The Catholic Men’s Bible: Devotional, Call to Holiness, and Study Bible

The Catholic Men’s Bible: Devotional, Call to Holiness, and Study Bible March 24, 2014

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Fr. Larry Richards, who is known for teaching Catholic men how to be men and Catholics, has come out with a study Bible (the NAB translation; buy here) specifically for men who want to live their faith more fully. If you belong to a men’s group at your parish, or if you just want to search more deeply for the holiness to which God has called you as a man, while making an analytical study of the Bible, this is the one you must own.

I tend toward the analytical, and understand things best by breaking them down into their component parts. So it appeals to me, at first glance, that this edition of the Bible comes complete with introductions to the individual books (as well as to groups of books like the Pentateuch or the Gospels); it contains outlines of each of the biblical books, and scholarly footnotes to the text. It has exegetical heft. I like a Bible that has been designed for serious study.

In addition, spread throughout the text, are 88 mini-essays on topics of particular relevance to Catholic men. No. 27 reminds men that family comes first. No. 31 teaches how to properly show courage. No. 40 shows why a man must sublimate his natural gift at being the decision-maker to the will of God. No. 71 reveals “the key to manhood”; No. 68 says that the ultimate goal of life is holiness. These essays teach men how to pray, how to evangelize, how to balance authority with self-control, and how to show strength through love and gentleness.

Here is part of what Fr. Richards says on how prayer and fatherhood are related:

Everything about prayer is about a relationship between our Father and us. It’s about our Dad and us. When we enter into this relationship, we need to come to know that God loves us. Our response has to be that I want to love Him. Prayer is primarly being with that Someone who loves you.

Thus through prayer, men can learn to remember what they most needed from their fathers, and what they most need to give to their children. Prayer teaches men how to be Dads (and husbands, and leaders)—how to love as they have been loved and give as they have been given.

Ultimately, men need to learn how to balance strength with gentleness, sex with tenderness, authority with obedience, intellect with faith, courage and leadership with the willingness to admit wrongs and seek direction from God.

There are few better resources for those things, which also encourage the need for serious, daily, and in-depth biblical study, than this Catholic Men’s Bible from Fr. Larry Richards. It is available from Our Sunday Visitor.

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