Friday 3 March 2023

How Christ Saves Souls―with Us - Father Michael E. Giesler - The Mystery of Co-Redemption

How Christ Saves Souls―with Us: 
The Mystery of Co-Redemption
Father Michael E. Giesler
Scott Hahn (Forward)
ISBN 9781645851998
eISBN 9781645852001

Prior to reading this I have read most of the books published by Father Michael E. Giesler. I have yet to read his thesis Chris the Rejected Stone, 1974, though I have tracked down a copy, and I have not read Guidebook for Confessors, but I the eBook edition. A few years back I had the privilege of interviewing Father Giesler, and I believe this is one of the projects he hinted at as being in the works at the time. I started with reading his fiction, which I absolutely love, and now after reading a few of his theological works I am even more impressed with his skill and talent as a writer. This is an exceptional volume!

The description of this volume is:

“There is an important truth too many Christians don’t know: we are called to actively participate in the redemption Christ won for us on the Cross. This is at once simple and complex—how can we be co-redeemers? With a clear and lively style, How Christ Saves Souls—with Us: The Mystery of Co-Redemption calls the everyday Catholic to embrace their role as a partaker in Christ’s redeeming grace. Fr. Michael Giesler uses sound theological and scriptural backing to illustrate, in practical terms, how each of us can truly be another Christ, Christ Himself (ipse Christus), in our words and actions.

Jesus shared His redeeming power with His followers from the beginning of the Church, and He continues doing so throughout the centuries. We see co-redemptive grace in the lives of the Church’s greatest saints, but it also radiates in the lives of countless unknown and unsung followers of Christ in many different places and times.

A little-known topic with a transforming message, How Christ Saves Souls—with Us shows us that by bringing Christ’s truth and joy to society, we help to establish His kingdom on earth. We aid in preparing for His glorious second coming, the Parousia, when He will establish His definitive Kingdom, the new Heavens and earth, where God will be all in all.”

And the chapters in the book are:

Foreword by Scott Hahn
Theological Introduction
Christ the Redeemer
The Church and the Communion of Saints
Sanctifying Work
Matrimony as Co-Redemption
Giving Witness
Co-Redemptive Friendship
The Holy Mass: Center of Our Redemption on Earth
The Slavery of Sin
The Overwhelming Power of Charity
Making Atonement: Redemptive Sacrifice
Sanctifying Illness and Suffering
Easter Joy
Mary Co-Redemptrix

At the end of the forward Dr. Scott Hahn states:

“That, I know, is the hope of the author. Father Michael Giesler is a great scholar of Scripture. He earned a doctorate, and he wrote his dissertation on the use of the Old Testament by the authors of the New Testament. But he wears his learning lightly. He is also the author of helpful popular booklets on prayer—and a trilogy of novels about Christians in second-century Rome. He knows how to communicate obscure and difficult material in the language of non-scholars. He has been my friend and respected colleague for four decades.

So take up and read, “and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:28), and by God’s grace you have work to do.”

His final statement the challenges to ‘take and read’ I heartily echo. I truly believe this is a volume any Catholic, any Christian. This book is clearly written. The material is engaging. And as Giesler builds the blocks of book you become more and more hooked and interested. As soon as I finished the volume I debated restarting it again right away. And if I did not have such a large ‘to be read’ pile I would have. As it is I put it back on my ‘to be read’ list in order to revisit it and give it a second read. An example of sections in a chapters is Mary Co-Redemptrix, and the chapters are:

As a Loving Mother with Her Child
How She Continues to Serve Us
The Mystery of Co-Redemption: She and You

The final paragraph in the book states:

““Behold, I make all things new” (Rev 21:5). The last book of Scripture proclaims the triumphant words of the Lamb who is Christ, who will take possession of the entire universe when He comes again. Such is the goal of our life as well; in union with the redemptive sacrifice of Christ and with Mary His mother, we want to make all things new.”

And this volume is an excellent tool to help us live that out. This is another great volume from Giesler’s pen. It is a book I can easily recommend and strongly encourage you to pick it up and give it a read.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2023 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Rev. Michael Giesler:
You See Me, You Hear Me
Guidebook for Confessors
Family Grace: A Story of Conversion Through Friendship
Called by Name: Twelve Guideline Meditations for Diocesan Priests

Christ the Rejected Stone

Spanish Editions:
Dios te ve y te oye


Christian Historical Fiction Trilogy:
Grain Of Wheat


Author Profile and Interview with Father Michael E. Giesler.

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