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Whoever Lives the Truth Comes to the Light

fourth 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. Also, you can get this entire six-volume series of daily Gospel reflections at a 20% off.  Get it now.

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


John 3:14–21


“God so loved the world that he gave his only Son …”

The liturgy proclaims that God sent his Son to redeem us. How hard it is to wrap our minds around this fact! The Creator of the universe loves human beings so much that his Son entered into and endured our human condition, gave his life for us, and will continue to be one of us for all eternity! Mind-boggling. If we start to think about this, the question comes spontaneously: Why?

The age-old answer is still valid. We humans hadn’t gotten it right. We hadn’t taken the natural law implanted in us seriously enough, or at least we were too weak to follow it well. We continued to hurt ourselves and others. Our attitude toward God was skewed. God was someone to fear when nature’s forces were unleashed, or to try to manipulate when we wanted to have our way. God was not someone to love. Yet God had created human beings so that he might enjoy our company, love us, and be loved in return.

Only God could “break through our deafness,” as Saint Augustine would say, and get our attention. Only he could restore the right relationship between him and us. His choice of how to do this was astounding. He became one of us and died for us. “No one has greater love than this” (Jn 15:13). If we let this sink in, the sensational in contemporary life becomes trivial—headlines, films, novels.… Can anything be more sensational than the love of God for the human race?

How can we better appreciate this love? How better know the mind and heart of such a God? Again, there are age-old answers: reading or hearing the Word; praying; trying to live uprightly. As today’s Scripture passage says, “whoever lives the truth comes to the light.” It’s the challenge of a lifetime, and now is the best time to start. “Today is the first day of the rest of my life.”


Jesus, help me to understand the love that motivated the Father to send you into the world. It is the same love that compelled you to live and die for me. Show me the relative unimportance of so many other things in my life. Give me a new perspective. Help me to see that coming to know you and the Father is the challenge of a lifetime—a challenge I need to accept here and now, in this Lenten season. Enable me to live the truth, come to your light, and respond wholeheartedly to your love for me.


[W]hoever lives the truth comes to the light.


Download Lenten Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections to guide you throughout this lenten season. You can get this entire six-volume series of daily Gospel reflections at a 20% off. Get it now.

Stop Making My Father’s House a Marketplace

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. Also, you can get this entire 6 volume series of daily Gospel reflections at a 20% off. Get it now.

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


John 2:13–25


“[S]top making my Father’s house a marketplace.”

It is easy when we read Scripture to comment upon how Jesus interacted with others. Look at those people Jesus drove out of the Temple! Imagine challenging Jesus like that!

The treasure of Scripture, however, is that it is really about us, about how Jesus interacts with you and me. Jesus comes into our practice of religion and overturns what we think had been good. I arrive at church on time. I drop my kids off at CCD. I volunteer to count the money three times a year. I cantor at the 12:15 Mass. I’ve entered a religious community of women and spend my life taking care of the elderly.… We too can settle into routine, just as the people selling animals for sacrifice in the Temple had settled into a routine expression of their religion.

Routine is not all that bad. At first it remains connected to the deeper meaning and motivation that prompts a way of living or believing. But what is simply routine over time can become disconnected with the deeper values that permeate it and slip into a rut, gradually degenerating over time into a mindless, heartless activity we no longer know why we are carrying out. Completing the activities of religious practice can then hide a heart that does not belong entirely to God.

Zeal for his Father’s house led Jesus to shake up the system, in a sense to force a personal answer to the questions: Why are you here? What are you doing? What do you expect of God? What have you given to God? What is your whole life all about? Jesus’ words refer to a prophetic verse in Jeremiah: Do not come to the Temple and say, “the Temple of the Lord, the Temple of the Lord, the Temple of the Lord,” as though that would cover over other areas of your life where you cheat and lie.… You’re making the Temple a den of thieves (cf. Jer 7:1–11).

Ask Jesus to come in and overturn those parts of your life where you have slipped into a rut; ask him to fill you with a zealous fire that burns with love of God.


