Monday, January 15, 2024

Wisdom and Folly by Rob Marco

If you read Traditional Catholic content, you've likely come across Rob Marco. Rob is probably best known for his blog, Pater Familias, but he also publishes regularly in Crisis Magazine, and has also appeared in Catholic World Report, OnePeterFive, and various other outlets. Rob is also a friend and a longtime supporter of this blog—I actually first met him in the combox on my posts.

It is therefore my pleasure to announce the publication of a new book featuring a collection of Mr. Marco's greatest essays entitled Wisdom and Folly: Essays on Faith, Life, and Everything in Between (Cruachan Hill Press, 2024), which I was privileged to edit and publish. I've always appreciated Mr. Marco's reflections, because they come from a place of deep personal wrestling. Like the Prophet Jeremiah, his writing emerges like a fire shut up in his bones, yearning to find expression. I find this particularly refreshing, when so much Catholic commentary today is just opinion, diatribe, and hot takes. So I deeply appreciate the sincerity and even vulnerability behind these essays.

Wisdom and Folly is thus more about the journey than the conclusion, zeroing in on the nitty-gritty aspects of Christian discipleship, places where the rubber hits the road in our efforts to live the Gospel day by day. These essays are short, most of them under three pages, making this an ideal bedside table book that can easily be read piecemeal. The essays are arranged topically; there are sections on friendship, marriage, family, manhood, faith, prayer, the Church, writing, and more. If I had to identify a target demographic for this book, I'd say it is married men laboring to balance spiritual growth with the obligations of their state in life, so it is an excellent resource for Catholic husbands—although there is plenty of meat here that persons of every walk of life will find applicable. 

I also want to mention the excellent foreword by Kevin Wells, author of The Priests We Need to Save the Church (Sophia, 2019). Here Mr. Wells speaks glowingly of Marco's essays:

The more deeply I waded into Rob Marco’s broad and often piercing considerations, I found myself being hand-led into what seemed an uncorrupted garden. In the same fashion a farmer must beat back earwigs, gophers, and nibbling rabbits from befouling his bounty, Marco leans on his philosophic bent, vulnerability, and ferocious love for God to ward off temptations to cede ground on illuminating the raw Truth of Christ’s pilgrim Church. These exceptional essays are a demonstration of pure grace, given by God to one of his humble writers.

Each of the essays herein seem to subliminally scream for readers to repent, to lay their heads against Christ’s heart, and to begin anew. As Marco himself has attained a settled peace after his searching years, he urges readers toward the same sacred blueprint of renunciation of self and total union with Christ into which he’s bought. A large part of sainthood demands humbling oneself and baring all, and the married father from Pennsylvania does this and more in these often nakedly vulnerable, raw, and penetrating essays.

I concur wholeheartedly with Kevin Wells' estimation. So, if you're interested in a down-to-earth approach to the nuts n' bolts of living the lay vocation in the midst of the Valley of Tears, get yourself a copy of Rob Marco's Wisdom and Folly. Its an illuminating read that takes the principles of the Gospel and incarnates them into the workaday world of middle class America.

Wisdom and Folly: Essays on Faith, Life, and Everything in Between (Cruachan Hill Press, 2024), Paperback, 389 pages, $25.99 USD

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