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Sunday, 3 July 2022

Praying The Creed In The Year Of Faith - Deacon Nick Donnelly - CTS Year of Faith

Praying The Creed In The Year Of Faith
ISBN 9781860828300
CTS Booklet D758


This is the eleventh title from the pen of Deacon Nick Donnelley that I have read over the last four years. Most of them I have read more than once. This booklet is another excellent offering from his pen. And it is the second from him in the Year of Faith Series I have read, and the third in the series as a whole. The ‘Year of Faith’ was from October 2012 through November 2013. I did not encounter any of these booklets during the year of faith, but from the two I have read so far, they are well worth tracking down and reading. So far, I have been able to discover 8 books and booklets that are marked as part of this series:

Companion to Faith
Praying The Creed In The Year Of Faith
The Essential Creed - Exploring the Apostles' Creed in the Year of Faith
Year of Faith Prayer Book
Year of Faith Stations of the Cross
Year of Faith with John Paul II
The Gift of Scripture
The Word of the Lord Discovering Verbum Domini

From those discovered some are clearly marked on the front cover and some have the Year of Faith logo on the back of the book. The description of this volume:

“The Creed is of central importance to the Year of Faith (2012-2013). This booklet will help to understand, contemplate and pray with the Nicene Creed. Each of the 12 chapters contains a brief explanation of the Article of the Creed based on the Catechism, followed by concise passages of meditation and reflection taken from the Fathers of the Church, the Saints and the Popes. Each chapter concludes with a simple prayer and scripture passage.”

Note the back of the booklet states Apostles’ Creed not Nicene Creed, it is a typo on the cover. I highlighted several passages while reading this volume. Some of them are:

“Though materialists would have us believe that the brain produces the mind and sense of self. God’s word tells us that the heart is a person· spiritual centre. There are over one thousand references to the heart in Sacred Scripture. Drawing on this tradition the Church teaches the pivotal importance of the heart to our live.”

“During the Year of Faith, Pope Benedict XVI wants us to return to this perennial wisdom of the heart and realise the importance of the heart to personal faith, and the importance of the Church's Faith to our heart. In his brief apostolic letter introducing the Year of Faith, Porta Fidei, the Holy Father mentions the " heart" seventeen times to emphasise its importance.”

“God himself who reveals them, who can neither deceive nor be deceived.” Faith is certain. It is more certain than all human knowledge because it is founded on the very word of God who cannot lie.”

“Pope Benedict like St Augustine understands that the encounter with Jesus Christ through faith fulfils the deepest longings of the human heart. He hopes that during the Year of Faith that we will share Augustine ·s transformational discovery that Jesus is really and truly present in our lives and in our history:”

“The Latin word Credo, which is the origin of our English word Creed, means “I believe”. The Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed that we profess during the Mass are called creeds because they express the fundamental truths revealed by God that have been entrusted to the Church and in which we personally believe.”

“One of Pope Benedict's hopes for the Year of Faith is that Catholics see themselves once again as “believers”, men and women, boys and girls, who profess the beliefs of the Catholic Faith with renewed conviction. confidence and hope.”

“This booklet has been designed to help you enter more deeply into the Nicene Creed by way of reflection and meditation. The aim is to help you in preparing to make your profession of faith during the Year of Faith with greater understanding and conviction.”

“Christ is a title and yet also already part of the unique name for the man from Nazareth. This fusion of the name with the title, the title with the name, is far from
being just another example of history’s forgetfulness. On the contrary, it spotlights the very heart of the process of understanding that faith went through with regard to the figure from Nazareth.”

“The humanism of the past century has blasphemously sought to make man the measure of God. Even believers have been unconsciously contaminated by the irrational assumption that we can comprehend the divinity of Jesus. Consciously praying this article of the creed, and in particular the mysterious word “consubstantial”, restores us to the rational appreciation that the mysteries of Jesus transcend by far our ability to understand.”

Prayer
Loving Mother of the Redeemer,
Gate of heaven, star or the sea,
Assist your people who have fallen yet strive to rise again.
To the wonderment of nature you bore your Creator,
yet remained a virgin after a before,
You who received Gabriel’s joyful greeting,
have pity on us poor sinners.”

“It is just as necessary for the Christian to believe in the passion and death or the Son of God as it is to believe in his Incarnation. For, as St Gregory says, "there would have been no advantage in his having been born for us unless we had profited by his Redemption.” That Christ died for us is so tremendous a fact that our intellect can scarcely grasp it; for in no way does it fall in the natural way of our understanding.”

Act of Love - Pray for the courage to forgive others and to seek forgiveness from others, “Forgiveness is a highpoint of Christian prayer; only hearts attuned to God’s compassion can receive the gift of prayer." (CCC 2844)”

“JRR Tolkien, the Catholic author of The Lord of the Rings. held that man's history was the story of inevitable decline as a consequence of the Fall and its warping of human nature. Even though we are redeemed by our baptism into our Saviour's sacrificial death, we still have to bear the consequences of Original Sin. This final article of the Creed reminds us that despite the signs of decline all around us, God in his mercy will create for us a new heaven and a new earth.”

The thirteen chapters in this volume follow a similar format. Each has a teaching section, Followed by a ‘Living the Creed’ section that contains an Act of Faith. Hope and Love. Each chapter then concludes with a prayer. This volume was an excellent little read. The strength of many of Deacon Nick’s other volumes is his vulnerability and sharing from personal experience. The strength of this one is his showcasing his theological acumen, the depth of his knowledge and his personal faith and devotion.

The year of faith is nearly a decade in the past but this volume still has power and worth. It is well worth the effort to track down and to give it a read. I will try and track down all the volumes from the ‘Year Of Faith Series’ from the Catholic Truth Society. I will also continue to try and tracked down Deacon Nick’s other older works that are out of print. I look forward to reading more from his pen. This is an excellent read from the CTS, and from the pen of Deacon Nick Donnelly.  

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2022 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

For reviews of other books in the Year of Faith Series click here.

CTS Year of Faith Books:
The Essential Creed - Exploring the Apostles' Creed in the Year of Faith
Year of Faith Stations of the Cross
Year of Faith with John Paul II
The Gift of Scripture
The Word of the Lord Discovering Verbum Domini

Other books from the Year of Faith:
Books edited by Francis Fernandez Carvajal:
Year of Faith Treasury: The Sacrament of Confession 
Year of Faith Treasury: The Virtue of Faith
Year of Faith Treasury: The Virtue of Fortitude








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