If I had been there that day when you, Jesus, came in and overturned all of our tables, doing what we thought was a good thing, I would have been angry and confused. If you come into my life today and force me to look at issues that I have safely swept under the carpet, I will be angry and confused. But I need you to do that, Jesus. So come gently but firmly, and show me where you would like me to change and grow into a deeper relationship with you.


Help me out of the rut I’m in.


Download Lenten Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections to guide you throughout this lenten season. You can get this entire 6 volume series of daily Gospel reflections at a 20% off. Get it now.

Rabbi, It Is Good That We Are Here!

second Sunday of Lent

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.


Mark 9:2–10


“Rabbi, it is good that we are here!”

Before the humiliation and loss of his crucifixion and death, Jesus gives three of his apostles an experience of his glory. Jesus knows of what we are made. He knows we are fitful and frightened creatures. He knows that we dread the cross, that we fear loss. So he brought these apostles to Mount Tabor to experience with him the glory that is his.

Our community receives prayer intentions from many people who entrust to us their most heartfelt desires or deepest fears and problems. We pray for these persons who are encountering the cross and bearing life’s burdens. Though we all bear the cross in some way, in order to be like Jesus and to be with Jesus, we need to remember our own Mount Tabor moments. We all have had them.

These joyfully transfigured moments may have been celebrations of weddings, watching sunsets or sunrises with someone we love, the birth of a child, an experience of God’s presence at prayer or the liturgy. If we can’t remember a Mount Tabor experience, then perhaps our eyes have become more accustomed to the cross than to the transfiguration. Though the crucifixion and death of Jesus play an important part in redemption, they are only a part of the great paschal mystery, which includes the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. John even refers to the death of Jesus as his glorification.

Even in the midst of the crosses we carry we need to keep our sight attuned to Jesus, who bursts in upon our lives with light, with hope, with the sudden surprise of resurrection.

It is hard to do this. Contradictions, failure, or fear can wear us down unless we are invincible in our courage. The best place to begin anew to expose ourselves to the transfiguration of Jesus is in prayer—not the prayer that pleads for what we think we absolutely must have, but the prayer that quietly asks for light and surrenders to hope.


Jesus, now, today, in this moment, in this place I drop all thought, memories of the past, figuring out of the future. You want to meet me today. You want to shine in my life. Sometimes you immerse me in gentle light. Other times when I encounter you in your glory, it is like coming out of a tunnel into broad daylight. Today—how will you come to me? How will you transfigure my life? How will you prepare me for my share in your cross? Come, Jesus, come.


How will you come to me today?


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

Awaiting Mary’s Yes to God

We began this Advent series of reflections with the question: what are you waiting for? With the busy-ness of Commercial Christmas constantly demanding our attention, it is easy to lose sight of the watchfulness and preparation the Church asks of us this Advent season. Let us now continue with our reflection series on this Fourth Sunday of Advent….

This Fourth week of Advent will only last one day, as Christmas comes to us the following day. Even so, it is important to reflect on this final Sunday before we embrace the celebration of the Christmas season.


We have been anticipating the coming of Christ through the Sunday readings since the beginning of Advent. As I reflect on the Gospel reading for today, the sense of anticipation is intense, the sequence of events almost seems to unfold in slow motion.

First, an angel, Gabriel, is headed for Mary in Nazareth, with staggering news. Upon learning of the approaching angel, we are told twice in v. 27 that Mary is a virgin, a pious and observant Jew. Yet Nazareth was a city of little consequence in Judea and an unlikely place for the appearance of an angel.

Second, as the angel approaches Nazareth, what is Mary doing? Presumably she’s at home attending to everyday domestic chores and tasks. She may be making preparations for her marriage to Joseph or attending to other family matters.

Heavy News

When Gabriel confronts Mary, with “Hail, favored one!” one gets the sense of Mary’s total surprise.  She is understandably startled and confused, as an angel of God has just manifested himself in the midst of her dinner preparations or wedding planning or house cleaning.  Mary is “greatly troubled” by the words of her new divine visitor and “pondered” what these words might mean.  The angel goes on:

Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom will be no end.

Wow, was this a joke?  How could any of this be true?  The Son of God?  A ruler of the house of Jacob?  Maybe she had already heard of her cousin Elizabeth’s recent miraculous conception.  One can only imagine what must be rushing through Mary’s mind as this flood of new information about her future washes over her.  Mary, understandably replies with incredulity and with the most practical of questions: “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?”

