Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Book Review: U Got to Love by Fr. Stan Fortuna

When Tina Turner asks “What’s love got to do, got to do with it?” in one of her 1980’s hit songs, she’s strictly speaking about romantic love. Fr. Stan Fortuna, however, in his book geared toward teenagers titled U Got 2 Love, says the emotion has to everything to do with the purpose of life, and he’s talking about all kinds of love.

Using excerpts from speeches and the writings of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, Fr. Fortuna explains unconditional love as best as humanly possible. He challenges people to strive to put this kind of love into practice in their everyday lives.

The hardest part of loving is forgiving, according to Fr. Fortuna. But if we can see past the “drama” of human interaction and relate to people with this kind of compassion then, the author states, we love “with a freedom and fullness that goes beyond mere human strength and reasonable sensibility.” (34)

Not only is this kind of love freeing, but it has the power to transform us and those we come into contact with. Fr. Fortuna insists that it is necessary to “go out and beyond ourselves” in our interactions with others. He calls this kind of love “reckless.”

This book is so dense, and what I mean is that it is a lot to wrap one’s understanding around. I found myself reading pieces of it over and over again just to absorb the message. Fr. Fortuna gears this book toward teens, and in an attempt to make it more teen friendly, his writing style is a sort of “text speak” or maybe it’s just Brooklyn-ese. I’m not sure, but it’s enough to drive a former English teacher, like me, insane.

However, I like this book. It challenges me greatly on an intellectual level. Also, it forces me to reflect on my own patience, love and forgiveness (or lack thereof) toward others and towards myself. Honestly, I think it is a hard read for a teenager. I read excerpts from it to the youth group I meet with and they had a difficult time understanding the language of the Popes, even though the author presents it in a cool way. The book does work well with discussion that’s guided by an adult.

Overall, I think U Got 2 Love is an important book to read. It presents a life-changing challenge. Probably the underlying reason why I had such a difficult time getting through it is because I know I don't love unconditionally always, and I am constantly struggling to love like Christ.

I wrote this review of U Got 2 Love for the Tiber River Blogger Review Program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, your source for First Communion Gifts. You can purchase this book here. For more information, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods. Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

this is very good for you, ybg :)

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