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Have you seen what February has to offer?

Check out February's deals!

 

The Fathers of the Church: Mediaeval Continuation (15 vols.)The Fathers of the Church: Mediaeval Continuation (15 vols.)

Neglected for years as a stagnant period in philosophy and theology, recent scholarship has revealed the Middle Ages to be as intellectually dynamic as any. Covering the most significant Christian writers from the eleventh to the fourteenth centuries, this collection provides insight into the development of Scholasticism, various heresies and ecclesiastical issues, and the complexities of emerging ethnocentrism.

$399.99 Now: $279.99
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The Doctors of the Church (2 vols.)The Doctors of the Church (2 vols.)

Study the development of Catholicism through the lives of the Doctors of the Church. In this two-volume series, John Fink presents brief profiles of the life of each Doctor followed by one or more writings characteristic of his or her work. The excerpts chosen are representative of the particular Doctor’s writings, and are also selected in such a way as to give an overview of Christian doctrine and practice through the centuries.

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A Life-Giving Way: A Commentary on the Rule of St. Benedict)A Life-Giving Way: A Commentary on the Rule of St. Benedict)

Crafted with the same attention to scholarship that is evident in the other titles in the collection, Esther de Waal has written an accessible commentary offering an excellent introduction to the Rule of St. Benedict. De Waal is able to draw on her study of the Benedictine tradition and its influence on Anglicanism and to share a wisdom perspective born of her own experience living in Canterbury and introducing ecumenical groups around the world to Benedictine practice.

$7.99 Now: $6.99
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These sales will end February 28. See all the deals.

Doctors of the Church: What, Who, and Why

You may have noticed back in January that we were promoting the works of St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Basil of Caesarea, St. Gregory Nazianzus, St. Hilary of Poitiers, and St. Francis de Sales.  You may have noticed further that each of these great saints had feast days in January.  Bonus points for those in the audience that also realized that each of these saints is also designated as a “Doctor of the Church.” We’ll be talking a lot about the Doctors of the Church this year.

What is a “Doctor of the Church?”

The Catholic Church recognizes 36 exemplary saints from throughout the history of the church as doctors, which in Latin means teacher. The Doctors are designated as such for their extraordinary teaching on some aspect of ecclesial life, including, preaching, prayer, holiness, but above all in the way in which they shared their faith and way of life with the Church.

Who are the Doctors of the Church?

The following list of the 36 doctors is ordered according to their appearance on the liturgical calendar.

Saint Feast Date
Hilary of Poitiers  1/13
Basil of Caesera  1/02
Gregory Nazianzus  1/02
Thomas Aquinas  1/28
Francis de Sales  1/24
Gregory of Narek  2/27
Peter Damian  2/21
Cyril of Jerusalem  3/18
Isidore of Seville  4/04
Anselm of Canterbury  4/21
Catherine of Siena  4/29
Athanasius of Alexandria  5/02
Bede the Venerable  5/25
John of Avila  5/10
Ephrem the Syrian  6/09
Cyril of Alexandria  6/27
Anthony of Padua  6/13
Augustine of Hippo  8/28
Peter Chrysologus  8/30
Bernard of Clairvaux  8/20
Bonaventure  8/15
Lawrence of Brindisi  8/21
Alphonsus Liguori  8/01
Jerome  9/30
Gregory the Great  9/03
Robert Bellarmine  9/17
John Chrysostom  9/13
Hildegard of Bingen  9/17
Teresa of Ávila 10/15
Thérèse of Lisieux 10/01
Leo the Great 11/10
Albertus Magnus 11/15
Ambrose of Milan 12/7
John Damascene 12/4
John of the Cross 12/14
Peter Canisius 12/21

Why the Doctors of the Church?

The Church has chosen to recognize these great saints for our edification and so we can learn from their teaching. For similar reasons, we are choosing to focus our attention here at Verbum in 2018 on the Doctors of the Church because if there are any resources you should have in your library outside of the Bible and the Catechism—it is the works of these great saints. Whether it is research, everyday study, or daily devotions, we want you to get to know them (and so does the Church).

So, in January, if you missed our doctors, then we have extended the sale on their resources through February 28th.

Each month throughout 2018 we will be featuring each doctor who has a feast for that month. We will be selecting resources written by or about them for you to add to your Verbum library. So stay tuned and don’t miss this opportunity to build your library with the best the Church has to offer.