The angel goes on to explain:

The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.  Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, as also conceived a song in her old age…for nothing will be impossible for God.

The sense of anticipation continues through the delivery of this “heavy news.” But what will be Mary’s response to this astonishing proclamation? She must have realized the position this would put her and Joseph in with their engagement. People in the community would start to talk of Mary’s “indiscretion.” Her status as a pious Jewish woman would be compromised. Who would believe such an incredible story?

The Ultimate “Yes”

Yet in the the face of this startling news and the seismic shift in her future plans, Mary famously responds:

Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.

Mary gives her consent to the angel and to God to become the mother of the Son of God. As with the birth of any child, it changes the parents’ lives forever. But this birth is accompanied by a divine conception, both for her and her cousin, and a divine mandate for Israel.  What a perfectly serene response!

Mary is held up throughout the Scriptures as the model disciple, responding to God and His messengers with perfect obedience and submission. This was undoubtedly not easy for Mary to accept, but she does accept and embraces this new divine mission for her life.

As we await the coming of Jesus, how can we say a more perfect “yes” to God? 

  • What does that need to look like in our final days of Advent? 
  • Can we say “yes” to God in how we prioritize our time for prayer each day?
  • Can we say “yes” to God more often in the Sacrament of Reconciliation?
  • What relationships in our life are in greater need of a “yes” to God?


Gospel Reading for the Fourth Sunday of Advent

The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of
Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a
man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the
virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he
said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
But she was greatly troubled at what was said and
pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then
the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for
you have found favor with God.
“Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear
a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be
great and will be called Son of the Most High, and
the Lord God will give him the throne of David his
father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his kingdom there will be no end.” But
Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I
have no relations with a man?”
And the angel said to her in reply, “The Holy Spirit
will come upon you, and the power of the Most
High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to
be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And
behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived
a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for
her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible
for God.” Mary said, “Behold, I am the
handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according
to your word.” Then the angel departed from

The Seven Last Words of Jesus

In honor of Good Friday, Verbum would like to invite you to a deeper meditation on Christ’s crucifixion. Fr. Devin Roza, LC, a student of Sacred Scripture at the Pontifical Biblical Institute, shows us how to find the seven last words of Jesus, and gives us some food for thought that we can carry with us throughout the day — and throughout the Triduum.


Communion and Liberation: An Encounter with Christ

This post is by guest blogger Kathryn Heltsley, a member of Verbum’s Product Creation Team.

Across the United States, small groups of people are meeting weekly in parish halls, Sunday school rooms, and private homes. We sing a few songs—anything from traditional hymns to The Beatles—say a prayer, and then break out a text written by founder Don Luigi Giussani, or the current leader, Father Julián Carrón, and discuss how it relates to our lives. We challenge each other not to let the reading remain abstract, but to examine how it is relevant to our circumstances, the drama we live day-to-day.  We take vacations together in the summer, engage in retreats and cultural events throughout the year like the New York Encounter, a cultural event in downtown Manhattan open to the public. We share meals, we share our lives.

wipf-and-stock-catholic-studiesWe don’t do this because we’re best friends. We’re called together by something stronger than preference. We’re called together by the Mystery, an encounter with Christ. And what we’re living is a movement called Communion and Liberation. Read about the founder of this popular lay movement, Fr. Giussani, in the Wipf and Stock collection from Verbum.

Communion and Liberation (CL) is a lay movement within the Catholic Church. Originating in Italy in the 1950s, CL grew out of the charism of Don Luigi Giussani (1922–2005), a Catholic priest and high school teacher in Milan. In 1954, Giussani noticed how disconnected his students were from their faith. “Religion” to them was something abstract—an outside addition to their lives—rather than a way to live. In order to educate them toward an awareness of a concrete relationship with the person of Christ, Giussani began a method of catechesis with them that eventually became known as School of Community.

