Authored by Chris Hall
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I was expecting great things from Pope Benedict XVI after reading the first part of this trilogy and I wasn’t going to be disappointed. Let me just say that this book is excellent!
IF you haven’t read it because you think it’s a ‘Catholic’ book then I implore you to put down any prejudice and just read it. Benedict has written these books in such a way so they become open and personal to all Christians.
This book follows the ministry of Jesus during the Holy Week up to his crucifixion and resurrection. It’s extremely well written and provides enough to make you think deeply and if needs be find out more yourself.
Benedict provides a good depth of detail when it comes to looking at the Old Testament prophecies concerning. Consider Jesus and the colt, John implies that Jesus was ‘put on’ the donkey which ties up with Zadok and Nathan’s enthronement of Solomon on David’s mule in 1 Kings. A nice touch.
If you haven’t read this book then do, you won’t be disappointed.
Eschatology : Death and Eternal Life.
The Miraculous Medal Or the Medal of the Immaculate Conception. Found one of these cards with a picture of Pope Benedict XVI and the Virgin Mary a few years ago and the internet tells me what the medal is. But does anyone know what the reason is for it being held in this card? Who would have received it? Who would have given it? Why? And what do you do with it?
I’ve blogged before about Catholic Social Teaching and now I’ve come across an excellent article from Miki Tracy from the Gilbert House Catholic Worker Community on giving and obedience which can be found on the Distributist Review.
In it Miki quotes a number of Church Fathers, bible verses, scripture and other Christians on the theme of giving to the poor. I’ve not noticed a lot of these before but they do really grab your attention when grouped together so I’m going to thieve them and post them here! They really do make an excellent base for some scriptural meditation.
“The mystery of poverty is that by sharing in it, making ourselves poor in giving to others, we increase our knowledge and belief in love.” – Dorothy Day
“As you do to the least of these My brethren, so you do it unto Me.” – Matthew 25:40
“Words express, but examples persuade.” – Pope Benedict XVI
“It is the crushed heart which is the soft heart, the tender heart. – an OCD Sister to Dorothy Day
“Christian love is not philanthropy.” – Father Stanley Jaki
“You never give to the poor what is yours; you merely return to them what belongs to them. For what you have appropriated [for yourself] was given for the common use of everybody. The land was given [by GOD] for everybody, not just the rich.” – St. Ambrose of Milan
“The bread that is in your box belongs to the hungry; the coat in your closet belongs to the naked; the shoes you do not wear belong to the barefoot; the money in your vault belongs to the destitute.” – St. Basil the Great, Bishop of Caesarea, c. A.D. 370
“Give something, however small, to the one in need. For it is not small to the one who has nothing. Neither is it small to GOD, if we have given what we could.” – St Gregory Naziansen, Bishop of Constantinople, late fourth century
“Nothing is your own. You are a slave and what is yours belongs to the Lord. For a slave has no property that is truly his own; naked you were brought into this life.” – Asterius, Bishop of Amasea, from “The Unjust Steward” c. A.D. 400
“It is true that there is a thing crudely called charity, which means charity to the deserving poor, but charity to the deserving is not charity at all, but justice.” – G.K. Chesterton, in Heretics
“Give strong drink to him who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress; let them drink and forget their poverty, and remember their misery no more. Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are left desolate. Open your mouth, judging righteously, maintain the rights of the poor and needy.” – Proverbs 31:6-9
“Make yourself beloved in the congregation; bow your head low to the great man. Incline your ear to the poor, and answer him peaceably and gently. Deliver him who is wronged from the hand of the wrongdoer; do not be fainthearted in judging a case. Be like a father to the orphans…you will then be like a son of the Most High, and He will love you more than does your own mother.” – Sirach 4:7-10
“You shall love the Lord your GOD with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind….[and] you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” -Matthew 22:37-40
“Stretch forth your hand to the poor, so that your blessing may be complete. Give graciously to all the living, and withhold not kindness from the dead. Do not fail those who weep, but mourn with those who mourn. Do not shrink from visiting the sick man, because of such deeds you will be loved. In all that you do, remember the end of your life, and then you will never sin.” – Sirach 7:32-36
A big thank you to Miki for showing me such inspiring scripture and life.
So Benedict XVI is going to visit the UK in September this year. How do we know? Because of all the protests that are being lined up!
We have the National Secular Society, The Orange Order, Gay Humanists, Central London Humanist Group, the British Humanist Association, the National Secular Society, One Law for All, the Gay And Lesbian Humanist Association, the Rationalist Association, OutRage! and more.
They must see Pope Benny as a big fish for him to generate this amount of indignation. Not even Mugabe could rouse the wrath of so many!
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I was pleasantly surprised by how readable and encouraging this book is. Pope Benedict XVI has shown himself to have a fantastic understanding of the Gospels and their sources, as well he should! He brings that information along and presents it in a fresh and inspiring way. Many, many times he shows how connected the Bible is to itself and how doctrine and theology stretch consistently from Genesis to Revelation, how themes are repeated and built up and how what we have is truly inspired.
So put aside any bigotry, if you have any and grab a copy!