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The “Life of Christ” Book Club!

April 12, 2016 by  
Filed under Book Club, Sarah Reinhard


Life of Christ (Week 1 of 27)

Confession: it’s my fault we’re reading Life of Christ, that door-stopper of a tome that’s been gathering dust on my shelf for a few years.

I received my copy as a gift, part of a box of books that a friend from church donated to the “Sarah loves to read” cause. It’s an old hardcover, with a tattered dustcover and two inscriptions in the front: “To my F.F.F.” and “To ‘Patricia,’ with best wishes, ‘Anthony’ 11-5-58.”

It also has this terrific smell, the smell that books that have been loved and read seem to get.

My introduction to Fulton Sheen came a few years ago, when I attended a women’s conference in Peoria, Illinois. Then I realized that he was the guy who my mother-in-law had talked about being on TV and the radio so much. And I remembered this book on my shelf.

And I took one look at it and picked up something else. Like the Catechism, which looked less imposing next to the Life of Christ.

You know, now that I think about it, reading it as part of this book club might be the only way I’ll get it read… 🙂

Widely proclaimed a classic work of Christian faith, Life of Christ has been hailed as the most eloquent of Fulton J. Sheen’s many books. The fruit of many years of reflection, prayer, and research, it is a dramatic and moving recounting of the birth, life, Crucifixion, and Resurrection of Christ, and a passionate portrait of the God-Man, the teacher, the healer, and, most of all, the Savior, whose promise has sustained humanity for two millenia.

With his customary insight and reverence, Sheen interprets the Scripture and describes Christ not only in historical perspective but also in exciting and contemporary terms — seeing in Christ’s life both modern parallels and timeless lessons. His thoughtful, probing analysis provides new insight into well-known Gospel events.

An appealing blend of philosophy, history, and biblical exegesis, from the best-known and most-loved American Catholic leader of the twentieth century, Life of Christ has long been a source of inspiration and guidance. For those seeking to better understand the message of Jesus Christ, this vivid retelling of the greatest story ever lived is a must-read.

from Amazon’s product description

For the last couple of months, I’ve been working on The World’s First Love, Sheen’s book about Mary, and I’ll be honest: I’ve loved it. I would even go so far as to say it’s been one of the best Marian books I’ve read (and I do NOT say that lightly!).

I’m looking forward to growing closer to Christ thanks to Sheen’s brilliance. How about you?

Reading Schedule:

  • Week 2: 4/19 Discuss Preface; Ch. 1; Ch. 2 to CH. 2: PREHISTORY NOW – Assign PREHISTORY NOW HISTORY to OBEDIENCE AND THE CHILD IN THE TEMPLE
  • Week 3: 4/26 – Discuss CH. 2: PREHISTORY NOW HISTORY to OBEDIENCE AND THE CHILD IN THE TEMPLE – Assign Finish Ch. 2
  • Week 4: 5/3 – Discuss Finish Ch. 2 – Assign Ch. 3-5
  • Week 5: 5/10 – Discuss Ch. 3-5 – Assign Ch. 6-8
  • Week 6: 5/17 – Discuss Ch. 6-8 – Assign Ch. 9-11
  • Week 7: 5/24 – Discuss Ch. 9-11 – Assign Ch. 12-14
  • Week 8: 5/31 – Discuss Ch. 12-14 – Assign Ch. 15-17
  • Week 9: 6/7 – Discuss Ch. 15-17 – Assign Ch. 18-19
  • Week 10: 6/14 – Discuss Ch. 18-19 – Assign Ch. 20-21
  • Week 11: 6/21 – Discuss Ch. 20-21 – Assign Ch. 22-24
  • Week 12: 6/28 – Discuss Ch. 22-24 – Assign Ch. 25-26
  • Week 13: 7/5 – Discuss Ch. 25-26 – Assign Ch. 27-28
  • Week 14: 7/12 – Discuss Ch. 27-28 – Assign Ch. 29-31
  • Week 15: 7/26 – Discuss Ch. 29-31 – Assign Ch. 32-34
  • Week 16: 8/2 – Discuss Ch. 32-34 – Assign Ch. 35-37
  • Week 17: 8/9 – Discuss Ch. 35-37 – Assign Ch. 38-39
  • Week 18: 8/16 – Discuss Ch. 38-39 – Assign Ch. 40-41
  • Week 19: 8/23 – Discuss Ch. 40-41 – Assign Ch. 42-44
  • Week 20: 8/30 – Discuss Ch 42-44 – Assign Ch. 45-46
  • Week 21: 9/6 – Discuss Ch. 45-46 – Assign Ch. 47-48
  • Week 22: 9/13 – Discuss Ch. 47-48 – Assign Ch. 49
  • Week 23: 9/20 – Discuss Ch. 49 – Assign Ch. 50-52
  • Week 24: 9/27 – Discuss Ch. 50-52 – Assign Ch. 53-54
  • Week 25: 10/4 – Discuss Ch. 53-54 – Assign Ch. 55-58
  • Week 26 10/11 – Discuss Ch. 55-58 – Assign Ch. 59-62
  • Week 27 10/18 – Discuss Ch. 59-62 – No Assign

Reading Assignment:

  • Preface
  • Chapter 1
  • Chapter 2 to “Prehistory Now History” to “Obedience and the Child in the Temple”

Discussion Questions:

1. Have you read any of Fulton Sheen’s books in the past?

2. What part of this book are you most looking forward to?

Feel free to comment on anything from our assignment this past week!

Read More:

For More Information on the Book Club:

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About Sarah Reinhard

Sarah Reinhard continues to delight ”and be challenged by” her vocations of Catholic wife and mother. She's online at and is the author of a number of books for families.

