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November 23rd, 2008

Book : Life of Christ by Fulton J. Sheen

Life of Christ

Bishop Fulton Sheen presents a passionate portrait of the God-Man, the teacher, the healer, and most of all, the Savior, whose promise has sustained humanity for two millenia. Here is the story of the greatest man that ever lived.

Theme :

This inspirational book, hailed as the most eloquent of Fulton Sheen’s writings, is the fruit of many years of dedication and research. Filled with brilliant scholarship, this recounting of the birth, life, Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus is moving. A revelation for countless readers, this wonderful book will be a source of guidance for everyone. Modern parallels are drawn and age-old events are illuminated in Archbishop Sheen’s account of the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Reviews :

This book is an absolute masterpiece. Not only is it a well-researched scholarly work, but it has poetic beauty as well. This is a tribute to Jesus, God Manifested in the Flesh, and the finished work of Calvary. A ‘must read’ for all.

This is a most excellent book about the life of Jesus. In plain English it explains why he did what he did. His efforts to make the disciples understand the true purpose of his first coming. The prevailing attitudes of the Jews at the time, his rejection as Messiah. His role as Saviour rather than liberator. It’s a treasure trove of answers for those asking questions. I can’t put it down.

About the Author : Fulton J. Sheen (1895-1979)

Servant of God Fulton John Sheen was an American archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church. He was Bishop of Rochester, New York and American television’s first religious broadcaster of note, hosting Life Is Worth Living in the early 1950s, first on the DuMont Television Network and later on ABC, from 1951 to 1957. He later hosted The Fulton Sheen Program in syndication with a virtually identical format from 1961 to 1968; these later programs, many of which were taped in color, are still frequently rebroadcast today.

November 23rd, 2008

Book : The Imitation of Mary by Thomas a Kempis

The imitation of Mary

Anyone who has read “The Imitation of Christ” by Thomas A. Kempis may be left wondering if this Catholic brother had any devotion to Mary. The Imitation of Mary is a resounding “Yes!”. Here, Thomas shows his deep insight into the prerogatives, graces and glory of Mary.

Theme :

The Imitation of Mary is a wonderful introduction to true devotion to Mary. Read it prayerfully, read it slowly and above all read it meditatively to enter into the Mystery of Christ and his love for his mother. Thomas is, once more, a sure guide leading you along a sound and faithful path to Mary and with Mary to Jesus.

The contents are divided into 4 parts:
# Book 1: Meeting Mary.
# Book 2: Knowing Mary.
# Book 3: Loving Mary.
# Book 4: Calling on Mary in Prayer and Song.

Excerpts :

Writing about the “Grandeurs and Glories of Mary“, Thomas exclaims, “O Mary, greater than the heavens, you have the world under your feet and you are seated close to God, on the throne of honor which Jesus gave you.” Here, Thomas shows his deep insight into scriptures, for Mary as “Mother of the Lord” is the new Queen-Mother and just as Solomon who points towards Christ, “stood up to meet her [his mother] and paid her homage. Then he sat down upon his throne, and a throne was provided for the king’s mother, who sat at his right.” (2 Kings, 2:19) so does Jesus seat his mother at his right hand side.

Elsewhere, Thomas writes saying that “by testimony of the Holy Scripture Mary was from all time, and will be always, the holiest virgin among all virgins, the most beatiful women among all women, the sweetest mother among all mothers.”

About the Author : Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

Thomas à Kempis was a late Medieval Catholic monk and author of The Imitation of Christ, one of the best known Christian books on devotion. His writings are all of a devotional character and include tracts and meditations, letters, sermons, a life of Saint Lydewigis, a Christian woman who remained steadfast under a great stress of afflictions, and biographies of Groote, Radewijns, and nine of their companions. Works similar in content to the Imitation of Christ, and pervaded by the same spirit, are his prolonged meditation on the life and blessings of the Savior and another on the Incarnation. Both of these works overflow with adoration for Christ.

November 23rd, 2008

Book : The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis

The Imitation of Christ

The Imitation of Christ (or De imitatione Christi), by Thomas à Kempis, is a widely read Christian spiritual book. It was first published anonymously, in Latin, in 1418; several other authors have been proposed, but Kempis’ authorship is now generally accepted.

Theme :

The work is a manual of devotion intended to assist the soul with its pursuit of holiness and communion with God. Its sentences are statements, not arguments, and are pitched in the highest key of Christian experience. Behind and within all its reflections runs the counsel of self-renunciation.

The life of Christ is presented as the highest study possible to a mortal, as Jesus’ teachings far excel all the teachings of the saints. The book gives counsel to read the scriptures, statements about the uses of adversity, advice for submission to authority, warnings against temptation and how to resist it, reflections about death and the judgment, meditations upon the oblation of Christ, and admonitions to flee the vanities of the world.

What makes it acceptable to most Christians is the supreme emphasis it lays upon Christ and the possibility of immediate communion with him and God.

Excerpts :

“The religious who meditates devoutly on the most holy life and passion of our Lord will find all that he needs to make his life worthwhile. In fact, he has no need to go beyond Jesus, for he will discover nothing better. If Jesus Crucified would come into our hearts, how quickly and perfectly we would be instructed in the spiritual life.” – Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ (Book I: Chapter 25)

Meditation on the Spiritual Life – Only the Bible has been more influential as a source of Christian devotional reading than The Imitation of Christ. This meditation on the spiritual life…written by the Augustinian monk Thomas à Kempis between 1420 and 1427, contains clear instructions for renouncing worldly vanities and locating eternal truths. No book has more explicitly and movingly described the Christian ideal, “My son, to the degree that you can leave yourself behind, to that degree will you be able to enter into me.”  – (From the Book’s Back Cover)

Chapter 1: The Imitation of Christ and Contempt for the Vanities of the World – “Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness,” says the Lord. These are Christ’s own words by which He exhorts us to imitate His life and His ways, if we truly desire to be enlightened and free of all blindness of heart. Let it then be our main concern to meditate on the life of Jesus Christ.

About the Author : Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

Author of The Imitation of Christ; Thomas was an Augustinian Monk, and a Disciple of Gerard Groot. Thomas was a member of Groot’s Brethren of the Common Life, and a proponent of Groot’s teachings, called The Devotio Moderna, of which The Imitation of Christ is the best example.

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