The Angels Ministered to Him

First Sunday

Throughout Lent, we’re sharing excerpts from Lenten Grace, an inspiring journey through the season’s Gospel readings. Check back every Sunday through Easter for a new reading. Best of all, you can get this collection of daily Gospel reflections free. Get it now.

Already own Lenten Grace? Open today’s reading in Verbum.

Lectio

Mark 1:12–15

Meditatio

“… and the angels ministered to him …”

Mark gives a very brief account of the temptation of Jesus. We do not get a list of temptations nor of Jesus’ responses. The little detail we are given is that angels came to minister to him.

In the verse preceding this passage, the Father says to Jesus, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased” (v. 11). Jesus is the Son of God—Jesus is God. Does he really need help combating Satan? This verbal and spiritual battle is between God and Satan, yet the angels are present. We can assume that God the Father sent the angels, but why? It is not to fight Satan in Jesus’ place, but simply to be with him during this time in the desert.

God’s love for us is so great that we too have angels all around us—not just heavenly creatures, but people through whom God leads us into a closer relationship with him. Lent gives us the opportunity to reflect on the many ways God graces us each day, especially through the many people he sends to be our angels.

I am reminded of times of difficulties in my own life and the people who gathered around me. I received so much strength and comfort simply because I was accompanied. I could have easily dismissed their actions because they weren’t doing great acts. No, they sat with me, listened to me pour out my heart, and/or prayed for me. From their simple acts of love, God’s blessings and graces have reached me.

As countless others have ministered to us, we can ask God for the grace to be open to go to the people that he wishes to send us to as messengers of his love. Just as the angels were sent by God to minister to Jesus, God sends us to minister to Jesus in all we do for our brothers and sisters.

Oratio

Lord, each day your love touches me through the people I come into contact with. Help me today to see these angels of yours and to be grateful for the many ways that you reach out to tell me of your great love for me through them. Help me to grow in gratitude of heart as well as in the desire and ability to serve you by serving others. What ways are you asking me to be your hands, voice, and heart in my daily life? Give me the grace to be open to your invitations today and throughout this Lenten journey.

Contemplatio

“This is the time of fulfillment …”

***

Download Lenten Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections to guide you throughout this lenten season. You can get it free through February! Get it now.

Make the most out of Lent with this free book

Free Book of the Month

In Lenten Grace, members of the Daughters of St. Paul share the fruit of their “lectio divina” (a prayerful reading of Sacred Scripture). This handy volume contains their insightful reflections on the daily Gospel readings of Lent. You can get it free this February.

You can also join the Daughters of Saint Paul in welcoming the unique grace of Ordinary Time in their book Ordinary Grace Weeks 1–17: Daily Gospel Reflections—which is an opportunity to reflect more deeply on all the aspects of the mystery of Christ, as presented in the daily Gospel readings.  It’s yours this month for only $1.99.

These deals are only good through February 28get them both now!

Pope Francis’s Thoughts on Lent

Pope Francis

Each year, the Holy Father publishes his thoughts and reflections on the upcoming Lenten season.  This year is no different and the theme comes from Matthew 24:12: “Because of the increase of iniquity, the love of many will grow cold.” Below is an overview of his message and at the end we’ve got a link to his message so you can read for yourself.

False Prophets & Cold Hearts

The Holy Father begins by reflecting on two problem areas in our world today.  He first reflects on “false prophets” and, second, on hearts that have grown cold.

False Prophets

He characterizes false prophets as “snake charmers” and “charlatans.”  Snake charmers, “who manipulate human emotions in order to enslave others and lead them where they would have them go.”  The charlatans “offer easy and immediate solutions to suffering that soon prove utterly useless.”  In the end, it is “the devil, who is ‘a liar and the father of lies’ (Jn 8:44), has always presented evil as good, falsehood as truth.”

Cold Hearts

The Holy Father then turns to reflect on Dante’s depiction of Satan in the Inferno: the devil is “…seated on a throne of ice, in frozen and loveless isolation.”  Pope Francis goes on to conclude:

Love can also grow cold in our own communities. In the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, I sought to describe the most evident signs of this lack of love: selfishness and spiritual sloth, sterile pessimism, the temptation to self-absorption, constant warring among ourselves, and the worldly mentality that makes us concerned only for appearances, and thus lessens our missionary zeal.

Prayer, Fasting & Almsgiving

The Holy Father paints a rather daunting picture of the false prophets and the “the cooling of charity” that he sees everywhere in our world.  But what are we to do?  Prayer, fasting, and almsgiving are the antidote to these worldly ailments.

