Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary

September 6, 2012 § Leave a comment

The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary from Baronius Press is a wonderful new printing of a tried and true classic which every Catholic should include in their library. Much more brief than the Divine Office, the Little Office in honor of Our Lady is a way for lay Catholics to join the universal Church in her daily prayers. Traditional Catholics will love the fact that this edition complies with the 1961 editio typica for the Immemorial Mass, using readings from the Douay-Rheims, Challoner version of the Holy Bible, with Psalms from the Vulgate of St. Jerome, and includes the full Latin text of each Office in addition to the vernacular. Furthermore, Catholics familiar with Gregorian notation can say each Office the same way as countless Saints through the ages- in beautiful Gregorian chant, since this edition uniquely contains the entire Gregorian chant of each Office.
Beautifully bound and printed, with a soft, flexible leather cover and lightweight but sturdy gilded pages, with two ribbons, one blue and one gold, and an included card containing the conclusions of prayers in the Office, which can be used as a third bookmark, the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary from Baronius Press features a classic Missal layout, in bold black and red text, with the English on left and Latin translation on the right. There are actually three books within- one set of Offices for each season, with Office 1 being used throughout the year, Office 2 used during Advent, and Office 3 used from first Vespers of the Nativity until the Feast of the Purification. Each Office also contains a section for Eastertide, so the faithful Catholic can celebrate with the Church all year long. Prefaced by the Very Reverend Father John Berg, Superior General of the Priestly Society of Saint Peter (FSSP), with a wonderful introduction by Theo Keller explaining the history of the Little Office, the book contains the Imprimatur of the Most Reverend Fabian W. Bruskewitz, DD, STD, Bishop of Lincoln.
Besides all this, several appendices contain descriptions of prayers and liturgy, notes on the Office, rubrics, a calendar of feasts, list of indulgences for faithful recitation of the Office, litanies- all in a book which easily fits in a back pocket or purse. It is amazing how much was able to be included in this little two hundred twenty-seven page book! If prayed slowly and attentively, each Office takes about twenty minutes, or the same length of time as a Rosary. So there is no reason why every Catholic should not include the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary as part of their daily prayers.

I wrote this review of The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary for the free Catholic Book review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.

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A Biblical Defense of Catholicism

October 27, 2011 § 3 Comments

I just recently got a Nook Color e-reader as a gift to myself. One of the books I’ve read so far is A Biblical Defense of Catholicism, by the excellent apologist Dave Armstrong. Dave already has quite an in-depth website with many blog-style posts defending Catholicism, with the intent of providing Biblical evidence for the veracity of Catholic doctrine; one can safely assume that this is for those Protestant brethren who refuse to believe any doctrine that they are not aware is found in the Scriptures. This e-book conveniently brings together many of the Biblical proofs for Catholic doctrines, including Mary and her role as Mediatrix and Co-redemptrix, the Real Presence of the Eucharist, Tradition, the Priesthood and role of the Papacy, Purgatory, the Communion of Saints, Penance, and all the things that have traditionally been misunderstood, misinterpreted, and distrusted by Protestants. Those unfamiliar with Dave Armstrong and his apologetics should definitely read this book. He is one of the best, but little-known, apologists today, especially in the area of Scripture. He is right up there with Dr. Scott Hahn, with an in-depth knowledge of both Scripture and Doctrine.

Dave Armstrong clearly and effectively lays out all the wealth of Scriptural evidence for Catholicism, while pointing out that Catholicism needs no Scriptural evidence to back it up, since it has nothing less than the original teachings of Christ and the Apostles, passed down from master to student for thousands of years. Whether you are a Catholic who wishes to learn more about the Bible as an important part of Christian life, or you know a Protestant who demands Biblical proofs for your beliefs, A Biblical Defense of Catholicism e-book version by Dave Armstrong is essential. Well researched and written, with a wealth of Bible-based apologetics, this e-book comes at a great price from Aquinas and More, your source for all things Catholic, including e-books.

