Monday, 24 June 2019

Mary in the Liturgy - David W. Fagerberg - CTS Deeper Christianity Series

Mary in the Liturgy
Deeper Christianity Series
David W. Fagerberg
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781860827914
CTS Booklet SP36

I love the books I have read from the Catholic Truth Society. I have read almost 90 books and booklets in just under 18 months. I also love that we have a liturgical year. I love liturgy. And I love that we have a mother in Mary. And this book combines all of those loves together. This is the seventh book in the Deeper Christianity Series that I have read. This is an excellent book and it is a wonderful series. 

The chapters in this book are:
Where is Mary in the Liturgy?
What is Liturgy?
Spiritual attitudes belonging to Mary and the Church
     Attentive virgin
     Virgin in Prayer
     Virgin mother
     Virgin presenting offerings
Mary in the Mass
The Church as it dawns in a single person

David W. Fagerberg does an amazing job of opening our eyes and unveiling some of the deeper meanings in the sacrifice of the mass in this booklet. He states:

“If we understand our Christian life as a journey from this world into the new age, then imagine that in from of every one of us stretches a parade of Christians across twenty-one centuries. At its head is Christ, leading us to his Father. And first behind Christ is Mary. Church tradition has not only called Mary the Mother of God (Mater Dei) but also Mother of the Church (Mater Ecclesia). She is already at the fullness where we hope to arrive at the end our pilgrimage. We follow a path she has already trodden.”

I thoroughly enjoyed this little volume. My son has been asking me questions and we are going to read it together soon. I have yet to read a book from the Catholic Truth Society that I did not benefit from. And this one is no exception. This year I have read several books on Mary. And with each one I have a better understanding of Mary’s role in salvation history and God’s plan for redemption. But what this book really helped with is a solid grounding of Mary’s presence in the prayers and actions of the Mass. And of the imagery around Mary as mother of the Church. It is an excellent read and I highly recommend it. 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Books in the Deeper Christianity Series:
7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit
8 Deadly Sins Learning to Defend the Life of Grace
Christian Fasting Disciplining the Body, Awakening the Spirit
Deepening Prayer Life Defined by Prayer
Desire & Delight
Faith, Hope and Love The Theological Virtues
Fruits of the Holy Spirit Living a Happy Life
Lectio Divina Spiritual Reading of the Bible
Making Sunday Special

Mary in the Liturgy
Mary Mysteries of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Providence and Prayer
Prudence, Justice, Courage, and Temperance
Purgatory A Mystery of Love
Spiritual Warfare Fighting the Good Fight

The Church's Year Unfolding the Mysteries of Christ
The Name of God The Revelation of the Merciful Presence of God
Understanding The Story Of The Bible
Union with God

Books by David W. Fagerberg:
C.S. Lewis: An Introduction to the Wonderful World of Narnia
Consecrating the World: On Mundane Liturgical Theology
The Church's Year: Unfolding the Mysteries of Christ
Liturgy outside Liturgy: The Liturgical Theology of Fr. Alexander Schmemann
Around Chesterton: An Adventurous Tour Through the World of G.K. Chesterton
The Size of Chesterton's Catholicism
What Is Liturgical Theology? A Study In Methodology
Why do we need the Mass?: Asceticism, Sanctification, and the Glory of God
On Liturgical Asceticism
Theologia Prima: What Is Liturgical Theology?
Christian Meaning of Time
Mary In The Liturgy

Saturday, 22 June 2019

Nothing to Lose - Lee Child - Jack Reacher Book 12

Nothing to Lose
Jack Reacher Book 12
Lee Child
Delacorte Press
Penguin Random House Canada
ISBN 9780739327906
eISBN 9780440337805

This is Jack Reacher book 12. The books jump around his time in the army, after the army and even one that has his leaving. I myself have been jumping around and have read the first few, the latest few and now also the middle few. Between the crossover short stories, stand alone short stories and novels this is the16th Reacher volume that I have read in as many weeks. Yes, I might be an addict, a bibliophile, But with the reading of this volume I have found out a bit more about my attraction to the Reacher novels. At one point in the story Reacher states about himself, "He had been a painfully literal child.". That is something I can relate to both as a child and no as I approach the half century mark. At another point in the story, "He realized he was holding his breath. He exhaled, long and slow. Because: Dum Spero Speri. Where There's breath, there's hope.", Dum Spiro Spero is the same meaning and is my maternal clan motto, Clan MacLennan.  And being Canadian the following two lines first were an afront and then made me laugh:

“Canada’s army is three men and a dog. They probably keep their stuff forever.”

