Tunes From the BCCT on
There are a lot of members of the Broad Chorus of Catholic Thinkers posting articles, videos and podcasts online. So much in fact that one really doesn’t have the time, energy or computer bandwidth to read all the good things being written up and slapped on a web page. And so I decided to bring examples of a 132 of them together in one post. It consists of bits of Orthodox Catholic thoughts from the Catholic Rigorous Vortex and the Liberal Hippie Catholics and everyone else in-between.
The diversity of thought within Catholic teaching, like variety within the strictures of sonnets, is one of its most beautiful features. It is nevertheless important to listen, as much as we can, to a broad chorus of Catholic thinkers. I have found great consolation in the fact that someone holier and smarter than myself has likely asked my questions already; my job is to find them and to listen, and then to make as many people as possible read block quotations about it.
Sharon Kabel , OSB vs. UFO: Stanley Jaki and the Theology of Aliens (June 16, 2021)- OnePeterFive
But of course with so many samples of things to look at in one semi-long post, several nifty, pithy and unique writings and more can get lost in the shuffle. So I decided to take what I gathered and break it up into smaller posts based on themes instead of particular individual Catholic websites. I even added a few other things not found in the larger collage of writings.
In this issue I present to you tunes from the BCCT on…
New Books Hot Off the Press
The Leader In Catholic Faith Formation | Top-quality Catholic media, books, and study programs
In response to countless requests, Ascension is launching The Catechism in a Year (with Fr. Mike Schmitz) on January 1, 2023!
With this podcast, Catholics will:
- Read the entire Catechism of the Catholic Church in 365 days
- Understand the essentials of the Catholic Faith and why they matter
- See how Church teaching is rooted in Sacred Scripture
- Absorb over 2,000 years of Sacred Tradition
- Encounter God’s plan of sheer goodness
- Transform their relationship with the Church that Christ founded.
If you have ever wanted to understand what it means to be Catholic and allow those truths to shape your life—this podcast is for you!
We can’t wait to start this incredible journey with you!
Keep up-to-date on all things Catechism in a Year (CIY) by joining our Facebook group here.
NEW BOOK: On Earth as It Is in Heaven: Restoring God’s Vision of Race and Discipleship by Fr. Josh Johnson
Echoing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s wisdom, I also believe that welcoming disciples from all nations, peoples, tribes, and tongues to the worship of God—specifically at the holy sacrifice of the Mass—is the foundational work that all practicing Catholics are being encouraged by our Lord to participate in as we accompany one another in our walk toward eternity. Communal prayer in the presence of the Eucharist has the power to transform and unite people of all nations.
Communal prayer in the presence of the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament must be at the forefront of our minds because communal prayer was the first mandate Jesus Christ gave to his apostles after their ordination at the Last Supper. Before Jesus invited his apostles to teach, preach, heal, baptize, and disciple all of the nations, he invited them to spend time with him and each other in the practice of prayer.
Fr. Josh Johnson, On Earth As It Is in Heaven:Restoring God’s Vision of Race and Discipleship (2022) Ascension. Kindle Edition.
Ave Maria Press
Catholic publisher of books, textbooks, and parish resources.
A ministry of the United States Province of Holy Cross.
Four Ave Maria Press titles won 2022 Excellence in Publishing Awards from the Association of Catholic Publishers.
In the general interest category, Our Not-Quite-Holy-Family by Mark and Melanie Hart took first place.
St. Dymphna’s Playbook by Tommy Tighe and A White Catholic’s Guide to Racism and Privilege by Daniel P. Horan tied for third place in the general interest category. Deacon Harold Burke Sivers also won a third-place award in resources for ministry for his book for deacons, Our Life of Service.
First-, second-, and third-place awards were given in sixteen categories. An overall resource of the year from among the first-place winners will be announced later this summer.
See the complete list of winners on the ACP website.
AVP also publishes
Our Lady of Hot Messes Leticia Ochoa Adams November 11, 2022
Reclaiming Catholic History Series by Mike Aquilina
Reclaiming Vatican II by Fr. Blake Britton
The Way of Beatitude by Casey Cole, OFM
Befriending St. Joseph Deacon Greg Kandra
Pray for Us by Meg Hunter-Kilmer
My Badass Book of Saints by Maria Morera Johnson
Jane Austen’s Genius Guide to Life by Haley Stewart
Catholic Hipster Book 1 & 2 Tommy Tighe
What to Say and How to Say It, Volume 1 – 3 by Brandon Vogt
The separation between doctrine and practice is bad for theologians, pastoral leaders, and Christians looking to grow in holiness. It leads to theologians who no longer see their vocation as connected to the Church. Academic theologians speak a language that the enlightened alone possess. On occasion, they turn their attention to the ordinary beliefs and practices of the faithful, sometimes reacting with amusement or horror that one could be so primitive as to adore the Eucharist or leave flowers before Our Lady of Guadalupe. The proper arena for the theologian to exercise her craft is assumed to be the doctoral seminar, not the parish or the Catholic secondary school.
