Win It All: The Way to Heaven for Catholic Teens
by Justin Fatica
Notre Dame: Ave Maria Press, 2010
Catholic Evangelist Justin Fatica has made it his life's mission to reach out to teens with an extremely counter-cultural message, that what matters in this life isn't money or fame or popularity, but rather living in order to get to heaven. He puts the focus where it belongs, on loving God and others and aiming for eternal life. What does it mean to "Win it All?" Fatica states "to win it all means to discover what God intends for our lives." He then goes on to set forth eight steps to living the life God wants you to live. Those eight steps are: recognize your importance, discover your mission in life, make your mess your message, keep your passion, remain fearless, commit to loving, never give up, and live every day as if it were your last. Fatica also includes a helpful appendix, "More Helps to Win it All" which features prayers and instructions on how to go to confession.
"Win it All" is definitely geared for teenagers, yet Fatica's message is an important one for people of all ages. As he states, "everyone needs to hear how important, unique and special they are. You need to hear it too: God has made you as a one and only you." We each have a God-given purpose in this world. Fatica also speaks of God's great love. "You all see people with tattoos. You may have one yourself. Well, you have been 'tattoed' with the life of God. It is a permanent mark that will never go away. . . There is nothing you can do or not do that would keep God from loving you." Our job is then to share that love with others.
Fatica offers practical advice. He pulls no punches. He knows that life is hard and that there are challenges and temptations at every turn. Yet, he encourages all of us to keep our eyes on the final destination. We need to make that our priority and live life accordingly.