Thursday 31 May 2018

Living Fruitfully Generosity Learning from the Saints - Father John S. Hogan

Living Fruitfully Generosity Learning from the Saints
Fr. John S. Hogan
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781784695613
eISBN 9781784695811

I came across this book and this series by chance. I was looking to track down some booklets from the Catholic Truth Society by Alice Curtayne that were written between the 1930's-60's. But the title of this series really grabbed my attention. To be honest I bought all 5 books that are available in the series. I was immediately drawn to the series because it is based on the fruits of the spirit. But has the focus on living them out. I have been praying with my oldest child about both of us doing a better job of living the fruit of the spirit and these book were very timely. The description of the series is:

"What does it mean to live as a Christian? How should we live our daily lives? One way we read of in Scripture is to be filled with the fruits of the Holy Spirit. 
The new Living Fruitfully series addresses each of these fruits in turn, beginning with Chastity, Joy, Self-Control, Generosity and Patience. The series explains how we can live out the fruits of the Holy Spirit in our lives, drawing from the wisdom and experiences of the saints. 
The saints, far from being perfect, battled as we do to embrace these fruits daily, like St Augustine who famously prayed, "Lord make me chaste, but not yet!" and St Therese of Liseux who was a very wilful child. Seeking inspiration from them in these booklets, we can learn to live our lives in a way worthy of believers in Christ."
Each of the booklets in the series is under 100 pages. And can easily be read in a single sitting. However after reading this first booklet, I feel that these will be books I come back to again and again. This volume the first I have read is by Father John S. Hogan, this booklet was my introduction to his work but I will be pursuing more. The sections in this booklet are:

Generosity as a fruit of the Holy Spirit
Generosity in God
Material generosity
The gift of self
Appendix: Examen

In the introduction Fr. Hogan states:

"This booklet is one in a series, Living Fruitfully, which explores the fruits of the Holy Spirit - what they are, how they operate in the life of a disciple of Christ, and how the saints show us the way these fruits are manifest and reveal the process of sanctification at work. The fruits are given liberally by God, and among them is the fruit of generosity."
And that is exactly what the book does. It shows us how the fruit of the spirit of generosity can work in our life. And it gives us numerous examples from the lives of saints. And in conclusion Fr. Hogan declares:
"Generosity is a fruit that is given so we can fulfil Christ's command to love God with all our heart, all our mind and all our strength (Mk 12:30), and love our neighbour with a selfless and Christ-like love. It is no wonder that this call to give love to God is the Jewish profession of faith, the Shemà (Dt 6:5): it is meant to be the expression of ours."
And then the book has an examen focusing on this specific fruit that concludes with a prayer of St. Ignatius of Loyola. This book was released in January of 2018, it was preceded by three volumes and has been followed by one. I can only hope the series continues and we receive one volume on each of the fruit. This book is a great little read, I look forward to the other volume by Father Hogan, and if the rest of the series. If is as good as this book we are in for some life changing reads!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books in the Living Fruitfully Series:
Self-Control - Fr John S. Hogan
Chastity - Fr John McKeever
Joy - Mgr Paul Grogan
Generosity - Fr John S. Hogan
Patience - Christopher Mc Camley

Other Books by John S. Hogan:
Edmund Arrowsmith (Saints of the Isles)
A Book of Martyrs: Devotions to the Martyrs of England, Scotland and Wales

Devotions to St Thomas Becket

Author profile and interview with father John S. Hogan

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