Today, CL is present in over 80 countries. It is mostly made up of lay people, but there are also groups of religious and consecrated laity—notably Memores Domini and the Priestly Fraternity of the Missionaries of St. Charles Borromeo. John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis were all favorable to CL. In fact, Benedict XVI’s papal household was made up of members of Memores Domini, and he attended weekly School of Community with them.

Schools of Community range from thousands of people in a conference room in Milan, to two or three in a living room in Bellingham, to women suffering from HIV at a medical center in Uganda. Groups of high school students, university students, retirees, adult workers, and families all find a common thread in the charism of Luigi Giussani.

When curious people ask, “Hey, what’s this CL thing? Do you have a mission statement?” The general response is, “Come and see.” We’re not trying to be cagey, it’s just that CL isn’t something you explain, it’s something that you live. It is based in amazement at the fact that Christ is present, here and now. That at some point, he entered history, became a person who awakened us to our own humanity. The method of CL is, in part, developig the way we respond to that reality. Around the globe, the Schools of Community are singing together, praying, and reading the same text—often books written by Giussani, or reflections such as the annual Fraternity Exercises given by Carrón. The goal of these readings, prayers, and companionship, are to educate us toward Christian maturity. Communionand Liberation doesn’t solve our problems; it helps us live them!


Faith and Hope

Last week, we learned with sorrow of the passing of Pope Francis’ relatives, including his nephew’s wife and two very young children, in a car accident in Argentina. A Vatican Radio message relayed the Pope’s wish that “all those who share in his grief join with him in prayer.”

Death, especially when it comes suddenly and unexpectedly, can challenge our faith. In times of grief, we always have recourse to our faith in God and our fellowship with one another. The Order of Christian Funerals provides a helpful reminder of our hope in life to come:

Trusting in God, We have prayed together for our beloved deceased, there is sadness in parting, but we take comfort in the hope that one day we shall see them  again and enjoy their friendship. the mercy of God will gather us together again in the joy of his kingdom. Therefore let us console one another in the faith of Jesus Christ. — USCCB. Order of Christian Funerals. “Final Commendation B.” Totowa, NJ: Catholic Book Publishing Corporation, 1998. 104.

This week, let us join with the worldwide church in offering our prayers for the consolation of the bereaved and to remind us all of the hope of eternal life that our faith gives us.

The Assumption of Mary and Pauline Theology

This post is by guest Brandon Ruphohn, Marketing Copywriter at Logos.

catholic-mariology-collectionIt’s the Feast of the Assumption! On this special day, we’re excited to announce our newest collection: the Catholic Mariology Collection (13 vols.), containing some of our most recently-shipped volumes on Mary and the subject of Mariology within a Catholic context.

But why is the Assumption of Mary important for Catholics?

The Marian doctrines don’t appear in the Nicene or Apostles’ Creeds, so our faith is not quite as dependent upon them as, for example, Jesus’ resurrection or the apostolicity of the Church. However, Marian doctrines are by no means optional or frivolous: they help us understand Christ and our relationship with him.

Mary plays a unique role in our understanding of Christ. Being his mother, she must have known him intimately, personally, and spiritually. As a loving and dedicated Jewish woman, Mary raised Jesus in obedience to God and to the Torah (Luke 2:21-24, 39-41), and was rewarded with a holy and devout son. Luke recounts that she “kept all these things in her heart” (2:51). Mary was what Christians today aspire to be: to be among those who truly know Jesus intimately, personally, spiritually.

Paul, on the other hand, knew Jesus as a flash of light (Acts 9:3, Galatians 1:12). After his dramatic conversion experience, in which he was knocked off his horse and temporarily blinded, Paul probably spent several years in the desert of Arabia (Galatians 1:17-18), where he wrestled the implications of his encounter with the living person of Jesus. He had to re-evaluate Jewish theology, the Torah, and the Prophets, all of which he had loved so dearly and so legalistically. His experience with Jesus—though brief—was enough for him to dedicate the rest of his life in love of Christ.


Conversion of St Paul on the Road to Damascus by Hans Speckaert

Regarding the Feast of the Assumption, it would appear that both Mary and Paul have the same hope to share with us. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI explains the significance of the Assumption:

Mary’s Assumption body and soul into heaven is for us a sign of sure hope, for it shows us, on our pilgrimage through time, the eschatological goal of which the sacrament of the Eucharist enables us even now to have a foretaste. 

