Saturday, 1 October 2011

Mark's Recommended Reads (Oct 1, 2011)

  • “Beware the man of one book.” - St Thomas Aquinas
  • "The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them." - Mark Twain
  • “There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.” - Joseph Brodsky

A biblical walk through the Mass (Edward Sri)

A Biblical Walk through the Mass
This book truly brings out the fullness of the Mass and the richness of the symbolism in it. The Biblical evidence for each part of the Mass is explained well and the chapters are easy to digest. There's not a lot of philosophy/theology here, just a practical analysis of what happens at each part of the Mass. I highly recommend this to every practicing Catholic. Attending Mass on Sunday is one thing, experiencing it in the light of this work, is another.

Life of Christ (Fulton J. Sheen)

Life of Christ
Fulton Sheen's book Life of Christ is a literary masterpiece. Sheen brilliantly navigates through the life of our Lord and highlights some of the more touching moments, while really bringing to life the moments that often get overlooked. Most importantly, this book will help you to nurture and inculcate a deeper and more profound love for Jesus Christ.

Sheen's treatment of Jesus' childhood is masterful. His narrations of Jesus' presentation in the Temple is so moving and spectacular that it will almost bring tears to your eyes. Sheen highlights that throughout Jesus' young life the cross was always looming over him and accompanying him wherever our Lord went.

Most of the book deals with Jesus' public ministry and Sheen does an excellent job of probing the gospel accounts for deeper spiritual insight. His constant references to the cross are always highlighted by His appeals to His resurrection and glory. Sheen illustrates how the apostles only wanted a bread king or a political Messiah, but never a suffering Messiah who was a sacrifice for our sins. It would be impossible for me to highlight all of the wonderful topics Sheen discusses in this book, but his treatment of Jesus' public ministry and his true reason for becoming a man are always highlighted throughout the book.

This book is perfect for anyone wishing to understand Jesus on a more intimate level, but it is also perfect of pastors and church leaders who wish to use this material for future lessons and sermons. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who wished to know more about Jesus because when it comes to our redemption, Jesus is the only thing that truly matters.

The Dictatorship of Relativism (Gediminas T. Jankunas)

The Dictatorship of Relativism
The origin of relativism has been traced back to the famous statement of the Greek, philosopher Protagoras: “Man is the measure of all things, of those being that they are, of those not being, that they are not.” It is Pope Benedict XVI’s claim that in an unreflected, uncritical and naive way, the modern world has been ensnared into relativism. Because relativists do not accept anything as the absolute truth, Scripture and the teachings of the Catholic Church are considered contextual and therefore merely subjective in nature.

This work shows how relativism was experienced by the young Joseph Ratzinger in Nazi Germany, how his world view was solidified when studying Augustine and Bonaventure, and how the Second Vatican Council, where he served as a peritus, was sensitive to this issue. His classic work on 20th century theology, Introduction to Christianity, was an attempt to overcome the rising tide of relativism as he saw it. This was further explored in the best-selling titles Truth and Tolerance and Without Roots.

As Pope, he has returned to this subject time and again. The remedy he offers is profound yet simple: truth lies in Jesus Christ, the only and unique revelation of God. It is only by recognizing Jesus Christ, the Church and her liturgy, that the deleterious effects of relativism might be overcome. His is the voice which proclaims that problem to the world; his is also he voice offering ways to overcome it. This book shows us how.

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