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What We Read This Month: Highlights from the Verbum Team

Every month two members of the Verbum team share what they read and watched in Verbum and around the web.

Donald Antenen, Verbum Marketing Manager:

This month I used Verbum for research while writing Catholic New Year’s resolutions. That meant a lot of time in the Catechism and related Church documents. I also enjoyed Advent reading from the Daughters of Saint Paul devotional Advent Grace and Pope Benedict XVI’s The Blessing of Christmas.

Pope Benedict is rightly understood as a brilliant theologian and intellectual, but the tenderness and beauty of his writing are often overlooked. They ought not to be.

Finally, after the confirmation of the second miracle, I revisited Cardinal Newman’s Essay on the Development of Church Doctrine, which I first read while working for a Catholic campus ministry the summer after college.

What I read (and watched) around the web this month:

Craig St. Clair, Verbum Product Manager:

My daily reading in Verbum throughout the year is from the Lectionary, and this month I’ve added in the same Daughters of Saint Paul devotional mentioned by Donald. I’ve also been introducing my sons to Lectio Divina with the Verbum iOS app. They love it!  And I love that I can pray Lectio Divina with them, which has been so impactful in my own spiritual life.

Other things I’ve been reading:

  • The Meaning of Tradition by Yves Congar, O.P.: a book I read in graduate school but never all the way through until now; Congar had a sizable impact on the documents of Vatican II, particularly Dei Verbum.
  • Pope Francis’ (in)famous Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia. The controversy around this document has obscured its significance—and the Holy Father’s intentions for the two Synods on the family and the document itself.


  1. Raul says:

    Verbum has been a great source of classical as well as contemporary readings that enhance and invite me to enter deeper into the beauty of our spirituality and tradition.

  2. Kevin Clemens says:

    Gents – some great reads to be sure.

    Donald – if interested in pursuing Newman and doctrinal development further, I recommend heartily the fifteenth and final of his Oxford University Sermons: “The Theory of Developments in Religious Doctrine,” which is a precursor to the more fully developed argument in the “Essay.” Indeed, one could trace the development of Newman’s understanding of doctrinal development, beginning as early as his “Arians of the Fourth Century” (1833). Moreover, Newman’s Letters and Diaries are quite robust in gaining an intimate picture of his working out of this material in his own mind (perhaps a future resource for inclusion in Verbum?!)

    Craig – We read Congar’s book in my fundamental theology class a few years ago, in which we also read an extensive portion of L. Feingold’s recent work “Faith Comes From What Is Heard.” His treatment on the transmission of Revelation through Tradition and the Magisterium (Part 3) is one of the finest I’ve encountered. It would be a nice complement the Congar text.

    A blessed new year to you both – Tolle Lege!

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