clear-eyed book about the real Covid crisis, Philip Lawler dissects how Church leaders and the faithful responded to this health emergency. He explains the devastating effects on society when Church leaders tell their people not to attend Sunday Mass, and when they ban Confession, marriages, and baptisms. He tackles the dangerous consequences of treating schoolchildren like lepers and explores the ethics of vaccines and the plight of parish priests caught in the middle.

Best of all, Lawler reveals how faithful Catholics responded to major crises in previous centuries and calls on today’s Christians to display the same courageous faith that once offered hope to a fearful world — one that radiates inner peace, confidence, and hope in times such as these.

Epidemics may come, wars may rage, and governments may teeter and fall, but when our eyes remain fixed on the Lord, we will know serenity and draw souls to Christ. Our hope and courage will be contagious, and our society will be saved from the death spiral into fear, hatred, and despair that we are witnessing.

Jay Richards photo

"Every Catholic concerned about the future practice of their faith should read this book and take its message to heart."

Jay Richards
Author 'The Price of Panic'
Austin Ruse photo

"We have lived through a shameful COVID time when our shepherds told us we must be afraid, and that we should not seek out the Sacraments. We were inadvertently taught that the body is more important than the spirit. In his compelling new book, Phil Lawler, one of our most important writers, takes us through what can only be described as a crisis of faith, and shows us the way forward. "

Austin Ruse
of "Under Siege: No Finer Time to be a Faithful Catholic"
Douglas Farrow photo

"If the city of man is founded on love of self and fear of death, the city of God is founded on love of God and faith in eternal life.  Why then, in the face of the coronavirus crisis, has the Catholic Church in the West been so difficult to distinguish from the city of man? Why has it suffered the same contagion of fear? In Contagious Faith Philip Lawler soberly confronts us with this painful question, and with the urgent need to rediscover the antidote: the perfect love that casts out fear."

Douglas Farrow
Professor of Theology and Ethics, McGill University
  • Pages: 192
  • Format(s): Paperback, eBook
  • ISBN: 978-1-64413-511-2
  • Product Code: 5112
  • Availability: In Stock
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Good Read
What do you fear? What are your priorities? Most of us came face to face with these questions during the pandemic of 2020. In Contagious Faith, Philip Lawler looks at these questions and more and reviews how Catholic leaders responded to or failed to respond to the pandemic of 2020. Lawler mentions several articles and authors throughout the book. It would have been helpful to have footnotes or a bibliography to reference. Overall, Contagious Faith is a good read about how the Catholic Church responded to the health crisis, and I enjoyed how Lawler looked to the past to remind us how faithful Catholics should respond to a crisis, now and in the future.
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The tone, manner, words of wisdom and encouragement we all long to hear from our priests and bishops but don’t. Phil offers great perspective on the pandemic in light of Catholic teaching and calls us to courageous action of living the faith boldly like our brothers and sisters of the past.
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A Quick, Easy, and Informative read.
Mr. Lawler presents a simple but concise timeline for the events surrounding the COVID 19 emergency and the response of the leaders and laity of the Catholic Church. The author explains the effects of the closed churches and inability to receive the Sacraments that are essential to practicing the Catholic faith. Mr. Lawler also offers suggestions as to how the Catholic Church can move forward from these events with hope, courage, and love. This book is an easy read that flows smoothly from topic to topic, and it is one I would read again.
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Should not the state of the eternal souls of his flock be the Bishop’s top priority? It doesn’t seem to be the case in the age of Covid. In Contagious Faith, Mr. Lawler goes beyond cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, exploring the true costs of this pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns, tying them directly to the state of our souls. He does so in a logical, faithful way that is both easy to read and thought provoking. This book is a must read for all Catholics.
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Compelling Analysis of Unprecedented Events
"When a crisis strikes, we reveal what is important to us, as individuals and as a society.” So writes Philip Lawler in Contagious Faith. If you believe this to be true, and you believe the the covid pandemic was at least regarded as a crises unprecedented in scale and scope, then this illuminating and clearly-written book offers much to consider. The questions raised and the implications framed are nothing less than profound. Just a few among them: What is essential, if not the communal practice of Faith, especially for Catholics who believe in the Real Presence of the Eucharist? How much and how long are we willing to sacrifice the practice of Faith and the nourishment of our souls to protect (ostensibly) our physical lives? Why did some Catholic leadership so readily accept the edicts of secular authority on the curtailment of religious freedom, in contrast with other freedoms? How should those vehemently opposed to abortion view the vaccines, the “solution” to the pandemic, which rely on past abortion for their development? Importantly, considerations regarding prudence and concern for others are not understated and are weighed in the analysis. But the focus is on who and what are driving the prioritization and decision making, and and how people off faith should respond. No doubt much will be written in the months and years ahead as we grapple to understand the many implications of the covid pandemic. This book is invaluable in considering the most important: the impact on our souls.
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