I stumbled across a book a few days ago: Meditations and Catechesis on the Psalms and Canticles of Morning and Evening Prayer, by Pope St. John Paul II and Pope (Emeritus) Benedict XVI. It’s published in the UK by Catholic Truth Society, and doesn’t ship to the US. I had to get a copy through AbeBooks and they got it from Blackwell’s in the UK. (To add to the fun, my bank at first declined the transaction because it involved sending payment overseas. A phone call got them to lift the ban—for one day. Oy vey.) But I’ve got it now and it’s mine, all mine!


Join me on Twitter as Pope St John Paul II reflects on the psalms and canticles of Lauds and Vespers.

Morning and Evening Prayer-jpii-bxviAhem. Back to what I was talking about. What was I talking about anyway? Oh! The book! Well, even if you can’t get hold of the book, you can still read the meditations and catechesis on the web. These took place at the general audiences held by the popes on Wednesdays. Pope St. John Paul II began the series by covering Morning Prayer (Lauds) and then covering Evening Prayer (Vespers). But he passed away before he could finish and Pope Benedict picked up where he left off. Pope St. John Paul II went through each day of the four-week Psalter and discussed each day in three parts, one part per Wednesday audience. (Pope Benedict didn’t adhere to that schedule the way his predecessor did.)

I’m sharing quotes and notes from the audiences (using the web versions rather than the book mainly because it’s easier) on Twitter using the hashtag #PsalmsJPII beginning with Lauds and going through Vespers. Join me and join in. Feel free to comment, too. Each session is also up at Storify — four, so far — so you don’t have to miss a scintillating minute of it. ;) See links below.

St. Augustine (hey, #CivDei peeps!) is mentioned quite a bit in the talks. Not surprising since he did write that Enarrationes in Psalmos thingy and he is a beloved Church Father and Doctor of the Church. I’ll be bringing special attention to the good doctor when we get to him, you can be sure of that! (What in the world is #CivDei, you say? Well, that’s a story for another day. Post in the works e’en now.)

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/disciple96
Follow the project on Twitter: #PsalmsJPII
Follow my projects on Storify: https://storify.com/disciple96

The book at CTS: http://www.ctsbooks.org/morning-and-evening-prayer-meditations-and-catechesis/
The book at AbeBooks: https://www.abebooks.com/9781784690519/Morning-Evening-Prayer-Meditations-Catechesis-1784690511/plp
(Note: content at AbeBooks changes frequently. The book is available there as I type, but may be gone or replaced by a different edition at any time.)

Augustine's Expositions On the Psalms, digital, Logos-Verbum formatSt. Augustine’s Expositions on the Psalms, Logos/Verbum format (works with either): https://www.logos.com/product/38253/augustines-expositions-on-the-book-of-psalms
Church Fathers: https://www.crossroadsinitiative.com/media/articles/early-church-fathers-overview-snapshot-of-the-fathers-of-the-church/
Doctors of the Church: https://www.crossroadsinitiative.com/media/articles/doctors-of-the-catholic-church/

The Angels and Their MissionPeace be to you! Hope you had a very merry Christmas! Advent, Christmas, New Year’s, all passed me by, and the Jubilee of Mercy began, and I watched it all fly past as if I were Douglas Adams watching deadlines go whoosh. I’ve put off writing this, my 500th post for Catholic Heart and Mind because I wanted to write something Big and Important, something Significant. I’ve also been struggling to get back to reading and writing about Laudato Si’, but, to be honest, I’m feeling some real resistance to it. I’ll get over it and get back to it, eventually, or force myself to do it, but I haven’t yet. (I’ve also been really low on energy. The sarcoidosis has taken a toll the last couple of years, and reading and listening and taking a few notes is about all I’ve been good for. My dogs are exceedingly frustrated with me, I’ve been such a bore.) The result is that, for the longest, I haven’t written anything. Nothing. Zilch. Nada. Funny how that works. Tonight I decided to go ahead and write a post instead of The Post and get on with it.

Just in case you’ve been burning with curiosity about what I’ve been doing with all this time on my hands–since I certainly haven’t been blogging–I’ll tell you: I’ve been delving into my theology studies and it’s been fascinating and inspiring. Been listening to a college level course by Dr. Brant Pitre, The Apostle Paul: Unlocking the Mysteries of His Theology, on MP3. It’s available on CD, too, but I’m the impatient type so I usually download these things so I can start digging in right away. The course is seventeen sessions, each one runs about an hour or more. I’m only on session thirteen right now, but most of the previous talks I’ve listened to two or three times.

Apostle Paul: Unlocking the Mysteries of His TheologyIn addition to the MP3 course on the Apostle Paul: Unlocking the Mysteries of His Theology, by Dr. Brant Pitre, I managed to get hold of three books he recommended:

  • The Mysticism of Paul the Apostle, by Albert Schweitzer (used, paper),
  • The Theology of Saint Paul, 2 volumes, by Fernand Prat, S.J. (used, hardback), and
  • The Angels and Their Mission, by Jean Cardinal Daniélou, S.J. (digital, Google Play, only because the Kindle sample I downloaded wasn’t working, and I was too impatient to take the time to deal with it).

The Unseen RealmAnd after watching a couple of videos (more about that later) featuring Dr. Michael S. Heiser and his work, I’ve decided to also read two of his books (for now):

The more I study about the angels, the more fascinated I become. Heiser is writing from a non-Catholic point of view, and I don’t know yet whether or not he includes the Church Fathers in his sources, but I still find his work very interesting. Danielou’s book certainly covers the Fathers; I’m not sure what all Prat or Schweitzer cover, but I’m hoping that Prat gets into the Fathers, at least a little. I’ll share more as I learn more.

Well, that’s more than enough about what I’ve been doing. Thanks for reading. May God bless you and yours in this new year!