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  • Lynn Loring

    I have this book! I’ve wanted to read it, but haven’t. I’m excited to read in Union with others. I am having difficulty figuring out how to follow along with the discussion. Hopefully I will figure it out.

    • LizEst

      I’ve never been disappointed in anything by Venerable Fulton Sheen. As to the discussion, comment just like you did today! God bless you Lynn Loring!

      • Sarah Reinhard

        Liz, how much of his stuff have you read? This is only my second book of his…though I have culled through his quotes and LOVE THEM. 🙂

        • LizEst

          I’ve read good chunks of them, but not whole books. One of our references for Dr. Howard’s course on Mary was “The World’s First Love.” I have the “Life of Christ” and “Lift Up Your Heart.” As well, he was on TV when I was little and was wildly popular across all faiths. Why? Because he was very reasoned and easy to follow, humble, enthusiastic, and did not ration the truth. People loved him then…and still love him to this day, many years after he completed his earthly life.

    • Sarah Reinhard

      We post on Tuesdays, Lynn, and we’ll have discussion questions. I think there’s a way to subscribe to comments, so you can see what others are posting…we include discussion questions at the end of each of our reflections (Vicki Burbach posts on the weeks I don’t). Glad to have you along!

  • Bobbi jo

    Hi Sarah: I just want to encourage you in your upcoming book club and those “considering” reading this one — don’t let it’s size discourage you! I was nourished greatly while reading this. It was AMAZING. I borrowed it from our Parish Library — but it is a book anyone should have on their home library shelf (or electronic shelf). It is one of those great writings that you can revisit over and over. He opens up the Life of Christ in easy to read language (at least for me) and the mining that happened in my soul then is still at work. Great choice for your next read! May the Lord continue to bless you through your ministry.

    • LizEst

      Thanks for your witness Bobbi jo — and the encouragement to Sarah! God bless you!

    • Sarah Reinhard

      Thanks for the encouragement, Bobbi Jo! I’m looking forward to it…I just finished his book on Mary and it was SO GOOD! The size can’t scare me!!! 🙂 (Yes, it can, but I’m in it to win it even so!!!)

  • Patti Knudsen

    Sarah, looking forward to this one, too. I missed the entire last book…even after having purchased it. Maybe another time. I love Fulton Sheen, as well. Have only read snippets, and listened to a few episodes. Of course, like all Catholics of my generation, he was on TV at our house quite often when I was a youngster. Too bad I didn’t pay enough attention. Learned a few things, way too late. I hope I can stick with this one. I finally lost track near the last 1/4 of “Confessions.” I’ll have to pick that one up again soon, or I’ll have to start all over again. Good luck to everyone on this new adventure.

    • Sarah Reinhard

      There’s an app you can download that has a bunch of his video stuff…I keep meaning to watch them and…well. I don’t.

      As for missing the last book: NEVER FEAR. Those archives will stay here and as long as the website is here you can come back to it. 🙂 Yay for THAT!

      • Benard Chedid

        Hi Sarah,

        What is the app called? Thanks.

        • Sarah Reinhard

          I don’t remember, Benard, as it was years ago, but this link seems to be the right thing:

          • Liz Estler

            Thanks, Sarah! God bless you!

        • Sarah Reinhard

          I think this is the app:

          Looks like it’s available for both iOS and Android…let me know how you like it! 🙂

          • LizEst

            Thanks for that, Sarah! God bless you and keep you!

  • DianeVa

    I love your description of your copy of this book because it is the same as mine! Old, tattered, with that familiar smell, sitting on the shelf and never read. I would love to delve fully into this read with you all but I have grad classes that keep me so busy in the reading dept! But…..I will be reading when I can and I will look forward to your comments and reflections as always!

    • Sarah Reinhard

      The beautiful thing is that you can come back and read along with us later, too, Diane. 🙂

  • Rick Worthington

    I have read this book before and many more by Fulton Sheen. I love him. He has a new DVD out called the Servant of God which I can’t wait to get. This was a very good pic Sarah. I can’t wait to read it again.

  • Liz M

    I jumping into read this book! I started reading World’s First Love and am eager to read this one too. I was too young to remember Fulton Sheen, but I do remember my mother’s glowing remarks about his sermons.

  • Kristen

    Hi, I’m new to Spiritual Direction and this book club. I’ve been wanting to read this book for quite some time, and I’m so glad I found you right at the start of Life of Christ. I have my copy and am starting this weekend.

    • LizEst

      Welcome, Kristen! Glad you are joining us. We look forward to your participation. Venerable Fulton Sheen is a wonderful author to begin with!
      God bless you!

  • Deborah Boatman Braden

    Hello Sarah. I’m joining late but hope that’s okay. I love Bishop Sheen and anything he wrote or said. What a perfect book to read and discuss.

  • Rick Worthington

    I have jumped into the first two chapters. This is my second read and it is interesting what you miss the first time. Fulton Sheen sets the tone of the book immediately by talking about the shadow of the cross over Bethlehem and onward in the Life of Christ.

  • Janice Millay

    I am running late as well. I love Bishop Sheen’s books and am excited to discuss this one.

  • PatForLife

    Hello, I’ve just ordered my book so I’m joining pretty late. My family watched Archbishop Sheen’s show when I was growing up. I can still picture him, writing on his blackboard & just about hear his voice. I’m excited to read this book & hope to get caught up soon.

    • LizEst

      Yes, he was impressive!. Thanks for joining us!…and God bless you, PatForLife

      • PatForLife

        Thank you, Liz, and God Bless you, too.

  • tapnkc

    I too am starting late and am excited about joining this group.

    • LizEst

      Welcome tpnkc! Looking forward to your participation in the discussions. God bless you!

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