Faith, Doubt, Mystery: A Catholic Journey (Paperback)
In Faith, Doubt, Mystery: A Catholic Journey, psychologist James J. Tracy revisits his six-year-old self taking the first steps on his Catholic journey. Illness slowed the young boy physically while ramping up his time alone to think about God and eternity. Parochial school and his family's commitment to Catholicism soldered him in his faith. Tracy offers his readers a vivid portrait of belief and na vet in a questioning adolescent keenly aware of heaven and hell. His teenage years were a melting pot of religious fervor and guilt-a mixture that eventually catapulted him into the Jesuit Order. Tracy takes the reader into a Jesuit life that few outside the Order know. There, discipline and rich education sharpened his intellect while making it clear that many topics were off-limits. In particular, his study of theology took him in directions he didn't expect and often couldn't accept. Without ignoring the humor and camaraderie of religious life, Tracy conveys the emotional whiplash of coming of age in the turbulent 60s as he studied and taught as a Jesuit. Ultimately, doubts and disillusion prompted Tracy to choose psychology over the priesthood. As a psychologist and thinker Tracy shares what he eventually found, salting his memoir with dry wit and provocative ideas. He avoids the cynicism and bitter attacks often launched by ex-Catholics or those looking at the Church from the outside. His experience spawned acceptance of human limits and brought peace in facing the inevitable end of life. Those who are facing quandaries, life choices, or what's last in life are likely to find encouragement in this candid memoir.
About the Author
Seattle native James J. Tracy, Ph.D. was baptized a Catholic, raised a Catholic, educated Catholic, and lived as a Jesuit for 10 years. Ultimately, he chose the vocation of psychologist over that of Catholic priest. His doctoral studies focused on morality and choice, a combination that had permeated his life as a Catholic. After holding academic appointments at Bryn Mawr College and at the University of Washington Medical School, he chose full-time clinical work in independent practice. For over thirty years, he worked with a wide range of clients-pilots, police officers, and politicians. He also worked with couples grappling with the challenge of commitment. He saw people's lives filled with choices. These choices, he asserts, can be understood and used as a springboard to achieve greater awareness and wisdom in living day-to-day. With insight and openness, Tracy recounts his own story of choices in Faith, Doubt, Mystery: A Catholic Journey.