You can purchase this e-book here.

I wrote this review of A Biblical Defense of Catholicism for the free Catholic Book review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, your source for Baptism Gifts and delicious Opłatki Christmas Wafers.

Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.

I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.

Secular Franciscan Companion

June 6, 2011 § Leave a comment

The Secular Franciscan Companion, published by St. Anthony Messenger Press, 2009, is a  handbook on Franciscan spirituality as practiced by the Secular Franciscan Order. Though published specifically for Secular Franciscans, this book is invaluable for any lay Catholic who is interested in practicing Franciscan spirituality in his or her daily life. It includes a short history of the Secular Franciscan Order as well as the full text of the Secular Franciscan Rule at the front for easy reference. The rest of the book is comprised of two sections; the Secular Franciscan at Prayer, which makes up most of the book and includes several subsections, and a Calendar of Franciscan Saints. The primary subject of the book, and indeed of Franciscan spirituality, is that of prayer. First come the daily prayers, many of which are familiar to every Catholic, such as acts of contrition, the Creed, morning and night prayers, etc., but also includes uniquely Franciscan prayers, such as the Franciscan morning prayer, the Crown Rosary, and many other prayers penned by Saint Francis himself, on a variety of subjects. There follow prayers to Saint Francis, such as a prayer for fidelity to the Rule, and those of devotion and perseverance, and a selection of prayers to Franciscan Saints, including St. Bonaventure and St. Elizabeth of Hungary.

Next come meditations. There are beautiful meditations for before Holy Mass, meditations of adoration and praise, of thanksgiving and penance, and the Creed of Pope Paul VI. Following is a section on liturgical prayer, with many familiar prayers like the sacrament of penance and the Office of the Passion, yet, again, enriched by many specifically Franciscan prayers, such as the Liturgical Office of the Twelve Our Fathers. This section also features the entire text of the ordinary parts of the Mass. Seriously! Even if you can’t make daily Mass, you can follow along in spirit. Non-liturgical prayers such as the Seraphic Office, the Office of Praise, and, of course, the Office Prayed with St. Francis, follow. The next section is devoted to devotions; prayers before the Blessed Sacrament, the Stations of the Cross, and the Mysteries of the Rosary included, as well as many novenas and litanies, like the Chair of Unity Octave and Novena to Saint Francis, as well as the Litany to Saint Francis and many other litanies. Finally, there is the Calendar of Franciscan Saints, with the feast days of very many Franciscan Saints for every month of the year. Franciscans will have no lack of reasons to celebrate when consulting this calendar.

This small book, which can easily be carried in a pocket or purse, is absolutely packed with everything one needs to put the faith of Saint Francis to work in their daily lives. Incredibly, the print is large and easily readable on the almost three hundred pages in this little book. For those Catholics who love prayer and devotions, the Secular Franciscan Companion is an invaluable resource that is sure to bring many graces to the reader. It is hard to get across just how much is packed into this small book, so I recommend that you get your own copy today and see for yourself. You won’t be disappointed!

 

You can purchase this book here.

I wrote this review of The Secular Franciscan Companion for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, your source for Baptism Gifts and First Communion Gifts. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.

Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.

I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.

St. Maximilian Kolbe, Martyr of Auschwitz

June 4, 2011 § 6 Comments

Maximilian Kolbe, Martyr of AuschwitzTime for another Catholic book review!

St. Maximilian Kolbe, my confirmation Saint and Patron, seems to have chosen me more than I chose him. I visited a friend in Poland back in the late nineties, where I fell in love with the Polish people and culture, and had a powerful spiritual awakening one day while visiting St. Mary’s Church in Gdansk. Upon my return to America, I found myself wandering the stacks at the local library one day, as I’m wont to do, and stumbled across this book. The details of his life and death, along with his patronage of drug addicts and prisoners (I have been both), had a profound effect on me, and greatly influenced my decision to convert to the Catholic Church.