Likewise, pastoral strategy too often develops apart from the intellectual treasury of the Church. Such strategy is unreflective, not able to critically examine its own assumptions. For example, how we prepare adolescents for Confirmation is a theological and pastoral problem. Without the wisdom of sacramental doctrine, responding to this pastoral need becomes a matter of pragmatic conjecture, unfortunately leading to the variety of both implicit and often impoverished theologies of Confirmation that arose in the twentieth century. Pastoral strategy divorced from the doctrinal richness of the Church can leave catechesis deprived of anything worthwhile to pass on. If one is to be a youth minister, it is not enough to know best practices for accompanying teens through adolescence, since one can accompany someone even off a cliff. Pastoral leaders must also know a good deal about what Catholicism teaches to lead members of Christ’s Body to the fullness of human happiness.
Becoming Eucharistic People: The Hope and Promise of Parish Life (2022) by Timothy P. O’Malley
Emmaus Road Publishing
How Christ Saves Souls―with Us: The Mystery of Co-Redemption (2022) by Fr. Michael E. Giesler
The Genesis of Gender: A Christian Theory (July 11, 2022) by
The question of gender—who we are as men and women—has never been more pressing, or more misunderstood.
Weaving personal experience with expert knowledge, Dr. Abigail Favale provides an in-depth yet accessible account of the gender paradigm: a framework for understanding reality and identity that has recently risen to prominence. Favale traces the genealogy of gender to its origins in feminism and postmodern thought, describing how gender has come to eclipse sex, and how that shift is reshaping language, law, medicine, sexuality, and our own self-perceptions.
With substance, clarity, and compassion, Favale teases out the hidden assumptions of the gender paradigm and exposes its effects. Yet this book is not merely an exposé—it is also a powerful, moving articulation of a Christian understanding of reality: a holistic paradigm that proclaims the dignity of the body, the sacramental meaning of sexual difference, and the interconnectedness of all creation. The Genesis of Gender is a vital, timely resource for anyone seeking to better understand the gender paradigm—and how to live beyond it.
A Hiker’s Guide to Purgatory by Michael Norton (2022)
Holy is His Name: A Journey Through Mary’s Magnificat (2022) by John Michael Talbot
This refrain has reverberated through churches, cathedrals, concert halls, and arenas across America and around the world for decades. Now for the first time, Christian Music pioneer and monastic founder John Michael Talbot leads us in an extended meditation on Mary’s Magnificat.
This canticle is not only the inspiration for “Holy Is His Name,” it has been a daily hallmark of the prayer of the Church for centuries.
John Michael unlocks the depths of Mary’s extraordinary hymn of praise, word by word, line by line, and day by day.
Marathon to Mordor (2022) by Karina Fabian
It’s American Gladiator in space as technoathletes pit their suits and their mettle against the most extreme race in the solar system.
Pauline Books & Media
Pauline Books & Media ��@PBMPublishing (Jun 17, 2022)“: the first of its kind: a book that focuses on authentically helping autistic people in their prayer lives…from the autistic perspective. I believe any autistic Christian can benefit from giving this book a read…”
—Stephanie Bethany, Autistic YouTuber
God Loves the Autistic Mind: Prayer Guide for Those on the Spectrum and Those Who Love Us (2022 by LC Fr. Matthew P. Schneider
Prayer is always an adventure. Autistic prayer is no different: it is just a different type of adventure. It’s as if everyone else is watching Star Wars while we’re watching Star Trek. Both are space adventures with interstellar travel, warp speed, and laser weapons, but the rules for how things work are a little different. Each person must go on his or her own adventure seeking out God in prayer. This book provides something of a roadmap or interstellar guide for the autistic seeking Jesus, but it cannot replace your own effort.
Sophia Institute Press
Who IS that angel that we see perched atop the Christmas tree?
And how can angels fly so high, soaring through the snowy sky?
And why do angels dress in white? And do the angels ever fight?
Who made the angels? Any clue? He who made them made YOU too!
With these charming rhyming verses, Anthony DeStefano begins this enchanting children’s book on perhaps the most fascinating of all God’s creatures — the angels.
How the Angels Got Their Wings is a winsome introduction to the story of the angels — pure spiritual beings of extraordinary power made by God to assist Him in carrying out His will. Beginning with the creation of the angels and the “war in Heaven” between the good angels and the bad, this book introduces children to the famous archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael — as well as to Satan, the ringleader of the fallen angels, who chose to rebel against God.
This book also acquaints children with those special angels who are here with us rightnow, helping to protect and guide us — our guardian angels. It shows children how angels can assist them with all the problems they encounter in life, from communicating with others to choosing between right and wrong, and can protect them from physical harm.
How the Angels Got Their Wings is a beautifully illustrated, highly entertaining, biblically correct, and theologically orthodox introduction to angels. Once children read it, they will be forever comforted in knowing that God’s love for them is so strong that He gave them not only His Son, but the angels above so they will never, ever be alone in life.
