Friday, November 22, 2013

Walking with Mary

I receieved this book from Waterbrook in exchange for a honest review.
The author Edward Sri is a professor of theology and Scripture at the Augustine Institute’s Master’s in Catechetics and Evangelization program in Denver, Colorado. He reminds me of Dr.Scott Hahn in some ways in that he writes and speaks in a way that the majority of the people can relate to and not feel that they were talked "down" to.
First he talks about his personal experiences in relation to Mary. Then he shows 3 very bibical facts about Mary, Nazareth, marriage to Joseph and the linage of David.
He then he writes of a 9 step journey through the Bible with 7 from Luke, 2 from John, and finally the book of Revelation. Like the event of the Annunciation  of Gabriel which show just one of the truths of and about Mary in the Bible. He uses many references in the Bible with notes and where to find the passages in the Bible.
Even though this is a small book, I would definitely recomend this to those in the Catholic faith that have a hard time understanding the importance of Mary and those that are Christians that are not Catholic in further understanding why we keep talking about the importance of Mary and her path for us to Jesus.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Dolan and Colbert

I am a huge fan of Stephan Colbert of the Colbert Report on the Comedy Channel. When Cardinal Dolan appeared on the show I laughed many times and enjoyed the show very much. It is so nice to see 2 Catholics having a good time and shows their lighter side of themselves. Here are 2 clips of that show. On this show the Cardinals dicusses his new book Praying in Rome. A book about the Cardinal's time at the conclave that elected the new Pope.

Praying in Rome by Cardinal Dolan

small review on On Heaven and Earth

I receieved this book from Waterbrook in exchange for a review. This book was written before 2010 when the current pope Francis was still a Cardinal (Jorge Bergoglio) of Argentina. It is about a series of conversations between Cardinal Bergoglio and Rabbi Abraham Skorka. They both wrote a prologue with a brief description of these meetings and a little of their immediate thoughts about these meetings. I felt like I was there abeit much like a fly on the wall or leaning against the door listening to these 2 holy men talk. The book is 256 pages, not small but definitely managable. It has 29 chapters highlighting a different subjets such as on the devil, on guilt, on prayers.They deal with each subject from their point of view (and that of their religion) They used simple language but not too simple that it would "dumb" the readers down. The dialogue was clear, concise and not too "scholarly". The respect that these 2 men are very easy to see and acknowleged. One example is on the Rabbi's side of conversation the word God is printed as G_d out of reverence for Judiasm. Would I recomend this book? YES, for the reader would get a glimpse of both of the holy men. The release was a very timely one that it coincided with the papl election of the Cardinal.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

review of a book "The Church" by Mike Aquilina and Cardinal Wuerl

I just read a book by Mike Aquilina and Cardinal Donald Wuerl titled The Church. I have read several of Mike Aquilina's books but none of Cardinal Wuerl's books with the exception of his previous collaboration with Mike Aquilina on The Mass of which I did enjoy.
One of Mr.Aquilina's books that I thoroughly enjoyed was Signs and Mysteries: Revealing Ancient Christian Symbols. Mr Aquilina is a contemporary of Dr.Scott Hahn, another author I love and enjoy. Both Mr.Aquilina and Dr. Hahn are converts to the Catholic Church and both are academics in biblical studies. Cardinal Wuerl is the Archbishop for the Washington D.C, archdiocese. He has written several books primarily on catechism.
The Church is the second work by these two men. This book is meant to be a companion to their previous collaboration The Mass. This book and The Mass would be a wonderful tool in RICA(Rite of Initiation of Christian Adults) and also a refresher for cradle Catholics and a tool of inquiry for non Catholic Christians in what these 2 books can do to provide some or greater understanding of the Catholic Church.
This book The Church is a relatively small book with 228 pages including index, foreword and introduction.
The preface was by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston Archdiocese. The forward was by Father Robert Barron of the Mundelein Seminary in the Chicago Archdiocese.  I have immense respect for these 2 priests. They offered very encouraging words in the praise and introduction for this book. The  subtitle is ‘Unlocking the secrets to the places Catholics call Home’.Most of the  chapters are devoted to a area, structure or thing inside a church building.
For example, The Baptismal Font. They described what is a baptismal font, what its for, the symbolism and the rite used for the font.  
An excerpt from this chapter: “Baptism is the sacramental prerequisite for participation in all the other sacraments  The Church’s law commands: “Every parish church is to have a baptismal font” (CIC- Code of Canon Law- 858 S1)”. The language used is simplistic and easy to understand but without feeling ‘dumbed’ down.  But they also quote from several sources such as The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM), the Code of Canon Law (CIC) and the Holy Bible particularly the New Testaments with emphasis on the works/letters of St.Paul.
I found this book to be extremely informative without being too scholarly. I love that they referenced more than 3 sources of information to help the reader understand the subtleties of what they have written. The authors include and very extensive index for anyone that wants to do a “scholarly” look or study the works more in depth.
I highly recommend this book  especially for RICA and like programs. This book did explain to my satisfaction a lot of things that are a part of the church building and the Church.