“By devoting more time to prayer,” the Holy Father says, “we enable our hearts to root out our secret lies and forms of self-deception, and then to find the consolation God offers. He is our Father and he wants us to live life well.”

“Almsgiving sets us free from greed,” Pope Francis continues, “and helps us to regard our neighbour as a brother or sister. What I possess is never mine alone. How I would like almsgiving to become a genuine style of life for each of us! How I would like us, as Christians, to follow the example of the Apostles and see in the sharing of our possessions a tangible witness of the communion that is ours in the Church!”

Finally, the Holy Father concludes by reflecting on fasting:

Fasting weakens our tendency to violence; it disarms us and becomes an important opportunity for growth. On the one hand, it allows us to experience what the destitute and the starving have to endure. On the other hand, it expresses our own spiritual hunger and thirst for life in God. Fasting wakes us up. It makes us more attentive to God and our neighbour. It revives our desire to obey God, who alone is capable of satisfying our hunger.

You can read Pope Francis’s reflection here in full.

You can also read his homily for Ash Wednesday, preached in the Basilica of Santa Sabina (Founded by St. Dominic) here.

May you all have a blessed and fruitful Lent!

Your Father who sees in secret will repay you

Ash Wednesday

Throughout Lent, we’re sharing excerpts from Lenten Grace, an inspiring journey through the season’s Gospel readings. Check back every Sunday through Easter for a new reading. Best of all, you can get this collection of daily Gospel reflections free. Get it now.

Already own Lenten Grace? Open today’s reading in Verbum.

Lectio

Matthew 6:1–6, 16–18

Meditatio

“… [Do not] perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them
… your Father who sees in secret will repay you.”

“What are you going to do for Lent?” As children each year we had to answer this question. We gave up cookies, candy, TV, video games …; the list was made up of our most precious pleasures. We struggled through the forty days of Lent, flexing our spiritual muscles as we raced toward the Easter Day finish line. As adults we’ve settled into a more sophisticated Lenten spirituality, but often we end up giving up the same things we did as kids, perhaps hoping to lose a little weight or gain a little time.

Today’s Gospel reading prods us to go deeper. It centers around theatrics. We all are mini-celebrities of our own lives, imagining a trail of adoring fans following us. We can even make Lent into a minor Hollywood production. We conceive the idea for our Lenten penance. We write the script. We are producer, director, actor, and audience all wrapped in one. And we end up at the Easter Day finish line as self-absorbed as we were on Ash Wednesday.

Perhaps these words of Jesus spoken to us today are asking us to go backstage, take the last seat, sit down, and wait for God to reveal to us the script he has written for us this Lent. Perhaps as adults we should be asking at the beginning of Lent: What is God going to do for me in these next forty days? What is it that I desire God to do for me in this long Lenten retreat?

Instead of theatrics, Jesus is inviting us to simple honesty. To smallness. To just being there and sensing his grace, quiet enough, still enough to feel the gentle tugs of the Spirit to newness, to giving up obstacles to the growth of a treasured relationship, to finding a few moments daily to read the Word of God, to surrender fear.… What God is going to do in your life will surprise you. Expect it.

Oratio

Jesus, I am not accustomed to telling you to do whatever you want in my life. In fact, it’s kind of scary to see what you would do if I let you write my life’s script. I think I am doing a pretty good job at my life on my own. But it seems you want something more of me now. Instead of Lent being my focus, you are placing me front and center in your focus. I am expecting you to show me what you want to give me at this stage of my life. I trust you.

Contemplatio

I expect you, God, to do something with me this Lent.

***

Download Lenten Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections to guide you throughout this lenten season. You can get it free through February! Get it now

Keep your eyes on the these Pre-Pub resources

Check out February's deals!

Paulist Press Church History Collection (4 vols.)Paulist Press Church History Collection (4 vols.)

Explore the history of Catholicism from the first century to the present. The Shaping of Christianity closely examines the first four centuries of “the Christian movement” as it developed into a major world religion. The two-volume A History of the Christian Tradition surveys the entire history of Christianity, from its Jewish origins all the way through the pontificate of Pope John Paul II.

$74.95 Pre-Pub: $54.95
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Select Works of Henri de Lubac (5 vols.)Select Works of Henri de Lubac (5 vols.)

This collection presents several works by prominent twentieth-century theologian Henri de Lubac. A French Jesuit priest who eventually became the oldest living cardinal before his death in 1991, de Lubac was instrumental in shaping the Second Vatican Council, and composed many valuable theological works during tumultuous times.

