Thursday 25 February 2021

The Holy Mass - Mike Aquilina - Sayings of the Fathers of the Church Volume 3

The Holy Mass
Mike Aquilina (Editor) 
ISBN 9780813233352
eISBN 9780813233369

I have long been a fan of Mike Aquilina’s works. I have read some of his other works on the church fathers. And I have others in my ‘to be read pile’. This is a book dedicated to what the Fathers say specifically about the mass. The description of the volume is:

“Sayings of the early Church fathers on all aspects of the Catholic Mass, drawn largely from the Catholic University of America's Fathers of the Church series.”

The contents of the volume are:

Foreword by Thomas G. Weinandy, OFM, Cap. 
List of Abbreviations 
1. The Sign of the Cross 
2. Penitence 20 3. Glory to God 
4. Readings from Scripture 
5. The Homily 
6. Prayers of Intercession 
7. The Offertory 
8. Holy, Holy, Holy 
9. The Eucharistic Prayer 
10. The Lord’ s Prayer 
11. The Sign of Peace 
12. Holy Communion 
13. Dismissal 

Mike states in the Acknowledgements:

“I am grateful to John B. Martino for inviting me to contribute to this prestigious series for a venerable publishing house. His mercy endures. 

With John’ s invitation came permission to quote freely from the CUA Press’ s Fathers of the Church series. I have cherished this series for decades. It’ s almost a quarter-century since my wife, Terri, bought me a partial set for my birthday — all the volumes that were then in print. We had no money at the time, so I have no idea how she did this. Needless to say, I love her with an abiding intensity that she often finds embarrassing. Nevertheless, I acknowledge her here.”

And in the introduction, he tells a story of an encounter with a Mennonite Grad School Librarian. The story begins with:

“She was recently retired after a long career at an evangelical seminary, and she loved her work. She had helped thousands of young candidates for the clergy to reach beyond themselves, their own inchoate thoughts, and the suppositions of their local church — and modernity. She had introduced them to the world of biblical scholarship and the vast writings of the seminary’ s particular heritage (Mennonite).”

This librarian was amazed that a scholar could dedicated their works to the first 300 years of Christianity. I am certain from my own studies at a university that had 4 church collages of different denominations and time at many universities across Canada that many in other denominations have at best a passing interest or engagement with the Church Fathers. I aloo know many Catholic who know them in passing at best. But I also know others who a big part of their conversion was due to interaction with the Church Fathers. 

And one of the top living scholars in the world in this field if Mike Aquilina. His editorial work in this volume is excellent. He takes on a journey through the order of the mass and uses the Church Fathers as our guide and foundation. 

I read this book over two days. But plan to go back and reread it at a slower pace. There are so many gems in this volume. And it makes so much sense. The Mass was passed down from Jesus to the Apostles and from the apostles to the early church. And in this book drawn from the early Church Fathers Mike shows us the history, tradition, and mystery of the mass. And through that we realize again the centrality of this to our faith. 

This is a fantastic book. A volume any Catholic would benefit from reading. A book I highly recommend for any home, school, or church Library.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2021 Catholic Reading Plan!

Sayings of the Fathers of the Church Series:
Death, Judgment, Heaven, and Hell - Edward Condon
The Seven Deadly Sins - Kevin M. Clarke
The Holy Mass - Mike Aquilina

Books by Mike Aquilina:
A Year with the Angels: Daily Meditations with the Messengers of God
A Year With The Church Fathers: Patristic Wisdom for Daily Living
Angels of God: The Bible, the Church and the Heavenly Hosts
Companion Guide to Pope Benedict's 'The Fathers' 
Faith of Our Fathers: Why the Early Christians Still Matter and Always Will
Fire of God's Love: 120 Reflections on the Eucharist
Good Pope, Bad Pope: Their Lives, Our Lessons 
Love in the Little Things: Tales of Family Life
Ministers & Martyrs: The Ultimate Catholic Guide to the Apostolic Age
Praying in the Presence of Our Lord: With St. Thomas Aquinas
Roots of the Faith: From the Church Fathers to You
Sharing Christ's Priesthood: A Bible Study for Catholics
Signs and Mysteries: Revealing Ancient Christian Symbols
Sweet Gridlock: Selected Love Poems 
Terms and Conditions: Assorted Poems
The Apostles and Their Times
The Church and the Roman Empire
The Fathers of the Church Bible
The Fathers of the Church: An Introduction to the First Christian Teachers
The Mass of the Early Christians
The Resilient Church: The Glory, the Shame, & the Hope for Tomorrow
The Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church
The Way of the Fathers: Praying With the Early Christians
The Witness of Early Christian Women: Mothers of the Church
Understanding the Mass: 100 Questions, 100 Answers
Why Me? When Bad Things Happen
Yours Is the Church: How Catholicism Shapes Our World

Books co-written by Mike Aquilina:
A Pocket Catechism for Kids - Fr. Kris Stubna
Dion: The Wanderer Talks Truth - Dion DiMucci
Keeping Mary Close: Devotion to Our Lady through the Ages - Fr. Frederick Gruber
Living the Mysteries: A Guide for Unfinished Christians - Scott Hahn
Praying the Psalms the Early Christians - Christopher Bailey
Saint Monica and the Power of Persistent Prayer - Mark W. Sullivan
Seven Revolutions: How Christianity Changed the World and Can Change It Again - James Papandrea
Something More Pastoral: The Mission of Bishop, Archbishop, and Cardinal Donald Wuerl - Ann Rodgers
Take Five: Meditations John Henry Newman - Fr. Juan Velez
Take Five: Meditations Pope Benedict XVI - Fr. Kris Stubna
Take Five: On the Job Meditations With St. Ignatius - Fr. Kris Stubna
Talking to Youth About Sexuality: A Parents' Guide - Fr. Kris Stubna
The Ancient Path: Old Lessons from the Church Fathers for a New Life Today - John Michael Talbot
The Church: Unlocking the Secrets to the Places Catholics Call Home - Cardinal Donald Wuerl
The Doubter's Novena: Nine Steps to Trust the Apostle Thomas - Christopher Bailey
The Feasts: How the Church Year Forms Us as Catholics - Cardinal Donald Wuerl
The Grail Code: Quest for the Real Presence - Christopher Bailey
The Great Life: Essays on Doctrine and Holiness in Honor of Father Ronald Lawler, O.F.M. Cap. - Kenneth Ogorek
The Holy Land: A Guide for Pilgrims - Fr. Dave Halaiko
The How-To Book of Catholic Devotions - Regis J. Flaherty
The Mass: The Glory, the Mystery, the Tradition - Cardinal Donald Wuerl
The World's First Christmas: Jubilee 2000 - Regis J. Flaherty
Weapons of the Spirit: Selected Writings of Father John Hugo - David Scott
What Catholics Believe: A Pocket Catechism - Fr. Kris Stubna

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