The book, Maximilian Kolbe, Saint of Auschwitz by Elaine Murray Stone, published by Paulist Press in May, 1997, though written for younger readers (preteens), serves as a great introduction to the life, works, and martyrdom of St. Max. Every facet of his life is touched upon, from his visitation by the Blessed Mother, to his founding of the Militia Immaculata and Niepokolanów, “City of the Immaculata”, as well its Japanese counterpart, his helping of the Jewish population in Nazi occupied Poland, and his work in disseminating the Rycerz Niepokolanej (Knight of the Immaculata) magazine and its moral content which ultimately landed him in the death camp at Auschwitz. We see St. Maximilian’s faith in Christ and Our Lady throughout, unshakeable even amid the horrors of life at Auschwitz. His positive attitude and selfless actions had a profound impact on his fellow prisoners, especially the one for whom St. Max ultimately gave his life- an innocent Jewish family man for whom the Saint volunteered to die when ten of his fellow prisoners were selected for a slow death in the starvation block because of an escape by one of their number.

The author doesn’t diminish St. Maximilian’s Marian spirituality, as some even in his own Militia Immaculata have done. St. Maximilian was not ashamed of his love of Mary Immaculate; devotion to her was the point of everything he did, and this shows in the book. The author makes no attempt to explain away this Marian devotion, but rather factually recounts it and leaves the reader to discover how such devotion to Mary is ultimately centered on Christ her Son. I recommend this book for any Catholic who wants to know more about this Saint who Blessed John Paul the Great called the Patron of our difficult century, and especially for Franciscans (St. Max was a Franciscan), MI members, all who wear the Miraculous Medal (required for every MI member), and anyone interested in World War II history, Polish people and culture, or Marian spirituality.

I wrote this review of Maximilian Kolbe for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, a wonderful program created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, your source for Baptism Gifts and First Communion Gifts. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.

Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases. If you love Catholic books, visit Tiber River to find reviews by other Catholics. You might discover a few good books you never would have otherwise, and you can rest assured that the moral content of the reviewed books has been confirmed by other faithful Catholics.

I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.

A well-loved Bible is well-marked…

June 2, 2011 § 2 Comments

I love the bible. Ever since I was a child, our family would read passages from the Holy Bible every night. The Sacred Scriptures, reinforced and clarified by Sacred Tradition, are a wellspring of wisdom that have brought conversion, peace, hope, and faith to billions of souls since they were canonized by the Holy Catholic Church. It’s no wonder every Bible I own is filled with color- highlighters, pens, pencils- whatever I have on hand is used whenever I read a particularly relevant passage that I want to emphasize for my personal study. The problem is, it’s hard to find a highlighter that doesn’t bleed through and distract from the reading of the next page, or leave little smears on the preceding page because it takes forever to dry.

The Bob Siemon Design dry highlighters solve that problem nicely. Imagine a highlighter that is starting to run out of ink. It still marks, but dries instantly and doesn’t bleed through. This highlighter is like that, only all the time, rather than toward the end of its marking life. These highlighters are designed in such a way that the perfect amount of ink is released, highlighting the text, but not causing a mess. Plus, they are more wieldy than many highlighters and can be easily kept in your Bible case/cover, since they have the same dimensions as a standard ink pen. Whether for personal reading or in-depth Bible study, these highlighters are perfect for marking ONLY what you want to highlight. They come in a variety of colors, too, which is helpful for study. I use different colors for different subjects, which helps me find what I’m looking for. Yellow for normal highlighting, green for passages about the Church and Christian living, etc. I recommend these highlighters for anyone who enjoys Bible study as much as I do!

I wrote this review of Bible Highlighter Yellow for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, your source for Baptism Gifts and First Communion Gifts. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.

Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.

I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.

