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Friday, 5 July 2019

Christian Meaning of Time - 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


In the last 18 months I have read nearly 80 books from the Catholic Truth Society. And I have at least twice that many on my wish list of books to read. There are so many great books, and also many great series. This volume is from the Deeper Christianity Series. This book is the sixth I have read in the Deeper Christianity Serie. Up until recently I believed there were 16 books in the series and that 15 of those 16 were available as eBooks. I was mistaken. I was mistaken. There have actually been 52 books in this particular series over the years. And many are out of print. And from a contact at CTS, for many of the out-of-print volumes the CTS no longer holds the rights. So tracking down those older volumes is going to prove difficult. The Catholic Truth Society has been publishing books and booklets for over 150 years, they add many new titles each year, and likely as many go out of print category each year. This is one of my favorite series, and even if I cannot track them all down, I will track down and read all I can find. Because all of them have been excellent to date. The description of this series is:

“The Deeper Christianity Series delves into the mysteries of Christianity, opening up the spiritual treasures of the church.”

This book does not just look at the seasons in the church year. That is covered in The Church's Year Unfolding the Mysteries of Christ, by the same author as this volume. The chapters in this volume are:

Introduction
The Time of Creation
Time of the Old testament
Time of the New testament
The Church’s Time
The End of Time

This book looks at both Chronos and Kairos time. It examines God stepping into time. And the importance and reoccurrence of specific themes and modalities of being. It talks about the difference between thin and thick time. A lesson we learned from Israel. We are told:

“Christianity learned sacred time from Israel. Christians move between thin time and thick time, the secular world and a sacred place, ordinary days and holy days. Thus, the eternal finds a place within the passage of time. This makes up our liturgical year (see below), and this view of festival comes from Israel’s experience of making feasts to God.”

And also:

“The Greeks were so conscious of thin and thick time that they had different words for them. The time that passes moment by moment was called chronos, and time that has a shattering consequence was called Kairos.”

And out of these Jewish and Greek traditions and understandings the Church grew and developed. Latter on he states:

“The first day of the week is the time of a radical new beginning. If the Sabbath looks primarily to the work God has completed, and reminds Jews and Christians of this world’s goodness, and blessedness, Sunday looks primarily to the future breaking open unto unheard of possibilities.

For the Greeks, the seven-day week represented a closed cycle which returned perpetually on itself, without beginning and without end. For Christians, the week represents a creation still unfolding, moving toward a Sabbath rest in the grave and a Resurrection day beyond that. Sunday is a figure of the age to come; it is a day without succession; it is the first day for all the sons of Adam and daughters of Eve.”

After this teaching on time, The boom examines the different understanding of the ween, from Roman, to Greek , to Jew, and then how early Christians applied and lived the lord’s day. There is a quote from a Fr Aidan Kavanagh that really struck me:

“I don’t go to Mass because I’m Catholic, I’m Catholic because I go to Mass.”

Later there is a comparison with C.S. Lewis’s Narnia, and how Aslan tells Lucy each year as she grows he will be bigger. Fagerberg states:

“In each liturgical year, we will find God bigger, not because he has changed but because we have (if we have been careful to do our daily work during the year).”

This resonates with my experience, especially as I age, and my children are growing. I am striving to instill this love of the church and church year in them. 

“If we know the meaning at the end, not only will we spend our time differently, but the time we spend is different.”

This book was an amazing read. So far, one of my favorites in the series, and the series is one of my favorites from CTS. My only complaint is there is nor reference section at the end. There are a few quotes in the book where we are told the person but not the source. I would dearly love to have that information. As it is I am embarking on some further research. It is a great book in a great series. And one of the most academic of the books in the series hat I have come across yet. A very solid 5/5 stars! 

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
Icons
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
...








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