Reacher said, “Canada isn’t fighting in Iraq. Canadians had more sense.”

But let’s get back to the story. This is the tenth Reacher Novel I have read and is right in the middle of the currently available novels. Reacher has matured as has Childs as an author. Reacher often finds himself between a Rock and a Hard Place. This time he finds himself between Hope and Despair, literally. He is back and forth between the towns of Hope and Despair Colorado. Hope is a nice small town, with a beautiful officer of the law, nice motel and great restaurant. Despair is trapped back in time, and the whole town is owned by one man. He owns the company, he owns the town, and he is an associate pastor at the only church in town. Being run out of town for vagrancy does not sit well with Reacher. And the more he pushes the stranger things seem. Everyone in the town seems to have a role, and they are keeping to their parts. And soon Reacher realizes there is a lot more going on in Despair than appears on the surface.

And when you combine a dead man in the scrub. A military outpost where one is not expected. And some illnesses that just do not add up. Soon Reacher and officer Vaughan start putting together the pieces. Reacher has faced unlikely odds before, but he has never faced down a whole town. But if you are out west you either go big or go home. And Reacher really really does not like backtracking! 

Another great read in the Reacher series. 

Books by Lee Child:
Jack Reacher Books Publishing Order:

Killing Floor
Die Trying
The Visitor /Running Blind
Echo Burning
Without Fail
The Enemy
One Shot
The Hard Way
Bad Luck and Trouble
Nothing to Lose
Gone Tomorrow
61 Hours
Worth Dying For
The Affair
A Wanted Man
Never go Back
Make Me
Night School
The Midnight Line
Past Tense
Blue Moon

Jack Reacher's Rules

Reacher Short Stories and Novella’s:
No Middle Name – Complete Collected Short Stories
Stories in No Middle Name Collection:
Too Much Time
Second Son
Deep Down
Guy Walks into A Bar
James Penney’s New Identity
High Heat
Everyone Talks
Not A Drill
Small Wars
Maybe They Have A Tradition

No Room At The Motel
The Picture of the Lonely Diner

Other Short Stories:
The Fourth Man
The Christmas Scorpion
Faking a Murderer with Kathy Reichs
Cleaning the Gold with Karin Slaughter
Good and Valuable Consideration with Joseph Finder

Friday, 21 June 2019

Favorite Prayers to St. Joseph From Traditional Sources - TAN Books

Favorite Prayers to St. Joseph
From Traditional Sources
TAN Books
ISBN 9780895556103
eISBN 9781618903839

This book was compiled and released in 1997, and then in 2012 the eBook edition was created. The Nihil Obstat: is by Rev. Msgr. Charles W. McNamee, S.T.L., J.C.L. Censor Librorum and the Imprimatur: from Most Rev. Thomas G. Doran, D.D., J.C.D. Bishop of Rockford April 15, 1997. I have upon occasion come across prayer books with questionable prayers, and weak theology. This is not one of those books. The book opens with a Litany to Saint Joseph even before you get to the contents. The chapters in the volume are:

Prayers to Saint Joseph
Novena To St. Joseph
Memorare To St. Joseph
Another Memorare To St. Joseph
Prayer To Obtain A Special Favor
Thirty Days’ Prayer To St. Joseph
Prayer For Purity
Prayer To St. Joseph The Workman
A Powerful Novena To St. Joseph
Prayer To Obtain A Conversion
To Thee, O Blessed Joseph
The Devotion Of The Seven Sundays
Prayers In Honor Of The Seven Sorrows And Joys Of St. Joseph
Prayer And Promise To St. Joseph
Prayer In A Difficult Problem
An Ancient Prayer To St. Joseph
Prayer For The Church And The Holy Father
Prayer For The Church Militant
Prayer For A Person Who Has A Laborious Occupation
Petitions For St. Joseph’s Blessing
Prayer Of May 1st
Prayer Of St. Clement Mary Hofbauer
A Prayer To St Joseph For The Success Of A Temporal Affair
Prayer Of Confidence
A Prayer To St. Joseph To Know One’s Vocation In Life
Praises Of St. Joseph
Invocations To St Joseph
A Prayer Of Parents To The Holy Family
Prayer For A Lively Faith
Seven Our Fathers …
A Morning Offering Through St. Joseph
Prayer For Priests
Prayer Of Confidence In St. Joseph
Daily Prayer For Protection
Triduum For The Gaining Of Some Special Grace
Novena In Special Necessities
Petition For St. Joseph’s Blessing
Act Of Consecration To St. Joseph
Another Act Of Consecration To St Joseph
Petition And Offering To St. Joseph
An Act Of Offering To Our Patriarch St. Joseph
Prayer For A Happy Death
Another Prayer For A Happy Death
The Nine First Wednesdays
Prayer For A Good Life And A Happy Death
Petition For Our Dying Moments
Prayer To Jesus, Mary And Joseph For A Happy Death
A Short Prayer For The Dying
Prayer For The Agonizing
Prayer For Souls In The Agony Of Death
Jesus, Mary And Joseph
Litany To St Joseph For A Dying Person
Prayer For A Heavenly Crown
Prayer Before Mass And Holy Communion
The Chaplet Of St. Joseph
The Cord Of St. Joseph
Our Father
Hail Mary
Glory By
Great St. Joseph, Son of David
Blessing of St. Joseph

