Arriving at Amen is the spiritual memoir for the nerdy, smart Catholic person in your life. As the subtitle says, she discusses 7 modes of Catholic prayer. She gives some background to them and some tips, but more importantly, the describes their importance in her life. Throughout the whole book, you are given a front row seat into her faith journey from atheism to Catholicism. You get to know this very popular Catholic blogger.
Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, this book reeks of analogies and explanations that were at times very hard to understand. She is clearly a fan of nerdy pop culture icons (Les Miserables, LOTR, Buffy…) and very knowledgeable in mathematics and philosophy. Luckily, I like some of the same entertainment she does and I do have knowledge in both disciplines, so I understood her references most of the time. But if you have no background in any of these things, it can be a major detriment to you reading this book.
I say there can be some fortune in this, however. This book is readable to an often neglected group of Catholics, those who who have degrees in Mathematics, Philosophy, Physics, who don’t know Church Fathers (and don’t particularly care) but love everything Japanese and can name off all of the Doctors in Doctor Who in order. Those who struggle with God’s very existence, let alone the efficacy of the Sacraments, who see the world in numbers and rules and natural beauty.
Leah Libresco is brutally honest and open. Many will be able to relate to her struggles in faith and in this book she gives a practical guide to some of our most cherished prayers. You may not understand many of the analogies she makes, but you could surely relate to her faith. Please share this with a struggling Catholic nerd in your life today.