Wednesday 28 October 2020

The Catholic Faith in Twenty-five Days - Father Francis Selman

The Catholic Faith in Twenty-five Days
Francis Selman
ISBN 9781784690687
eISBN 9781784692766
CTS Booklet Do907

Over the last few years, I have read over 150 volumes from the CTS. I have read books from many series. And many authors. Lately I have read several books that are part of the CTS Devotions and Prayer Series. I have read many in the CTS Biographies and also Saints of the Isles Series, and the Great Saints Series. This is the first volume by Father Francis Selman that I have read, and I believe he wrote 2 for the CTS. The description of this volume is:

“A brief but comprehensive overview of twenty-five of the most important elements of the Catholic Faith which can be studied day by day. Topics include the Trinity, Creation and the Fall, our redemption, the resurrection, Prayer and many others which are explained in an engaging style that will help the reader to open their hearts and minds to the vastness and beauty of the Catholic Faith.”

This volume was first published in 2015 and the eBook was released in 2017. There is no introduction, preamble, or forward. There is also no conclusion. Just 25 days and 25 points or short lessons. They are:

Day 1: One God
Day 2: The Trinity
Day 3: Creation
Day 4: The Fall
Day 5: The Incarnation
Day 6: Redemption
Day 7: The Resurrection
Day 8: The Church
Day 9: Sacraments
Day 10: Baptism
Day 11: Confirmation
Day 12: The Eucharist I
Day 13: The Eucharist II
Day 14: Penance
Day 15: The Anointing of the Sick
Day 16: Ordination
Day 17: Marriage
Day 18: The Virtues
Day 19: Faith, Hope, and Charity
Day 20: The Beatitudes
Day 21: Mary
Day 22: Prayer
Day 23: Eternal Life
Day 24: The Resurrection of the Dead
Day 25: Catholicism and Other Religions

Some are a few pages, and others just a few paragraphs. If you are reading it as a daily devotion, there is a wide variety of lengths for the pieces. Some days have a second piece going deeper or with further explanation. A sample of the first part of a day is:

Day 21: Mary

Although one might find Catholic devotion to Mary excessive, Blessed John Henry Newman noted that where veneration of her has been neglected since the Reformation, belief in the divinity of her Son has also diminished. Thus the Catholic beliefs about Mary, far from taking honour away from her Son, strengthen belief in him. As Newman remarked, we praise the glories of Mary for the sake of her Son: the mysteries of Mary give greater glory to her Son. Catholic devotion to Mary fulfils her prophecy in the Magnificat, “All generations will call me blessed” (Lk 1:48). She is blessed because of the great things God did in her. We rightly honour her because she is “the highest honour of our race” (Jdt 15:9).

There are four main doctrines about Mary:
     1. She is the Mother of God.
     2. She was preserved from all sin by her Immaculate Conception.
     3. She is ever Virgin.
     4. She was assumed, body and soul, into the glory of heaven.
The second, third, and fourth, of these all derive from the first.

Mary was proclaimed the Mother of God (Theotokos, the God-bearer) at the council of Ephesus in 431, which condemned Nestorius, who said that she was only the mother of Christ the man. By calling Mary the Mother of God, the council made clear that her son is not only man but also God and thus preserved the unity of Christ’s person. The first person to recognise that Mary is the Mother of God was Elizabeth who, when Mary visited her, greeted Mary: “What have I done to deserve a visit from the mother of my Lord?” (Lk 1:43).”

This is a wonderful little volume. It is great as a reminder for Catholics whose lessons on the faith were many years ago. Also great for those looking to the Catholic Church. 

It is a fantastic little volume. Well worth picking up. 

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.

Books by Francis Selman:
Aquinas 101: A Basic Introduction to the Thought of Saint Thomas Aquinas
From Physics to Metaphysics
Aspects Of Aquinas
Providence & Prayer
The Sacraments and the Mystery of Christ
A Guide to the Eucharist: The Paschal Sacrament
St. Thomas Aquinas: Teacher of Truth

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