A Collection of Classic Artwork
There are nine full color replicas of famous paintings.)

Favorite Prayers to Our Lady
Hail Mary
Favorite Prayers to Our Lady
And a complete rosary meditation.

The eBook edition is two volumes combined in one. It is a wonderful collection of prayers either to our lady or Saint Joseph. The Saint Joseph half of the book is filled with quests from saints and popes.

It is an excellent book, and the eBook is very reasonably priced!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan!

Other reviews and articles about Saint Joseph:
Consecration to St. Joseph - Fr. Donald Calloway
Favorite Prayers to St. Joseph Compiled from Traditional Sources- TAN Books
Prayer to Saint Joseph Prayer of the Day
Joseph of Nazareth - Federico Suarez
Devotion to St. Joseph - F. Declaux
Go to St. Joseph: Do Whatever He Tells You - Brian Kiczek
Saint Joseph: Help for Life's Emergencies - Kathryn J. Hermes
Feast of Saint Joseph 2018 Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary Principal Patron of Canada
Companion to Saint Joseph - J.B. Midgley - CTS Companions Series
Saints of the Roman Canon - Julien Chilcott-Monk - CTS Living the Liturgy Series
Seven Saints for Seven Virtues - Jean M. Heimann

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Except the Dying - Maureen Jennings - Detective Murdoch Book 1

Except the Dying
Detective Murdoch Book 1
Maureen Jennings
McClelland & Stewart
An imprint of Penguin Random House Canada

ISBN 9780771043314
eISBN 9780771043208

This novel is the third Murdoch story I have read and the fifth book by Maureen Jennings in 4 weeks. Now that I have started reading Jennings books, I just can’t seem to stop. In fact, it takes great effort to wait until have written a review before picking up the next novel. When I read my first Murdoch novel, I was a little nervous, for I had seen 12 seasons of the TV series. I had noting to fear, yes there are some differences and some of them even major shifts. But Murdoch is just as sturdy and dependable. His faith and elements of Catholicism are fun and entertaining to encounter. And this story was an extremely entertaining tale.

The first Murdoch novel I read was Murdoch book 8, Let Darkness Bury the Dead, and then I read the prequel Shipwreck, which is about an event when he is a boy. So in many ways this book is like stepping back 30 years from book and like reading about the beginning. This story is set in Toronto in 1895. A young girl is found frozen and naked in a side lane. The autopsy proves she was pregnant at the time of her death. And Murdoch determines she was a maid of a very influential family in the city. And in fact the night before an alderman and his son had been in the house she worked at, and had fled from. The further into the investigation that Murdoch gets the more complicated becomes his work. A gentlemen’s club, the wealthy and politically astute of the city seem to be at the heart of the mystery. And when a witness, a woman of questionable occupations, turns up dead also, then the pressure on Murdoch and the number 4 station intensifies. 

The characters in this novel, in the series are wonderfully written. The mysteries are fun to try and unravel. And Murdoch is a man we can look up to and admire. I am really enjoying this series and the other two I have started by Jennings and highly recommend them! 

