The Clergy Speaks – Msgr. Stuart Swetland


Welcome back to “The Clergy Speaks”, a recurring feature here at The Catholic Book Blogger. “The Clergy Speaks” is a column focusing on one question I have asked various members of the clergy. 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. This week we welcome Monsignor Stuart Swetland, President of … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day Forty-Two: St. John of Damascus explains the right hand of the Father


What we mean by “the right hand of the Father” St. John of Damascus, traditionally the last of the Church Fathers, explains what we mean when we say that Christ sits “at the right hand of the Father”: not that God the Father has literal hands, but that God the Son shares the Father’s glory. We also believe that Christ sits in the body at the right hand of God the Father. But we do not believe that “the right hand of the Father” is actually a place. For how could he who is infinite have a righ … [Read more...]

CBB Interview with Richard Cole


PETE: What drew you to writing your conversion story "Catholic By Choice"? RICHARD COLE: We always want to share good news, right? If we see a terrific movie, we want to tell our friends, and I had just gone through this terrific, amazing, dazzling experience of conversion so I wanted to tell everybody about it. Writing a book also seemed like the “next best thing,” as the Jesuits would say. I had been taking notes all through the RCIA process, and so instead of reading for a couple of hours eve … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day Forty-One: St. Gregory the Great says live a life worthy of the Resurrection

Live a life worthy of the Resurrection Christ died for sinners, not for the righteous. Now that Christ has conquered death, says St. Gregory the Great, we should abandon our worldly lives and live for Christ. God’s mercy for us is more amazing because Christ died, not for the righteous or holy, but for the unrighteous and wicked. Though his divine na­ture was not capable of death, yet at his birth he took from us what he would offer for us. Long ago he threatened our death with the power of … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day Forty: St. Cyril of Alexandria tells us let your tears turn to joy

Let your tears turn to joy Tears we shed for Christ are never unrewarded, says St. Cyril of Alexandria. Look at Mary Magdalene: she wept because she thought Christ’s body had been stolen, and she learned the most joyous news in all history. Observe that the tears we let fall for Christ do not lose their reward, nor is it long before love for him bears fruit. No, his grace and rich return will follow closely in the wake of pain. As Mary was sitting there, her cheeks moistened with mourning f … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day Thirty-Nine: St. Ephrem and crossing the bridge to heaven


Cross the bridge to heaven In a striking metaphor, St. Ephrem the Syrian imagines Jesus the carpenter making his own Cross into a bridge to heaven. Because the tree in Eden brought death, it is fitting that a tree also brings us to life. This is the Son of the carpenter, who skilfully made his Cross a bridge over Sheol—Sheol that swallows up all—and brought over mankind into the dwelling of life. And because it was through the tree that mankind had fallen into Sheol, so upon the tree they p … [Read more...]