$64.99 Pre-Pub: $49.99
Buy nowLearn more

 

Select Works of Thomas Howard (10 vols.)Select Works of Thomas Howard (10 vols.)

Study gems of devotion, apologetics, and literary scholarship from noted author Thomas Howard. Possessing an instantly identifiable wit and style, Howard is a popular author and speaker with Catholics and Protestants alike. Born into a prominent Evangelical family, Howard converted to Catholicism in 1985—prompting him to write sympathetic and insightful Christian apologetic works.

$89.99 Pre-Pub: $69.99
Buy now | Learn more

These resources will only be on pre-order for a limited time

Verbum Now Member Benefits for February 2018

Verbum Now

For the month of February, Verbum Now members enjoy the following benefits:

Preview: Studies in the Hebrew Bible

These volumes offer the latest research on the Torah in the Hebrew Bible and interpretation of key texts, figures, and themes.

Check it out

 

 

40% off last month’s resource

Cut to the heart of debate of contentious theological problems with these necessary resources. Enjoy a 40% discount and continue to explore these issues.

 

 

 

Verbum Now Free Book of the Month

Now members get to pick one free book each month from a list of over 3,100 titles! Get your free book today.

Choose a book from this list, and use coupon code: NOWFREEBOOKFEB18

Check out these benefits for February

Monthly deals for February

St. Peter Damian and St. Gregory of Narek are the only two Doctors of the Church with feast days this month, but there are many great resources inspired by their legacy and charisms that we have compiled.

Save on these wisdom-filled resources!

 

Verbum Now

Your preview resources are here! Dive into some of the latest research on the Torah in the Hebrew Bible and interpretation of key texts, figures, and themes.

Also, Verbum Now customers get exclusive a 40% discount on last month’s preview resource.

Plus, get your monthly free book using coupon code: NOWFREEBOOKFEB18

 

Free Book of the Month

In Lenten Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections, members of the Daughters of St. Paul share the fruit of their “lectio divina” (a prayerful reading of Sacred Scripture). This handy volume contains their insightful reflections on the daily Gospel readings of Lent. It’s yours free this month.

Want more? Grab Ordinary Grace Weeks 1–17: Daily Gospel Reflections for only $1.99.

Get both | Learn more

He will gather the dispersed… from the four corners of the earth

Day 8 Reflection

The theme for the 2018 International Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is: Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in power (cf. Exodus 15:6).

We continue with day 8 of the biblical reflections from the official handbook, which was drafted this year by the Churches of the Caribbean. (You can download it here.)

Readings:
Isaiah 11:12–13 (Ephraim shall not be jealous of Judah, and Judah shall not be hostile towards Ephraim)
Psalm 106:1-14, 43–48 (Gather us to give thanks to hour holy name)
Ephesians 2:13–19 (He has broken down the dividing wall)
John 17:1–12 (Be on your guard against all kinds of greed)

The Caribbean churches work together to heal the wounds in the Body of Christ in the region, which are a legacy left by colonization. Reconciliation often demands repentance, reparation and the healing of memories. One example is the acts of apology and reparation between Baptists in Britain and the Caribbean. Like Israel, the Church in its unity is called to be both a sign and an active agent of reconciliation.

Reflection

Throughout the biblical narrative of salvation history, an unmistakable motif is the unrelenting determination of the Lord to form a people whom he could call his own. The formation of such a people – united in a sacred covenant with God – is integral to the Lord’s plan of salvation and to the glorification and hallowing of God’s Name.

The prophets repeatedly remind Israel that the covenant demanded that relationships among its various social groups should be characterized by justice, compassion and mercy. As Jesus prepared to seal the new covenant in his own blood, his earnest prayer to the Father was that those given to him by the Father would be one, just as he and the Father were one. When Christians discover their unity in Jesus they participate in Christ’s glorification in the presence of the Father, with the same glory that he had in the Father’s presence before the world existed. And so, God’s Covenanted people must always strive to be a reconciled community – one which itself is an effective sign to all the peoples of the earth of how to live in justice and in peace.

Prayer

Lord,
we humbly ask that, by your grace, the churches throughout the world may become instruments of your peace. Through their joint action as ambassadors and agents of your healing, reconciling love among divided peoples, may your Name be hallowed and glorified.
Amen.

The Church has much to teach us about ecumenism and God’s call to unity. Learn more with the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity Collection.
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