(Sacramentum Caritatis 33)

The Assumption by Titian

Pope Benedict also illuminates today’s New Testament reading in his apostolic exhortation on the Eucharist. The source and summit of our Catholic lives, the Eucharist provides a foretaste to the sanctified life ahead of us—that which Mary had already achieved through Christ’s merits. Paul refers to this life in today’s reading from 1 Corinthians:“In Christ shall all be brought to life, but each one in proper order: Christ the firstfruits; then, at his coming, those who belong to Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:22–23).

Barely four chapters earlier in the same letter, Paul reveals that it was Christ who taught him the institution of the Eucharist (1 Corinthians 11:23). He reminds us that the Eucharist is a serious matter for the church, that “whoever eat the bread or drinks the cup unworthily will have to answer for the body and the blood of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 11:27). Here, we are reminded to examine ourselves, for “as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes” and so, we look forward to his coming again!

For just as Mary’s Assumption raises our eyes towards heaven, so too do we look to heaven to catch of glimpse of Jesus coming back down (1 Thessalonians 4:16). Until then, we proclaim Christ’s crucifixion. “For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified,” says Paul (1 Corinthians 2:2). Paul resolved to know Christ crucified. To know Christ as Mary did during her 30 years with him—tragically culminating at the foot of the cross—or as Paul did through his conversion experience, is to know Jesus through his Paschal sacrifice.

The Eucharist is where we find a Christ we can know intimately, personally, and spiritually. As St. St. Louis de Montfort (included in the new Catholic Mariology Collection) recommends to us, “When Mass is over, make a short thanksgiving.… Then leave the church, as if you were going down from Calvary.” Both Mary and Paul direct us to Christ upon the Cross as a means of knowing who Christ truly is.


A New Heart

The feast of the Sacred Heart was celebrated this year on June 27th, but here is a reflection on the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Paris. Learn more about the devotion to the Sacred Heart from its founder, St. Mary Margaret Alacoque, and some of its first commentators, in our Sacred Heart Collection. 

I had the chance to visit Paris two years ago with my family.  I had been a student in France years before, and had always loved the Sacred Heart Basilica.

When I go this time, it’s the week before Palm Sunday. Wandering around the immense church, I light huge candles, and buy books from the bookstore. There are three windows to Joan of Arc in an alcove: “She listens to her voices,” the inscription says.

The stained glass windows still strike me, as they had when I was a student in Paris years ago. Although the Basilica is newer, as churches in France go, the stained glass is in the older, medieval style. Colored pieces of glass make up a larger image, like a collage. The color scheme is different than many other churches I have seen. The windows in the cathedral in Rouen, for example, are made up of blue tones, cool and mysterious. In Sacre Coeur, however, the background pieces are predominantly red. The sun shining through the windows suffuses the Basilica with warmth. Like blood.


Then I see two glassed-in rooms for the sacrament of reconciliation. Fascinated, I watch a man who appears to be an African walk in, sit down on the chair, and start talking to a priest in white vestments. The man is gesticulating wildly. I don’t know if the glass cubicles are ad hoc, an extra sacramental opportunity for Holy Week, but this format elevates face-to-face reconciliation to a new level. Anyone walking by can observe the confessional. It seems unbelievably exposed. But something seizes me; I wait in line and advance to the peculiarly public reconciliation opportunity.

Confession is a French experience, with emphasis on precision, exactitude, and logic. I start making my confession in French and the priest holds up his hand for me to stop. He asks me questions, to locate me on his Gallic mind map:

“What country are you from? What do you do? Why are you here? Are you a student?”

I tell him I was a student in France years ago.

“What do you study?”

I tell him I’m a teacher.

Instead of reeling off a list of deeds and misdeeds, I just tell the priest one thing, an incredibly wounding and painful experience that has left me limping along. I tell him I am tired, discouraged, and impatient with my young son. I tell him that I don’t like the person I see myself turning into.

He considers this, thoughtfully templing his fingers, and says, “You must pray to God that he will give you a new heart.”

