In recent years, the Catholic Church has called upon believers to embark on a New Evangelization. Although this term is often hard to define, it essentially means a process of deepening one’s faith in order to share Jesus’ true teachings to the world. In Hidden Treasure, Peter Aiello takes up this charge to help Christians understand the Gospel more fully and live more God-centered lives.
Combining philosophical insight, theological observation, and a smattering of personal stories, the book offers a thoughtful exegesis of Biblical spirituality that will especially resonate with those who have fallen away from the faith. A cradle Catholic, Aiello discusses how he lost his religion, finding his way instead to Buddhist and Hindu teachings. While these faith systems helped him better understand the ego and the need to keep “unfettered emotions” in check, something was still missing. Eventually, a new exploration of the Bible led him back to his own faith tradition.
Aiello covers ample ground, including discussions on creativity, the Holy Spirit, prayer, the Christian concept of justification, and why humans experience guilt and shame. Yet, his main focus is a call for complete faith in Jesus Christ and “unconditional trust in God” which leads to “inner peace” and “the emptying of self.”
The author’s approach is didactic, and the writing can be wordy, awkward and peppered with punctuation errors, particularly the Introduction. But Aiello’s message is warm, reassuring, and comforting—especially when he discusses how to relieve the feelings of worry and anxiety so many of us experience: “The peace of God that comes from trusting in Him and yielding to His presence within us is like preventive medicine for our minds.”
Overall, Hidden Treasure is an intelligent summation of the importance of faith in spiritual practice. General readers looking to renew their faith will find much to like in this simple yet erudite volume.