Three Books By Priests from OSV

Three Books By Priests from OSV June 17, 2014

books by priests
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Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle writes this fine book in which he describes discipleship as a pilgrimage and journey.

 

THE PASTORAL

That could become a cliché. But here you will find more than biblical, Pauline metaphors: It is practical advice for daily living as a Catholic, given to us—yes, from the heart of Jesus, but also from the heart and pastoral experience of a priest.

So we find in this book chapters with titles like “Letting Go of Grudges,” or “Pain is Healed in Works of Self-Giving.” Through them, Archbishop Sartain shows how, in the practical realities of our everyday lives, Christ is trying to draw us nearer to Him.

This is a valuable book, full of brief meditations, unified by a common theme, that you can take with you to Adoration (you do go, don’t you?) or use as part of an examination of conscience during Compline (which you do pray, don’t you?).

 

THE CATECHETICAL

Regular OSV contributor Fr. Robert J. Hater writes this book for those interested in how the Church has taught the faith to its members since Vatican II.

Fr. Hater, whose long experience teaching the faith lends wisdom (and great anecdotes) to this book, helps us to understand both the strengths and the weaknesses of Catholic catechesis in the 50 years since the Council.

Like the 18th-century philosopher Vico, who divided human history into three “ages,” Fr. Hater divides the post-conciliar Church into four catechetical “periods.” They are these: the Memorization Period; the Chaotic Period; the Systematic Period; and the Experiential Period.

Though he does not reject the Council, Fr. Hater also knows that the faith has not been well taught since the 1960s. This book is valuable for his insight into those years, as well as for its “common sense” proposals for solid catechesis in the years to come.

Anyone who is invested in how the faith is taught—or who teaches youth, adults, and converts—should read this book.

 

THE EXEGETICAL

Fr. Mitch Pacwa proves the merit of his reputation for biblical scholarship every time he speaks or writes. His name on a book is its own proof. Mary: Virgin, Mother, and Queen: A Bible Study Guide for Catholics should hardly need a review. Fr. Mitch wrote it? Sold!

But this is more than a book of biblical scholarship. It is that; and the scholarship, as one would expect from Fr. Pacwa, is solid. But he has the gift (like Dr. Scott Hahn) of writing for people. Anyone can understand this book, and find it of use to them.

Consider all those who will find value in this brief but in-depth study.

Catholics who have Protestant friends will find it valuable when confronted with the question Where is the “Catholic Mary” in the Bible?

Protestants who are attracted to the Church, but who find Mary an intractable stumbling block (I did) will be helped greatly by reading this book.

Bible study classes will find this book a useful text. Indeed, Fr. Pacwa seemed to have had such an audience in mind, since the book comes with questions for review and discussion, as well as places to write study notes.

Catholics who simply want to understand Mary better, and grow deeper in their relationship with her, will also find this book incredibly valuable.

The book is sensibly organized—i.e., chronologically—starting with Mary as prefigured in the Old Testament, and moving forward to discuss Mary prior to the birth of Christ, and then Mary’s role in Christ’s public ministry.

Firmly rooted in the Biblical text, and in Fr.’s deep learning, this book is a must-have for those who love Mary (and the Bible) and want to know them better.

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