Canadian Catechists Reading List Begins…
September 20, 2014
What’s on Lee’s Shelf ???
I have to be honest, I am not sure exactly how to organize this section of the site. So, after discussing this section of the site tonight with a friend, I figured I would just start. Well, here goes! To begin, I will just share what is on my nightstand. These are the books that are must haves for this Marian Catechist and lover of the One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church and all She has to offer! Now, I have to warn you, I actually have a relatively small nightstand, but I have acquired quite a few ” must have within hand reach” books. Sometimes I think my wife thinks I’m nuts! I always tell her that their are much worse things I could be doing, and she shakes her head and tends to agree. I will link to these books to online Catholic Bookstores that I am familiar with mostly. However please also shop at your local Catholic Bookstores. We have an excellent one here in Niagara Region in Ontario Canada called Branches Catholic Bookstore and we are now also in relationship with Catholic Chapter House. These are two excellent resources, with a store front and online store!
I guess you could say I have a wide variety of topics looking at my side table. And Yes, that is a kindle on top of the official Catechism of the Catholic Church which has a tremendous library with all of St Augustines works and all of St John Chrystosoms works also! Those two awesome Saints and Doctors of the Church alone could fill an entire wall with their masterpieces! No, I have not read all their work, it would take a few lifetimes probably. I always have close at hand The Catechism of the Council of Trent, my personal Favourite.The Catechism of the Council of Trent – compiled under the direction of St. Charles Borromeo and recognized as the most authoritative Catholic catechism. Leo XIII recommended two books– the Summa and this Catechism–for all seminarians! Pope Benedict 16th, as a Cardinal, called it the most important Catholic Catechism. Originally designed to supply parish priest with an official book of instruction, it has been used extensively by the laity as a steadying guide in our confused age. New typesetting and beautiful hardbound cover.
S0, also on my table I have the Three Ages of the Interior Life Volume 1, by Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P., was born in 1877 and is held as one of the greatest Catholic theologians of the twentieth century. He focused his writings against the error of Modernism, which denied the objective truth of Divine revelation, as well as on apologetics, including philosophy. In total, he authored over five hundred books and articles, and wrote as a thorough Thomist. Among Father Garrigou-Lagrange’s numerous works are The Three Ages of the Interior Life, Christian Perfection and Contemplation, Christ the Savior, and God, His Existence and Nature. He died in 1964. This author I HIGHLY RECOMMEND.This particular book is a masterpiece in displaying how Catholic doctrine and spirituality are perfectly complimentary to one another, and have no need to be separated one from the other!
I also have a Douay Rheims translation of Holy Scripture. This is my favourite English translation, because it is true to the Latin Vulgate and not so corrupted like other Catholic translations. Just because a Bible has the name Catholic on it, does not mean it is a good , faithful translation. The best test I have found is to go to Luke , Chapter 1 verse 28, it should read “ And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women” If the ” Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee” is not in your Bible you are best to get rid of that translation asap! Those exact words need to be in your translation of the Bible, if they aren’t, please get a new Bible and don’t give that one away either. We don’t need to be spreading error. You can burn it if you like, bury it or hide it real good!
On the Catechetical front, well right next to me actually I have the COMMENTARY ON THE GENERAL DIRECTORY FOR CATECHESIS Most Rev. Raymond Leo Burke From the Forward:In accord with the directives of the Apostolic See, MarianCatechists employ a twofold vademecum in their apostolate:the Catechism of the Catholic Church for doctrine and the General Directory for Catechesis for catechetical method.
Also, The Advanced Catholic Catechism Course Manual and Workbook and the BASIC CATHOLIC CATECHISM COURSE and by Father John Anthony Hardon S.J. Revised and Updated by Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke If you have been waiting to study the Faith, this is the perfect time to start.
Next, THE QUESTION AND ANSWER CATHOLIC CATECHISM Father John A. Hardon S.J. A perfect way for modern Catholics to address the issues of faith, this straightforward catechism provides precise answers to more than 1,700 questions about Church teachings, rituals, and religious practice. This Catechism presents the essentials of the Catholic Faith in a manner that is easy to use and spiritually sound.
The next Catechism was compiled and written by Servant of God Father John Hardon S.J and is simply called The Catholic Catechism “This volume is intended to meet a widely felt need for an up-to-date and concise source book on the principal teachings of the Catholic Church. Since the close of the Second Vatican Council, there has been such an accumulation of ecclesiastical constitutions and decrees and so many changes they introduced in Catholic practice that few people have been able to keep up with all that has happened… A parallel purpose of this volume is to offer those who use it a handy guidebook of the Catholic tradition, whether formally documented in ecclesiastical sources or implicitly accepted by the faithful under the aegis of the Church’s hierarchial leaders.”The method followed in presenting the Church’s doctrine is a combination of history and logic. Doctrines are placed into a historical framework by tracing their origins to the Old and New Testaments and placing their development within the context of persons, places, and times. The doctrine thus becomes more intelligible because it is viewed in the setting of its vital growth over the centuries.
