Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary

St. Paul Center: Impressive, spiritually nourishing new books

By Dr. Jeff Mirus ( bio - articles - email ) | Nov 29, 2022

Maria Powell of the St. Paul Center sent the following information about the string of excellent books they have published recently at the rate of about one per week. These make good reading during the Advent and Christmas seasons, depending on each person’s situation and needs. So I received permission simply to reproduce Maria’s list in this space. (Note: I have already reviewed the first one, by Scott Hahn, on CatholicCulture.org. See: Holiness.)

By Dr. Scott Hahn, Holy is His Name; The Transforming Power of God’s Holiness in Scripture:
Catholics are taught to prize holiness—to admire it in others and to strive for it in their own lives. But we’re never quite told what holiness is. In Holy Is His Name: The Transforming Power of God’s Holiness in Scripture, Scott Hahn seeks to define the term in order to help us better understand our relationship with holiness. Tracing the meaning of holiness first through the Old Testament and then the New, Hahn masterfully reveals how God gradually transmits his holiness to his people—through creation, right worship, and more—and ultimately transforms them through the sharing of his divine life.

By Dr. John Bergsma, Word of the Lord; Reflections on the Sunday Mass Readings for Year A:
The Catholic Lectionary guides us through the liturgical year, presenting Old and New Testament readings that together reveal God’s unfolding plan for our salvation. In The Word of the Lord: Reflections on the Sunday Mass Readings for Year A, biblical scholar Dr. John Bergsma provides commentary on each Sunday’s unique presentation of readings. Whether you are a homilist seeking insight into the meaning of difficult scriptural passages or a pew Catholic desiring a deepened understanding of the readings you hear at Mass,The Word of the Lordserves as an invaluable guide.

By Randall Smith, From Here to Eternity; Reflections on Death, Immortality, and the Resurrection of the Body:
Throughout history and across cultures, people have shared the hope and the belief that somehow something about the human person survives death. Indeed, it seems that without a notion of life-after-death, this life would seem meaningless. If, in the end, everything we have strived for and all our love comes to naught and is simply swallowed up by nothingness, then what was the point of it all? In From Here to Eternity, Randall Smith shows how the Christian doctrines regarding the resurrection of the body and the communion of saints provide an understanding of life after death as a meaningful fulfillment of this life, not a negation of it.

By Dr. Marie Meaney, When Expecting Doesn’t Happen; Turning Infertility into a Journey of Hope:
When a couple faces infertility, the intense suffering can be hard to bear–and to convey to others. In When Expecting Doesn’t Happen, Dr. Marie Meaney offers hope and encouragement to couples and advice for those who wish to support them. With firsthand knowledge, Meaney helps couples navigate the experience of infertility and unpacks Catholic teaching on reproductive technologies. Outlining which licit approaches can be taken and the “dead ends” offered by reproductive technologies which undermine the dignity of the couple and their potential children, When Expecting Doesn’t Happen contains both practical and spiritual wisdom to guide couples toward deep peace and authentic fulfillment.

By Matthew Breuninger, Finding Freedom in Christ: Healing Life’s Hurts:
We all have wounds. We all experience the emotional suffering that arises when we’re prevented from receiving or giving love as we were created to. As we orchestrate our lives to hide our wounds and avoid the discomfort of having them irritated, we end up creating anxiety, unhappiness, exhaustion, anger, and a sense of meaninglessness. The good news is that God wants to heal us!

By Maura McKeegan, Beloved Son: Joseph and Jesus:
Obedience to God’s plan can lead to truly unexpected places. In Beloved Son: Joseph and Jesus, the fifth book in Maura Roan McKeegan’s Old and New Series, see the unforgettable story of Joseph’s journey—from beloved son to slave and then to liberator of the brothers who betrayed him—alongside Jesus’s life, death, and Resurrection. Through Joseph and Jesus, we can learn to trust God, no matter where He leads.

By Patrick O’Hearn, The Shepherd at the Crib and Cross:
In every heart there is a longing to love and to be loved. In The Shepherd at the Crib and the Cross, meet Nissim—a shepherd boy whose name means “miracle” or “wonder.” Nissim’s hope for a Messiah is fulfilled when he encounters the love of the Christ-child at Bethlehem. When Nissim meets that Messiah once again at Calvary, will he be able to offer his gift of love in return?

Jeffrey Mirus holds a Ph.D. in intellectual history from Princeton University. A co-founder of Christendom College, he also pioneered Catholic Internet services. He is the founder of Trinity Communications and CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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