PETE: You are a prolific writer with a multitude of books published. This is a two part question. How do you decide on what you will write about and what led you to the topic of your latest book Angels and Saints?
SCOTT HAHN: My problem is that I’m a compulsive reader about things that interest me — and I’m interested in so many things. Reading books makes me want to write books. I like to respond to what other authors are saying. I like to try different approaches to familiar topics. And I have my favorite angles of approach, which are distinctively my own. But you’re right: there aren’t enough hours in the day or days in the year to write the books I want to write, so I do have to make decisions. Usually I write my books in response to real questions I’ve received with some frequency. I write to fulfill real needs I’ve detected in correspondence and conversation with real people. Prayer seals it. I pray about what to write next.
PETE: You lead the book off with a personal story about your sons medical emergency while visiting Assisi as a humble example of angelic presence and help. How difficult what is to share such a personal story?
SCOTT HAHN: It’s difficult to live it, but not so difficult to tell it — at least not when it has such a happy ending, as that story does. I tell it with gratitude to almighty God.
PETE: For those you have not read the book yet it is divided into two parts. Focusing on the second part first, how did you go about choosing the saints you discuss in this section?
SCOTT HAHN: The choices were very personal and somewhat intuitive. I love the saints I chose, but they shouldn’t be read as my “Top Ten List” or anything like that. Some of them are unusual. You won’t find Moses treated in many books on the saints. But he should be. So you’ll find him in my book!
PETE: Not a question but your comment is welcome. I, like most readers, must say every time I pick up a new book of yours I come away learning something. Your explanation of how the word “holy” in the Old Testament was reserved for God and then how through Christ it became a shared holiness and we all are meant for sainthood was fantastic.
SCOTT HAHN: Thank you! I’m a teacher by training and by trade. You just spoke the words most musical to me. We often emphasize the continuity between the Old and New Testaments, but here is a clear case of discontinuity. Prior to the Incarnation of the eternal Son of God, the people of Israel knew nothing of the veneration of saints. Sometimes we forget what a difference the New Covenant makes.
PETE: I have not asked you this since last year so…time for my signature ending question. This is a blog about books. What is currently on your bookshelf to read?
SCOTT HAHN: I’m always working on a variety of projects, so I’m reading a variety of books, including these: Craig A. Evans, From Jesus to the Church: The First Christian Generation;Roland Deines, Acts of God in History; and Luis Varela Martinez, Sacred Scripture in the Spirituality of Saint John Baptist de La Salle.
Read my review of Scott’s book Angels and Saints: A Biblical Guide to Friendship with God’s Holy Ones here.
Other books by Scott Hahn:
Evangelizing Catholics: A Mission Manual for the New Evangelization