Books by Maureen Jennings:
Detective Murdoch Series:

0.5 Shipwreck
1.0 Except the Dying
2.0 Under the Dragon's Tail
3.0 Poor Tom Is Cold
4.0 Let Loose the Dogs
5.0 Night's Child
6.0 Vices of My Blood
7.0 A Journeyman to Grief
8.0 Let Darkness Bury the Dead

Detective Inspector Tom Tyler Series:
1.0 Season of Darkness
2.0 Beware This Boy
3.0 No Known Grave
4.0 Dead Ground in Between

Christine Morris Series:
1.0 Does Your Mother Know?
2.0 The K Handshape


Paradise Café Series:

1.0 Heat Wave

Other books:
The Map of Your Mind: Journeys into Creative Expression
Investigating Murdoch Mysteries: The Official Companion to the Series – with Michelle Ricci and Mir Bahmanyar

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist - Michael Dubruiel with Amy Welborn

How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist
Michael Dubruiel
Amy Welborn (Editor)
Our Sunday Visitor
ISBN 9781592761395
eSIBN 9781306068253


I remember Michael from my early days of blogging and reviewing books. For some reason I thought I had read more of his works than in fact I had. For going through my list of books read this appears to only be the fourth book of his I have read going back to 2008. This book was originally published in 2005. Michael passed away in 2009. There is a new eBook edition of this volume available and it is very reasonable priced. In fact, I think it is underpriced. It is an excellent little volume. It comes in at 165 pages. The sections in this volume are:

Getting The Most Out Of The Eucharist
Serve The Lord
Adore God With Praise And Thanksgiving
Confess Your Belief In God
Respond By Participating
Incline Your Ear To The Lord
Fast In Anticipation
Invite The Lord To Come
Commune: Receive The Eucharist
Evangelize: Share The Good News!

Michael uses the word Sacrifice as and acronym as a memory tool for the lessons in the volume. They are:

S - Sacrifice
A - Adore
C - Confess
R - Respond
I - Incline
F - Fast
I - Invite
C - Commune
E - Evangelize

Michael also outlines five attitudes and actions, that can help us when we apply them to the celebration of the Eucharist. The five appear at the end of each chapter they are:

1.  Keep Your Focus on Jesus
2.  Learn from the Blessed Virgin Mary
3.  Attitude to Foster
4.  Developing a Eucharistic Spirituality
5.  A Prayer for Today offers

These five make me think of my time in higher education. I spent 20 years as an undergrad, my second time in university I used a book called How To Get Better grades and Have More Fun by Al Janssen and Steve Douglass. What that book taught me was being prepared and engaged at school, every class. And no matter how good or bad a lecturer you get out of the course what you put into it. This book does the same thing for the Mass. By using the acronym and 5 attitudes we can always come to mass prepared and expectant. And Michael does a wonderful job of showing us how.

But Michael does not only write about theory. He shares many personal stories. Stories from his own experience. Many examples of stuff he observed and learned through his then three year old son. Two of the passages that I highlighted my first time through this book were:

“Inclining our ears to the Lord is one way of offering the sacrifice of our thoughts in order to first listen to what God has to say. It puts us into a posture of readiness. When we hear “A reading from” we raise our level of attention because the God who created the universe is about to speak to us through his Word.”

“I’ve been to hundreds of Catholic Churches and heard as many homilies as Masses I’ve attended. I could count on one hand how many times I have been satiated by a great homily in my  forty-six years.Yet how many times have I not been fed at Mass? Only those times when all my hopes were in the preacher and not in the Lord.

Catholics need to remember that the Lord feeds us with his Body and Blood. The bishop, priest, or deacon who preaches is not the meal, but instead is like a waiter at a restaurant, reading the menu. In this case today’s special is the “same yesterday, today and tomorrow” — it is Our Lord.

A great Catholic homily should leave us famished,unsatisfied, and wanting something more. It should lead us to feel the gnawing hunger for God that only God can fill. We should see ourselves as blessed if we find the preaching of the preacher not enough, for the homilist is doing us a great service by pointing us to Christ and not at himself.”

This book was a wonderful read. It is one I know I will return to again, and one I look forward to reading with my children as they get a little older. This is an excellent read that I give a solid 5/5 stars to!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Michael Dubruiel:
John Paul II's Biblical Way of the Cross - with Amy Welborn
A Pocket Guide to Confession
A Pocket Guide to the Mass
The How-to Book of the Mass: Everything You Need to Know but No One Ever Taught You
The Church's Most Powerful Novenas
How To Get The Most Out Of The Eucharist
Praying the Rosary: With the Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, and Glorious Mysteries - with Amy Welborn
The Power of the Cross: Applying the Passion of Christ to Your Life
Praying the Rosary: With the Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, & Glorious Mysteries - with Amy Welborn
Praying in the Presence of Our Lord with Fulton J. Sheen