“Make an act of contrition,” he continues; then pauses, looking at me: “In your own language.”

Of course: so it would be correct. And in the imperative, “You must.” How many times had I heard that? All aspects of life in France, from buying a metro ticket to choosing a career, are governed by the imperative tense: “It is necessary.”

The penance chafed at me. At the time, I didn’t think much of the heart as a concept or reality. It seemed to me that hearts were untrustworthy. My heart was dead, and better off that way, I thought. I would have said that’s the last thing I needed, that I needed something better, some real help.

But part of reconciliation is letting go of what I think I need and accepting that in order for the Holy Spirit to work, I need to perform the penance asked of me by the priest who has heard my confession. It was a few quiet moments in the pew saying my prayer before I left the church, but from the vantage point of two years, I can see that my heart has been healed and restored in ways that I never expected.

Now, I see that the Holy Spirit flows under the stones of Montmartre like the blood that flows silently, steadily throughout my body, back and forth, and through the church, drawing me and other believers all over the world together, flushing us out of our eddies of isolation. It is active outside of time, like the heart of Joan of Arc that they say still beats at the bottom of the Seine River in Rouen. It flows through time, to where Ignatius and Peter Xavier are praying for guidance about their new religious order on the hillside where the Basilica now stands. The Spirit is the blood of the church, sustaining it, transforming and healing our wounds, bringing us back to the source. Most of all, the Spirit circulates to perform the work of God, who says:

So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.

 (Isaiah 55:11)


Enrich and Deepen Your Faith with Scott Hahn’s 2-Volume Set!

This guest post was written by James Battle, Catholic Marketing Specialist here at Verbum

As a Catholic convert, two Verbum books have especially encouraged and accelerated my faith. I own hard copies of both of them:  one I read cover-to-cover, but the other was far denser, and I never finished it. Buying a book I do not finish is not unusual for me. I know, like many other bibliophiles, that there are many books bought in the heat of the moment, and sit on the shelf unfinished, waiting for the proper mood or motivation. What is unusual, though, is that both books were written by the same author: Scott Hahn.

The Lamb’s Supper  is a book I picked up early in my conversion process, shortly after I began attending Mass. I was consistently struck by the way the liturgy is packed full of scriptural references and symbolism from the book of Revelations. It was truly eye-opening! The Lamb’s Supper very quickly made the initially confusing Mass sensible, especially since I was an outsider who had a particular fascination with St. John’s prophetic and strange symbolism. It was easy to read, and served as a guidebook that tied scripture to the liturgy. I enjoyed Dr. Hahn’s writing so much that I eventually picked up Hail, Holy Queen—although I was warned that it was not bedside table reading.

That advice turned out to be quite accurate. Hail, Holy Queen was not merely peppered with scriptural references—there were often many in each paragraph—but also, there were many references to Catholic tradition: the Church Fathers, Vatican II documents, papal encyclicals, and the Catechism. These were all much newer to me at the time, and so the book sat.

After picking up the 2-volume Scott Hahn collection in Verbum, however, The Lamb’s Supper turned from a scriptural guide into a base camp for scaling the mountain of Catholic tradition regarding marriage, the Communion of Saints, apostolic succession, and much more.

It was Hail, Holy Queen that I found most profoundly transformative, however. Since all of the footnotes and references to Church documents and tradition are just a click away in Verbum, I ditched my hard copy and read the digital version. Using my Verbum library, I followed Dr. Hahn’s line of thought much more easily than with the printed book, because I could read up on source material instantly and was able to fully understand what the author was communicating. In short: I didn’t know what I didn’t know. That is, until I was able to dive in with just a few clicks.

Even if you have favorite books in paper form—get the Verbum edition! You will love reading your favorite passages in a new light with the source material right at hand. If you have books in print that you’ve never finished—get the Verbum edition! Regardless of what motivated you to purchase the book in the first place, Verbum will make all the information contained with the text easier to access and understand. Also, you can always join the Verbum group on Faithlife, and find like-minded friends who will be glad to read along and explore the Faith with you.

This 2-volume set from Scott Hahn is discounted through the end of July. Take advantage of the opportunity to enrich and deepen your faith today!


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