Wednesday 1 December 2021

Manual for Suffering - Father Jeffrey Kirby STL

Manual for Suffering - Father Jeffrey Kirby STL
ISBN 9781505118759
eISBN 9781505118773
eISBN 9781505118766

This is the fourth book  by Father Kirby that I have read this year. And I have now read a few of the “Manual For’s” from TAN Books. I have greatly enjoyed and benefitted from reading the previous three and the same can be said for this volume. The previous volumes I have read in the series were Manual for Spiritual Warfare, Manual for Marriage, and Manual for Men. This one I was drawn to from the first moments I saw it. My physical copy was being processed and I could not wait so I picked up the eBook as well. The physical editions in this series are stunning books. Leather bound, gilded edges, and printed in colour. Excellent layout and design and lots of space for notes. The eBook editions have the benefit of being on a device you always have with you. For as Mike Aquilina has stated:

"Now we can travel with more books stored in our telephones than the ancient Egyptians kept in their vast library at Alexandria."

But back to this volume, the description of this book declares:

“If God is so good and so powerful, why is there suffering in our world? Why do good people suffer so much? How can we find value and meaning in the midst of the fallenness of the world?

These questions—and many others—call for answers. The responses will determine our worldview and way of life. In the Manual for Suffering, the revealed, time-tested, and holistic answer from the depths of the Catholic faith is presented in all its beauty and power.

This manual will also provide spiritual aids to navigate and bear with hope and trust the suffering we encounter in our fallen world.

The first part lays out the biblical and theological foundations for suffering and the world’s fallenness, while the second offers aids for those who suffer, including passages and excerpts from:
          Scriptural texts;
          Magisterial teachings;
          The writings of the saints;
          And traditional Catholic prayers and devotionals.
The purpose of this manual is to help those who suffer find the meaning, purpose, and value of suffering with and in Jesus Christ. It is intended for personal use and private reflection, and to share with those we love who need a guide and companion as they walk along the via crucis, the path of the Cross.”

The sections in the book are:

How to Use This Manual
Part One: The Mystery of Suffering
     1 The Perennial Question
     2 Our Original Goodness
     3 The Fall from Grace
     4 Promise Fulfilled
     5 Redemptive Suffering
     6 The Kingdom in Our Hands

Part Two: Aids in the Midst of Suffering
     7 The Bible on Suffering
     8 Teachings of Holy Mother Church
     9 Wisdom from the Holy Ones
     10 Prayers and Devotions

The beginning of the section How To Use This Manual” states:

“In our devotional tradition, we call this life “a vale of tears.” While life is good, we know that it is fallen. The original harmony that God desired for us, and for our world, was broken by the tragic consequences of sin. Sin has damaged the goodness and beauty of our human nature and of creation. Thus, we struggle with natural evils, moral evil, and universal evils. Each of these evils pose their own cycles of hurt and harm.

It’s for this reason that I am grateful you picked up this manual. My heart goes out to each of you, and especially to those who are particularly suffering. We each have our questions, our frustrations, and our anxieties. We want to know why we suffer, why our loved ones suffer, why there is suffering at all. How can a good and all-powerful God permit suffering?

This manual will seek to provide answers. It will also provide spiritual aids to help in navigating and dealing with suffering in our fallen world.”

We are also informed that:

“In this manual, we will address the vast world of human suffering.

In part one, you will find a systematic answer to the perennial question of human suffering. For our answer, we will draw from the sacred narrative of our salvation as contained in the Sacred Scriptures, as well as our vast Sacred Tradition and its theological reflections and insights.

In part two, you will find a collection of biblical, theological, and spiritual works that address suffering, as well as specific prayers from the Church’s spiritual treasury for particular needs and sufferings.”

This book is an excellent volume, and a most important series. I have already recommended this book to a few friends and have recommended books across the series countless times. Father Kirby writes in a direct and engaging style. The book deals with very series issues. It is a book that can be read and used by almost any teen or adult. And this volume and others in the series are books that can be used over and over again. It is a book you will return to, for personal use, and to be able to share pieces of it with others. While reading I copied 2 passages and sent them to specific friends. 

The book concludes with over 40 prayers, novenas, and litanies. It is worth it just for the collection of prayers and devotions. But when you combine that with the teachings it is a book of immense value and one that is much needed today. 

Pick this up or even pick up a couple of copies. I encourage you to read yourself, or to give as gifts. It is another fantastic volume from the pen of Father Kirby. I challenge you to give it a read I am certain you will benefit from the time and effort. And consider looking into others in the series.

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

Books by Fr. Jeffrey Kirby STD:
101 Surprising Facts About St. Peter's and the Vatican
A Pastoral Guide to Opening Your Parish
Be Not Troubled
Doors of Mercy: A Journey Through Salvation History
God's Search for Us
Living in Peace
Lord Teach Us to Pray
Luke: The Gospel of Mercy
Thy Kingdom Come

Manuals from Tan Books:
Manual for Conquering Deadly Sin - Rev. Fr. Dennis Kolinski, S.J.C.
Manual for Eucharistic Adoration - The Poor Clares Of Perpetual Adoration
Manual for Marian Devotion - The Dominican Sisters Of Mary
Manual for Men - Most Reverend Thomas J. Olmsted
Manual for Women - Danielle Bean

1 comment:

David B said...

Thanks for sharing Steven.
God bless