My Imitation of Christ: a timeless classic updated

May 27, 2011 § 2 Comments

I received my first copy of ‘My Imitation of Christ‘ as a confirmation gift on Easter, 2009. Having converted from a church that taught selfishness in the name of Christ- Jesus wants you to drive a Cadillac, Jesus wants you to have anything you want, Jesus is your servant who must obey your commands- it was so refreshing to read about how to think and act in a way that was actually, well, Christ-like. Whereas my old church would have told me that adversity, for instance, is a result of a lack of faith, Thomas A Kempis states that adversity is rather a gift that helps us look into our lives and realize how much we need God, and in doing so “It will also be clear to them that there is neither perfect peace nor security in this world”, a truth that many Christians seem to have forgotten, seeing that they spend so much time seeking such things. This gem of a book reminds us that we are to be humble servants of Christ, imitating Him and accepting our cross as a gift and teaching tool.

The revised, more modern text is free from unwieldy old words whose meanings have changed or been lost, and reads very easily, like a letter from a close friend. Almost every subject a Christian should know or must deal with in her daily walk is addressed in this little book, from obedience, humility, patience, and respect for others, to deeper spiritual subjects such as peace of heart, true Christian progress, and devotion to the Eucharist. I like to read a chapter or two a day; they are, for the most part, short and to the point, yet incredibly full of wisdom. It is so easy to make reading from ‘My Imitation of Christ’ a part of one’s daily prayer life. This is, simply put, a book that every Catholic, indeed every Christian, should have in their library and read often.

Order your own copy of My Imitation of Christ today!

I wrote this review of My Imitation Of Christ for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, your source for Catholic Jewelry, Rosaries, and more. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.

Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases. With honest reviews by fellow Catholics, Tiber River helps you make an informed decision on your Catholic book purchases. They also have excellent reading lists which might help you discover great books based on your area of interest!

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Father Brown Returns!

May 27, 2011 § 2 Comments

The Return of Father Brown is a collection of short, very short, stories featuring that soft-spoken priest with a knack for sleuthing, Father Brown. Originally written for Gilbert Magazine, a publication of the American Chesterton Society, these forty-four stories are short- each a mere three to four pages long, to account for issues of length related to magazine publishing. Mystery fans will find that the brevity of each story does not allow them the same satisfaction one might get from a full-length novel or even a longer short story. There is no opportunity for armchair sleuthing, as the plot, crime and characters cannot possibly be hashed out over a mere dozen paragraphs. However, that doesn’t mean this book is not a good read.

John Peterson manages to capture the personality of the now ninety year old Father Brown who, retiring from the public eye, has moved to a small parish in rural America, while telling an interesting tale of crime and justice in each short story. Christian morality shines through since, to Father Brown, criminals are seen as misguided souls in need of Christian love and charity, not incorrigable reprobates in need of harsh punishment. The results of Father Brown’s investigations are not criminals behind bars, but rather fallible humans who learn a valuable lesson about love of neighbor, such as the perpetrator of the crime in “The Ball and the Cross”; ‘Such a man would surely have every reason to be thankful for the forgiveness of God. And for priests like Father Brown.’ Many times the victims learn a lesson, too, such as in the story “The Safe”, in which the crime serves to reconcile a father to his son. Despite the length of each story, there are still a few surprises to be had, and the crimes, though not detailed and convoluted, are unique and imaginitive. And despite the fact that we don’t get to be involved in the priest’s thought processes, the personality of Father Brown comes through and remains true to the great Chesterton character many know and love. Kudos to John Peterson for doing so much with so little.

All in all, I would recommend this book not only to mystery lovers who will enjoy the creative crimes and resolutions, but also to any reader who likes a good, short story of timeless morality. Perfect for a lunchtime break, train ride or bedtime read, these forty-four Father Brown mysteries are well-written and packed with good Christian morals.

I wrote this review of The Return of Father Brown for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, your source for Baptism Gifts and First Communion Gifts. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.

Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases. Honest reviews from other Catholics help you make an informed decision when purchasing your Catholic books!

I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.

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