In Extraterrestrial Intelligence and the Catholic Faith, best-selling author Paul Thigpen begins with a fascinating historical survey of the public conversation about ETI, tracing the thought of prominent Catholics and others. Well-known figures such as Plato, Saint John Chrysostom, René Descartes, Isaac Newton, Benjamin Franklin, Réginald Garrigou-Lagrange, and C. S. Lewis all speculated about the possibilities of life beyond our planet. Even Catholic saints and blesseds spoke of ETI, such as Pope Saint. John Paul II, Saint (Padre) Pio of Pietrelcina, and Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich.
In light of this history, readers will discover answers to these questions:
- How do Scripture and Catholic teaching shed light on this topic?
- Are alleged encounters with ETI simply a form of demonic deception?
- Is belief in ETI compatible with the Catholic Church’s teaching?
- What might be the spiritual and moral status of ETI, and what relationship might they have to Jesus Christ?
- Would the confirmed existence of ETI undermine the Christian faith, as some have claimed?
- How can thinking about ETI deepen our faith and enhance our understanding of the Church’s teaching about God and His creation, Jesus Christ and salvation, and God’s ultimate intention for His creatures?
Still more, a concluding appendix addresses the related issue of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) and the speculation surrounding them.
Recent developments in astrophysics, technology, and UFO-related disclosures by the Pentagon have reawakened the public discussion about ETI. Extraterrestrial Intelligence and the Catholic Faith is a thorough guide to navigating the conversation from a faithful Catholic perspective.
What you are about to read is a fascinating collection of legends from the popular historian and author of the 19th century, Andrew Lang. He wrote, along with his wife, Lenora, many popular collections of myths and fairy tales, such as the color-coded Fairy Book series. J.R.R. Tolkien was highly influenced by Lang’s collections as a child, as well as an adult. In fact, his famous essay, On Fairy Stories, was originally designed to be part of a series of lectures about Andrew Lang.
While Andrew Lang was not a practicing Christian, he decided to publish a book on Saints and Heroes that featured many medieval myths and legends about Catholic saints. It was designed, like many of his books, to be read aloud, specifically to children. While some of the language used can be difficult for the modern reader, it still retains its value as a popular read aloud book, especially among homeschool families. At the same time, Tolkien would argue that these stories are not to be reserved to children but should be enjoyed by adults of every age. We all need to awaken in ourselves a sense of wonder and these legends can help even adults achieve that goal.
The Book of Saints and Heroes – Voyage Classics – Voyage Comics
These two essays by Raïssa Maritain—”Sense and Non-Sense in Poetry” and “Magic, Poetry, and Mysticism”—comprise an often forgotten but significant contribution to Catholic letters. Maritain considers the way true poetry always transcends its “logical sense” in order to convey a “poetic sense.” Poetry is a human thing, but it stirs the human beyond mere “logic” in the direction of the divine. In his introduction, James Matthew Wilson explains that, “Poetry is the fruit of a contact of the spirit with reality, which is in itself ineffable, and with the source of reality, which we believe to be God himself in that movement of love which causes him to create images of his beauty.”
While the poet might be prayerful and the mystic might wax poetic, there is a “fundamental difference which separates the poetic experience from the mystical experience: while the poet progresses toward the Word, the mystic tends toward Silence.” As Raïssa Maritain expounds, mystics may be moved to describe their heightened experiences, but for them this “expression is not a means of completing the experience.” For the furnishing of her interior castle, a mystic like St. Teresa of Avila needs no speech; her talk, the record she left us of the “prayer of quiet,” is “only a result of superabundance, a generous attempt at communication.”
The poet, on the contrary, cannot do without words. They are the vital stuff of his service to the world. Albert Béguin corroborates Maritain’s conclusion, contending that “whatever value one attributes to the poetic act, it remains an act submitted to the necessity of form. It ends at the word.” On the other hand, the poetic word points beyond language, ever striving for a fuller communion with reality and its Maker.
Inhabiting the tensions between sense and nonsense, poetry and mysticism, articulation and its absence, Maritain manifests the hidden mysteries at the heart of all poetry worthy of the name.
Word on Fire
The past several years have been a time of tremendous challenge. From the COVID-19 pandemic that afflicted the world, to the political polarization that unsettled the nation, to the division, disaffiliation, and scandal that rocked the Church, Catholics everywhere have been filled with fear, burdened by pain, and longing for hope.
In Redeeming the Time, Bishop Robert Barron follows the wisdom of St. Paul in Ephesians 5 and boldly shines the light of the Gospel into our dark hour. Sorting through our moral, intellectual, social, political, and ecclesial turmoil, this collection of essays is a timely reminder that our hope—especially when things seem hopeless—is always found in Christ and his Church.
Jimmy Akin@JimmyAkin3000: I recently contributed a chapter to the book The New Apologetics, which brings together a bunch of thinkers on doing apologetics in a way that takes into account the circumstances of our modern world. Check it out!
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