Friday 3 April 2020

Words for the Lent and Easter Season - Hugh Gilbert

Words for the Lent and Easter Season
Hugh Gilbert
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781784690267
eISBN 9781784692179
CTS Booklet D790

Over the last few years I have read over 100 volumes from the CTS. I have read books from many series. And many authors. A few authors so captured my attention I tried to track down all the books by them. This however was the first book I have read by Bishop Hugh Gilbert and also the first in the CTS Words 4. Unfortunately in the eBook edition there is not a list of other volumes in the series and I have only been able to find four other titles in the series and three are by this same author. The print edition was published in 2015 and the eBook in 2017.

The description of this volume is:

“As Benedictine Abbot of Pluscarden Abbey and now Bishop of Aberdeen, Bishop Hugh Gilbert’s homilies have gained him a reputation as a clear and profound teacher of faith. This collection of homilies for the Lent and Easter season are an ideal companion to these wonderful seasons of contemplation and joy.“So, may we go up to and through Holy Week, up to the Cross and through the Cross to the Resurrection, with our hand in Mary’s hand, learning her faith.”

And the chapters are:
Ash Wednesday: The Grace of Lent
Lent - a Preparation for Exodus
Lent - a Preparation for Joy
Station Mass
Palm Sunday
Chrism Mass
Maundy Thursday
Good Friday
Paschal Vigil
Easter Sunday
Second Sunday of Easter
Fifth Sunday of Easter
The Ascension of the Lord

We are told in the introduction:

“In the Roman rite now, we have a liturgical year both luminously intent on the essentials and rich in its details. “By means of the yearly cycle”, says the Calendarium Romanum of 1969, echoing Vatican II’s Sacrosanctum Concilium, “the Church celebrates the whole mystery of Christ, from his Incarnation until the day of Pentecost and the expectation of his coming again.” Central is the Easter Triduum - from the evening Mass of Maundy Thursday to the Compline of Easter Sunday. Out of this flows the Easter season, with its fifty days culminating in Pentecost, and towards it flows the critical season of Lent. Such is the “Easter cycle”.”

The volume contains 14 pieces that span from Ash Wednesday until Pentacost. These 14 pieces is a collection of homilies. Some of them deeply profound, many of them good, and some are ok. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked up this volume. The title captured my attention. It is completely different from the volume, Lent with the Saints, by J.B. Midgley and from the Catholic Truth Society. In the homily called ‘Fifth Sunday of Easter’ the bishop ponders:

“As bishop, I often wonder: when the Lord looks at us, looks at our diocese, what does he see? What makes him smile? The answer is: faith, hope and charity in us. That’s our beauty. And here today is this holy trio.”

And thinking about Faith, Hope and Love is the focus of this piece. And in many ways it is the focus of all of Lent in the culmination of the death and resurrection. The sermons are an interesting read. Because they focus around the readings for specific church years, they are not always lined upo with current readings. But as a book to be read thy can provide great encouragement and a challenge through the Lent and Easter Seasons.

My only real complaint about the volume is that I would have loved a sermon for all the Sundays. But maybe we will be graced with another volume. We can hope. And I am looking forward to other volumes in this series.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Link to other Lent Resources.

Books by Bishop Hugh Gilbert:
Living the Mystery
Unfolding the Mystery
Words for Feast and Saint Days
Words for the Advent and Christmas Season
Words for the Lent and Easter Season

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