“The intended reading audience of this Catholic catechism are all those priests, religious and laity, and above all parents and teachers, who are looking for a concise statement of the faith they profess, the conduct they practice, and the worship they give to the Lord.”
–From The Catholic Catechism by John A. Hardon, S.J.
Right now, Sept 19/14 I am in the middle of reading two books. To be honest, I am always reading and re-reading Catechetical and Doctrinal material, but I wanted to read something a little lighter and spiritual. So, I am reading The Fire Within, by Thomas Dubay .This book is the fruit of Fr. Dubay’s many years of study and experience in spiritual direction and in it he synthesizes the teachings on prayer of the two great doctors of the Church on prayer–St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila–and the teaching of Sacred Scripture.
But the teaching that Fr. Dubay synthesized is not collected from Teresa and John for contemplatives alone. It is meant for every Christian and is based on the Gospel imperative of personal prayer and the call to holiness. All the major elements of these great teachers are ordered, commented on and put in the context of their scriptural foundations. Here is an outstanding book on prayer and the spiritual life written by one of the best spiritual directors and retreat masters of our time, and based on the writings of the Church’s two greatest mystical doctors.
The second book is by a great Saint that I have an interest in. He is especially relevant in our time because of the huge disconnect between Church and state in the western world as of late. The book is written by St Thomas More and is called A Dialogue of Comfort against Tribulation . Here in modern English is More’s examination of the comfort of God in times of difficulty. Written in the Tower of London while More was awaiting execution for refusing to betray his faith, this book is a fictional dialogue between a young man, Vincent, and his mortally ill uncle. Vincent is afraid that an impending Muslim invasion will force him to betray his faith or die a martyr. More shows how all suffering can be beneficial if you respond to it properly.
On the philosophical side, I have History of Philosophy Volume II Augustine to Scotus by Frederick Copleston S.J Surveys schools of Western thought from the Patristic period and St. Augustine through the Carolingian renaissance, St. Bonaventure and St. Thomas Aquinas to Duns Scotus. I have also read and studied History of Philosophy Volume I Greece and Rome . Progress of philosophical thinking among the Greeks, leading to a dual climax in the work of Plato and Aristotle, demanding a synthesis by the Neo-Platonists. Both of these books I highly recommend to those who are interested in Philosophy. Especially those who are interested in St Thomas and his writings. These were an excellent primer to a better understanding of St Thomas, his theology and his writings on all matters. I am just a beginner, but I have to say, I learned a lot from these two volumes on the study of wisdom and the history of philosophy and the development of it. I wasn’t familiar with some of the words and phrases of the philosophical language. So, I just looked them up on wiki or google and would write out short definitions in these two volumes and refer back to them. Before I knew it these words were second nature and part of my vocabulary! Words like dialectic, epistemology, rhetoric, exemplarism, aliquid… look them up 🙂 one is in latin! See you soon. I have many more books to add to the list, and on my side table, but I’m getting tired. You should see the basement and bookshelves and desk, oh my!!! 🙂
May Almighty God Bless us and keep us safe from the World, the devil and ourselves
The Nature and Origin of Man
April 5, 2014
Nature and Origin of Man
So one question that definitely seems to escape the thoughts of most it seems today, finds its answer here in The Catholic Church. My hope is that we all ask this question and come to the only true answer. The question is, why are we here, or better yet, why did God create us? The answer is simple and should be memorized and taught especially to our youngsters, they NEED to know this. God created man to know, love, and serve his Creator and Lord in this life and in this way attain heaven and eternal happiness in the life to come. Once again, please teach and re-teach your children and grandchildren this important truth, it is a simple but effective moral compass in this turbulent place we call earth.Now, more than at any other time in history, we need direction and True purpose. This is our purpose for being, we have mission.
Once again , we are Gods creatures, composed of spirit and body, and by spirit we refer to our immaterial soul. By our bodies we refer to our material nature. Man is a rational animal, therefore, man has the use of reason, unlike mere animals. Our soul is immortal and will never die. The soul is a very special gift from God. It is created “ex nihlo,” out of nothing and infused into our body at the exact moment of our conception. Our parents help in the creation of our body, but God alone creates the soul and unites it with our body. We also refer to this moment as immediate animation. At that very moment, we are a human person and need to be protected as such!
We will touch also on some of the specific gifts that Adam and Eve possessed before the fall. Adam and Eve possessed supernatural gifts and also what we call preternatural gifts. So, to start with, Adam and Eve had sanctifying grace. This can be described as friendship with God, coupled with faith, hope and charity and the right to enter heaven. No creature has a right to these gifts, hence the name supernatural, since they only belong to God alone.
Now we get to the preternatural gifts, I remember them by referring to the three I’s , bodily immortality, integrity, and infused knowledge. It helps in remembering, and teaching little memorization tricks to keep the Truths of the Faith always ready and accessible. So these preternatural gifts are not natural to man, they were gifts given to our first parents which they lost through their fall. Sanctifying grace, the most important gift that was lost is restored with Baptism, but the preternatural gifts are not restored. Immortality simply means our First Parents were never intended to die, and this gift was intended to be passed on through generations. Integrity means that our First Parents were free of concupiscence. In other words, they were not inclined to sin. They didn’t have that tension between the flesh and spirit, their body and soul were in harmony with one another. They were well aware of Gods will. Infused knowledge, refers to the fact that they didn’t have to struggle to learn or overcome ignorance. Adam and Eve certainly would have known that serpents do not speak, and that something was out of order when the “nahash” entered the Garden.
