If you don't believe in the afterlife -- in Heaven and Hell -- you can stop reading right now. This is not for you. But if you do believe, or even if you're just unsure, you should read Crucial Truths to Save Your Soul, the latest book by Father Nicholas Gruner, "the Fatima Priest".
Father Gruner has written many short pieces -- magazine articles, papers and the like -- but this is only his second book. The first was World Enslavement or Peace, which concentrated chiefly on the Message of Our Lady of Fatima, which Father Gruner has been preaching relentlessly for nearly four decades. In Crucial Truths to Save Your Soul, Father Gruner answers the question: What is the purpose of human life?
The answer, as anyone who has been properly taught the basics of the Catholic Faith should know, is that the purpose of human life is to save our immortal souls.
Sadly, fewer and fewer people -- even highly educated people, even Catholic churchmen -- actually know the Catholic Faith. They have come of age since the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II), which blurred and distorted the clear truths of the traditional Faith handed down to us from the Apostles through the great doctors, teachers and leaders of the Church. As Father Gruner says, they have not been nourished on the solid food of the true Faith, but have been fed "the sentimental pablum of our times".
This lack of formation in Catholic truth has terrible consequences. People make decisions about crucial matters -- marriage, for instance -- based on wrong information, on false ideas. As a result, their lives become a mess -- full of confusion and disorder.
In the 50 years since Vatican II, the condition of the Church and the world has grown steadily worse. Most Catholics don't understand why so many bad things are happening in our society and in their own church. In Crucial Truths to Save Your Soul, Father Gruner argues that we can no longer rely on our Church leaders to be faithful to the immemorial truths of the Deposit of Faith. He clears away the fog that has settled over the Catholic landscape since Vatican II, and shows clearly how we can separate the things we must believe to be saved from the things -- the novelties and heresies -- we must reject.
Crucial Truths to Save Your Soul is concise, factual, and easy to read -- unlike some other "Fatimist" books. Reading it is like having a conversation with Father Gruner about what his work has meant and what he has learned over the years. One of my dear Catholic friends told me "I learned things I should have known before, which became perfectly clear to me as I read this book."
The book includes, as an appendix, the interview given by Sister Lucia, the chief seer of Fatima, to Father Augustine Fuentes, on 26 December 1957. We can see now the accuracy of her prophecy of the defections and betrayals of so many priests and nuns. Her plea is even more timely for us today than when she spoke in the last known public statement she gave before being silenced almost totally for the rest of her life.
Also worth reading is the preface by James Hanisch, who collaborated with Father Gruner in the writing of Crucial Truths to Save Your Soul. He recounts his conversation with Father Gruner in April of 2013, which led to the writing of the book.
"If only [he writes] there were a brief and simple booklet...demonstrating that the true Catholic Rule of Faith is not arbitrarily subject to the whims and fads of a 'living magisterium', and that no churchman of any rank has the 'authority' to change Revealed Truth or to undermine the good of the Church."
Now, that book is available. To get a copy, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call toll-free: 1-800-263-8160. Tell them Walt sent you. And no, Walt doesn't get anything for making this recommendation. I believe Crucial Truths to Save Your Soul is a book you should read for the purpose disclosed by the title, so I'm telling you about it. Period.