• By Fr. Thomas Dubay, S.M.
  • Paperback 124 pages ($10 – $13)
  • Publisher:  Ignatius Press (2006)
  • ISBN: 978-1-58617-117-9

The concept of conversion comes from the Gospel of Mark, chapter 1 verse 15. “Be converted, and accept the gospel.” Note: although most Bibles translate this as “Repent, and believe in the Gospel.”, the concept of: “repent” or “be converted”, is the same. The word in the original Greek is “metanoia”, meaning “new mind”. Jesus himself calls us to this, these are his very first words in this Gospel.

The title of this book is a little misleading, because almost the entire book is about conversion, and this is a good thing. The author categorizes conversion in three degrees of depth. The first degree of moral conversion is the rejection of mortal sin. The second degree is the effort to avoid and eliminate venial sins. For the third and highest degree I quote from page 31: “…loving God and neighbor without limit, giving oneself beyond the call of duty, going all the way with God, living like the saints lived.”

The basic premise of the book presents an incredibly important idea for all of us: make our spiritual life better,  keep improving. Fr. Dubay asks the question: how many billions of dollars is spent yearly on dieting and exercising books and videos, cosmetic surgery, hair and skin care products? Society wants to look better, feel better, smell better. How about improving the state of one’s soul?

The book is very easy to read, it is 122 pages. Each of the 10 chapters moves the reader forward, and presents very sound advice and arguments (backed by Bible references) that will influence the reader to want to commit to deep conversion. The chapters lead up to the last one titled “The Sacramental Dimension”. While the reader is reminded gently throughout the book of the role of deep prayer to help with deep conversion, the main sources of grace necessary to enable a deep conversion are the sacraments. Chapter 10 covers the two main sacraments of Holy Eucharist and Reconciliation, however most of this last chapter is spent on why Reconciliation is so important and how to make a good confession.

In summary: This is a great book not because the author is teaching his personal opinions, or repeating the latest popular 10 step program, but because the basis for this found in the Bible, specifically the Gospels. After I finished reading this book I went back and skimmed the pages looking for all the Bible references and it seamed like almost every page had a chapter and verse reference on it.  This is the second book from Father Dubay I have read (Please see my review of “Prayer Primer”.)   I recommend this book for anyone wishing to improve their spiritual life,  including married couples, for Fr. Dubay addresses conversion (and  its benefits) within the Sacrament of Marriage in multiple chapters.

For more information on Father Thomas Dubay follow this link to the author’s page at Ignatius Press.