Church Fathers, Day One Hundred Twenty: St. Leo the Great reminds us to give thanks


Don’t forget to give thanks Rome came very close to being destroyed by Attila the Hun, but Pope St. Leo the Great went out unarmed to meet the unstoppable conqueror and somehow persuaded him to turn back. Here Leo scolds the Romans for failing to give proper thanks to God for their deliverance. I beg you, dear friends, let the words of the Savior touch our hearts. When by the power of his mercy he had cured ten lepers, he said that only one out of all of them had come back to give t … [Read more...]

The Laity Speaks – Sarah Reinhard


Welcome back to “The Laity Speaks”, a recurring feature here at The Catholic Book Blogger. This feature is the companion to “The Clergy Speaks” and takes us to the other side of the pulpit to hear prominent lay people’s answer to the same question. That question is: What five books would you recommend as must-reads for Catholics today? I left the responses open to current or classic books with the only restriction being that the Bible and the Catechism could not be used as they are a given. … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day One Hundred Nineteen: St. Cyril of Jerusalem tells us to praise according to our ability


Praise according to your ability We can’t ever completely comprehend the nature of God, says St. Cyril of Jerusalem. But that doesn’t keep us from studying what we can understand and praising God for his glory. But someone might say, “If what God is can never be comprehended, why do you even talk about these things?” So, then, because I can’t drink up the whole river, am I not even allowed to take in moderation what’s good for me? Because with eyes made like mine I can’t look directly at th … [Read more...]

CBB Interview with John Henry Crosby


PETE: With nearly 5000 handwritten pages to go through, how did you decide what to include in the book My Battle Against Hitler and how long did the project take?JOHN HENRY CROSBY: You can imagine how difficult it was to select material for a book of just a few hundred pages! That said, Dietrich von Hildebrand’s memoirs begin with his childhood and cover in great detail the period of his youth, university years, and, only toward the end, his battle against Nazism. Thus, from the point of v … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day One Hundred Eighteen: Hermas wants us to be cheerful

Be cheerful You can’t be a Christian and a grump at the same time, the visionary Hermas is told. If you let grief take hold of you,it will lead you away from God. Get rid of your grief. Don’t crush the Holy Spirit who lives in you, or he might withdraw from you and plead against you to God. For the Spirit of God, who has been given to us to dwell in this body, doesn’t stand for grief or narrowness. So put on cheerfulness, which is always agreeable and acceptable to God, and rejoice in it. F … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day One Hundred Seventeen: St. John Cassian advises us to suit your practice to your nature

Suit your practice to your nature. Not everyone can fast heroically, says St. John Cassian. We need to take our own constitutions into account. The object of fasting is not the fast itself, but its effect: to keep gluttony from turning our minds away from what’s really important. No single rule can easily be set down for how we should fast, because not everybody has the same strength; nor is it like the rest of the virtues, acquired by steadfastness of mind alone. And therefore, because it d … [Read more...]