Interesting Reading

Lots of books, manuscripts and texts arrive at my desk.  I am always grateful, even if I do not have an opportunity to go through each one of them with the care it merits.

However, I would like to touch on just a few recently arrived texts in the hope that you, too, might find them interesting.

A Pope Francis Lexicon is the work of Joshua McElwee and Cindy Wooden who edited a large collection of A-Z comments taken from the talks, homilies, publications and documents of Pope Francis. It is a totally engaging work because each letter of the alphabet is represented by the reflections of a different author.  The whole book comes with a foreword by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.  So much so did I find this lexicon intriguing that I intend to share it with all of the priests at the annual Chrism Mass, Monday of Holy Week.

Another significant text is the most recent work of Scott Hahn.  I think all of us who are familiar with Dr. Hahn’s writing realize that he is a gifted writer and an extraordinarily well-prepared teacher in all things scriptural.  His book, The Lamb’s Supper, continues to be a must read for those who want to be drawn more deeply into the mystery of the Eucharist.

His most recent work, The Fourth Cup: Unveiling the Mystery of the Last Supper and the Cross, arrived in the printer’s text not yet finalized for publication.  But in whatever state this text is in, it is well worth reading.  Mark it as something when it becomes available to add to your spiritual library.

Recently, September 23, 2017, Father Stanley Francis Rother was beatified in Oklahoma City.  This American priest, a native of Oklahoma, was martyred in 1981 while serving in Guatemala.  The story of his life is a beautiful reflection of heroic missionary discipleship.  As a young priest, he served in Santiago Atitlán in Guatemala beginning in 1968.  He stayed faithful to that mission until he was murdered July 28, 1981.

A significant aspect of the inspiring life of the first recognized martyr in the United States and the first US born priest to be beatified is the fact that he had returned to the United States for some medical attention and was strongly urged, given the violence in Guatemala, to remain in Oklahoma.  His reply was, “A shepherd cannot run from his flock.” This is the story of the Shepherd who laid down his life for his sheep.

The text, Blessed Stanley Francis Rother: The First American Martyr, is a small publication in English and Spanish, adapted from a presentation by Bishop Anthony Taylor of Little Rock.

On a lighter note, is a delightful book, Box of Butterflies, by TV star and movie producer, Roma Downey.  Many remember her from the TV series “Touched by an Angel.”  In her new book, she pulls together personal memories, spiritual reflections and some engaging stories.  In Box of Butterflies, Roma Downey offers glimpses of life’s challenges and blessings, echoes of God’s Word, and whispers of wisdom, all with the grace of poetry.  This book gladdens the heart, nudges the memory and lightly touches the soul with inspiration.  Here is an invitation to hope, joy and insight in the tradition of the Irish bards.

When, and if, you have a moment, as I hope to experience myself, these are a handful of books you might find worth the time to read.