Adam and Eve are truly historical figures, our First Parents. All human beings on this earth descend from Adam and Eve, a single set of parents, this is called monogenism. Polygenism was rejected by Pope Pius XII, who warned, ” the faithful cannot embrace that opinion that maintains that either after Adam there existed on this earth true men who did not take their origin through natural generation through him as the first parent of all or that Adam represents a certain number of first parents.” ( Humani Generis 37).
In the next post we will look at Original Sin and its effects. May GOD bless us all, and keep us safe from ourselves, the devil and the world. In JMJ, Lee
PS : as always, comments, questions and discussion is encouraged 🙂
March 26, 2014
Good Angels…..First Article of Apostles Creed continued
I find it a very appropriate day to blog about Good Angels. Of course today is the First Class Feast of The Annunciation of The Blessed Virgin Mary, March 25 and yesterday was St Gabriels feast day, the Archangel chosen by God to announce to Mary that she was to be the Mother of Christ. The Angel in the above image of the Annunciation is none other than the Angel Gabriel. He was hand picked by God to deliver Good News to Mary.
I think it is important to note that although each individual angel is indeed a different unique species from one another since they are not of a material nature but a spiritual nature, that their still are different classes of angels. Actually, nine Choirs of Angels is the language we use to identify the hierarchy,types or government if you will, of angels.. Pope Leo XIII in his encyclical Quod Apostolici muneris, writes of the distinct nature of the choirs of angels, ” Just then as the Almighty willed that, in the Heavenly Kingdom itself, the choirs of angels should be of different ranks, and subordinated the one to the other; again just as in the Church, God has established different grades of orders with diversity of functions…” St Teresa of Avila who saw angels on more than one occasion, a favourite Saint of mine, and most powerful intercessor , also Doctor of the Church writes of the choirs, ” Their names they never tell me; but I see very well that their is in heaven so great a difference between one angel and another, and between these and the others, I cannot explain it.”
The nine choirs are as follows, The Seraphim, The Cherubim, The Thrones, The Dominations, The Virtues, The Powers, Principalities, Archangels, and Angels. In a more intermediate study in the future, we will look at the different functions of these nine choirs and how they relate with God, one another and with us here on earth.
The Archangels that are known to us as Catholics definitively through Sacred Scripture and Sacred tradition are Archangel St Michael, Archangel St Gabriel, and Archangel St Raphael. We know that their are more Archangels, ” I am Raphael, one of the seven who stand before the Lord” (Tob 12:16). We do not know the names of the other four, we might have wait and see who they are in heaven. If you want to read more about Angels, you might like Joan Carrol Cruz’s book Angels and Demons or Peter Kreefts book Angels and Demons: What do we Really Know about Them? I have read both these books and really appreciated the thoroughness of each.
Next time we will look at Bad Angels….
in JMJ, Lee
First Article of Creed Continued…..Angels
March 20, 2014
As we continue looking at the First Article of the Apostles Creed, “ I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth “ we will do a basic study on Angels. This is a very popular subject with people of all religions and even no religion, since most people seem to believe in angels existence. Of course we know they do exist and have a very active part in our day to day life. We will take a quick look at what The Church has to say about Angels.
The word Angel, actually means “one who is sent” or ” messenger.” Angels are revealed to us all through Sacred Scripture (Psalm 103:20-21, 148:2, Genesis 48:16, Matt 22:30, Lk1:26,Peter 2:4, Rev 5:11……) and all through Sacred Tradition.
God created angels as pure spirits. They are spiritual beings, non-corporeal : therefore, having no bodies. Each Angel is a person, a subsisting intelligent being with an intellect and a will. Angels are immortal beings, not to be confused with God, who is Eternal. Each Angel is a completely unique creature of God, naturally superior to man and closer to God in semblance. He is the creator, they are creatures. His knowledge is infinite, angels knowledge is finite. He knows past, present, future….Angels do not know the future unless specially revealed to them by God. Angels , good and bad had choice in the beginning, to either co-operate with Gods will and spend eternity with Him in heaven, or be cast into hell for willful disobedience. We will continue for the next two or three posts on Angels: Good and Bad. Don’t forget to stay in constant contact with your guardian angel. I ask mine to remind me of appointments, to help me remember many things and to help protect me from the world, the devil and myself. I also try and thank him also for the guidance he gives me and all the help he has given me over the years. This is the Guardian Angel prayer, I say it every day when I wake and when I go to bed and also say it to my children and ask their Guardian Angels to watch over them always.
Angel of God, my guardian dear, To whom God’s love commits me here, Ever this day, be at my side, To light and guard, Rule and guide.
“From infancy to death human life is surrounded by their (the angels) watchful care and intercession. Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life. Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united to God.”
– from the Catechism of the Catholic Church; 336.
in JMJ, Lee