Early Church MosaicAfter someone asked me some questions on Twitter, I decided to finally update the Church Fathers page in the Resource section here at the site, which I should have done long ago. Then I could have said, Why, here you go, all conveniently listed for you. But I hadn’t updated the page in a couple of years so… It’s updated now and largely re-written. Still by no means an exhaustive list, but there are more titles now and a link or two also updated/edited. I also added some videos and some Logos/Verbum titles and collections to the list.

Still not exhaustive by any means, but should be useful and helpful to those starting out in the study of the Early Church and Church Fathers. Cheers! And peace be with you.

Spiritual Theology Course by Dr Brant PitreOf all the things I’d hoped to do during Lent, I’ve managed only to prove to myself that I am even weaker than I already knew. But, lucky for you, I have also spent some time listening to an audio course in Spiritual Theology taught by Dr. Brant Pitre. It’s available in DVD, CD or MP3 formats. (I bought the MP3 set so I could download it immediately and have been listening to it on my iPhone in GoodReader.)

TheThreeAgesoftheInteriorLifeOne of the earliest purchases I made after becoming attracted to the Catholic Church in the ’90s was Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange’s marvelous two-volume work, The Three Ages of the Interior Life. This was the first Christian work of its kind I had ever seen and I’m so glad I got it then in a clothbound edition. I have read and re-read Volume One, and have read Volume Two through at least once.

Why do I mention Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange’s book? Because Dr. Pitre uses it in his course! How exciting! For me, it is. (Stop looking at me like that. I know I’m a nerd. And you do, too, if you’ve even glanced at this site before. So there.) And that’s not all. Dr. Pitre uses several others that either I had in print or Kindle format, in my Verbum library or found online in PDF or other downloadable eBook formats for free. And, before you ask, of course I’ll give you links. Kind of me, yes? (Okay, my aforementioned weakness has engendered not quite enough humility in me. Yet.)


Video Introduction to Spiritual Theology Course

SouloftheApostolateCWPSources used in the course include those in the list below. I’ve listed Kindle and print formats; eBook refers to various formats available mostly through the Internet Archive for free. On the course page there’s a link to a PDF outline of the course (scroll down). I strongly recommend that you download the outline even if only as a guide for your own study. What an amazing amount of teaching and work Dr. Pitre has put together for us! Btw, this is not a complete list. But if you get the free PDFs, Fr. Dubay’s Fire Within, and Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange’s books listed (PDFs or Kindle), then I reckon you’ll be fine. I also reckon you already have a good and well-worn Catholic Bible and, of course, a much dog-eared copy of the Catechism. (You do, don’t you?)

  • Fr. Thomas Dubay, SM, Fire Within, Kindle, Paper
  • Fr. Adolphe Tanqueray, The Spiritual Life, Hardcover, eBook
  • Fr. Jordan Aumann, OP, Spiritual Theology, Kindle, PrinteBook
  • Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, The Three Ages of the Interior Life, Kindle, Print Set (TAN Books & Publishers), eBook
  • Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, The Three Ways of the Spiritual Life, Kindle, Print (now published as The Three Conversions in the Spiritual Life)
  • St. John of the Cross, OCD, Collected Works, ICS edition (in one volume), Kindle, Print
  • St. Teresa of Avila, OCD, Collected Works, ICS edition, Vol 2, Kindle, Print
  • St. Thérèse of Lisieux, OCD, Story of a Soul, ICS edition, Kindle, Print
  • St. Francis de Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life, Kindle, Print Translated by John K Ryan, Print TAN edition, eBook
  • St. Louis de Montfort, Secret of the Rosary, Kindle, Print, eBook
  • St. John Paul II, Apostolic Letter, Rosarium Virginis Mariae, Online
  • St. Bonaventure, The Soul’s Journey to God (or Journey of the Mind into God), Kindle, Print, PDF
  • St. Thomas Aquinas, OP, Summa Theologica (or Theologia), Kindle, PDFOnline, Print (Seriously? Wow. Go for it! All my copies are digital.)
  • Dom Jean-Baptiste Chautard, OCSO, The Soul of the Apostolate, Kindle, Print
  • The Holy Bible. I highly recommend the RSV-CE or RSV-SCE*
  • The Catechism of the Catholic Church (online free, Kindle or paperback under $10)

Notes
verbum_mobile*The RSV is available in two different Catholic editions, the RSV-CE (Catholic Edition) and the RSV-SCE (Second Catholic Edition). I use both because I like the SCE but the CE is available in interlinear format in my Verbum software. Can I read the interlinear Biblical Hebrew or Greek? Heck, no. But I like to explore and learn so I do use it. A little. I hope to learn to use it more as time goes on.

study-bible-nt-brownAnother form of the RSV for Catholics is the Ignatius Study Bible RSV-SCE, but is only complete through the New Testament as of this writing. You can buy the NT in separate booklets or the whole NT in paperback, hardback or leatherbound. (Several books of the Old Testament are available now in booklet format, but I don’t know when the entire OT study edition will be available.) This is such a great study help because it’s the work of Scott Hahn and Curtis Mitch.

Taking a break from collecting some thoughts for writing, watching this wonderful talk by Dr. Brant Pitre: Jesus & the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist. This is a good video to watch during Lent, preparing for Passover. Will also be watching The Passion of the Christ with the study guide this time, a first for me.

Thank you for stopping by. Lent continues and I’m staying off of social media except for posting here at the blog and answering necessary emails. May this season of preparation bring you closer to our Lord. God bless you! Peace be with you.

PS: Hey, see that tabernacle? It’s empty during Dr. Pitre’s talk. Would that more parishes would take care to do this when holding non-liturgical events in the worship space, if no more suitable space is available, such as a parish hall.

emptytabernacle