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Pope Francis is Here!

Pope Francis is now on American soil and your friends at Verbum are following him very closely. This morning, on the lawn of the White House, Pope Francis spoke of his deep concern for marriage and family life:

“I want to celebrate and support the institution of marriage and the family at this critical moment in the history of our civilization.”

The Pope knows that we are facing a cultural and spiritual struggle to understand, appreciate, and celebrate God’s design for marriage and the family. His choice to visit our shores during the 2015 World Meeting of Families testifies to this fact and we should be reassured by his presence with us.

We find ourselves now in a culture and situation which calls on us to become better educated in our faith, so that we can respond to the times in charity, wisdom, and faithfulness. We at Verbum are taking the education of all Catholics, clergy and laity, very seriously.

As you already know, our director Deacon Kevin Bagley is at the World Meeting of Families and we were delighted to host Papal Nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, at our booth yesterday. The Nuncio was very impressed by the software and its ability to quickly navigate the various resources to present the width and breadth of the Catholic faith.

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If you happen to be at the World Meeting of Families, plaese stop by to see Deacon Kevin and the Verbum crew at Booth #1423 for exclusive discounts and prizes.

Interested in expanding your knowledge of Catholic teaching on marriage and family? Be sure to pick up the World Meeting of Families Bundle, which is $80 off until September 30th.

Get a Free Book!

This month’s free book is A General Introduction to the Study of Holy Scripture. Seminary professor A.E. Breen covers the nature and extent of inspiration, the history of the original texts, the various senses of Scripture, and more.

A General Introduction to the Study of Scripture

This book can be yours for free through August 31st—download it now!

Don’t Miss Free Gifts with These Resources!

This Friday is your final day to earn free gifts when you pre-order select resources on Verbum.com. You’ll get your gifts in addition to your usual pre-order discount, so there’s never been a better time to place your pre-orders.

To take advantage of this great deal, check it out at Verbum.com/Pre-Publication!

Want to know more about the qualifying resources? Read a bit about each one below:

MAN WHO WAS THURSDAY

 The Man Who Was Thursday

G.K. Chesterton’s masterpiece novel, The Man Who Was Thursday, is equal parts metaphysical thriller and Christian allegory. This annotated digital edition is the perfect complement to your Verbum versions of all G.K. Chesterton’s celebrated works.

homiletics

Homiletics and Preaching Collection (8 vols.)

This collection offers wisdom from leading Catholic preachers on crafting homilies that build God’s kingdom. Homiletics professors, experienced pastors, and other experts weigh in with practical advice, resources, and inspiration to rekindle the preacher’s passion for sharing God’s Word.

MEDIAEVAL

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

This collection highlights the intellectually dynamic writings of a period often neglected in scholarship. It features significant Christian writers from the eleventh to the fourteenth centuries, offering insights into the development of Scholasticism, various heresies and ecclesiastical issues, and more. If you’re interested in patristic or mediaeval thought, this collection is essential.

Pre-order these resources and earn your free gifts at Verbum.com/Pre-Publication!

Mark Wheeler’s Favorite Resources: Now with a Bundling Discount!

Several months ago, Verbum Sales Representative Mark Wheeler had an idea to combine some of his favorite resources. He says, “I noticed a lot of high quality resources that would go well together. Also, I wanted to see people get the best deal possible.”

The result was The Liturgical Press Academic bundle, which includes the following series:

If  you’ve already purchased any of these resources on their own, you’ll get a dynamic pricing on the complete bundle. That means you won’t be charged for what you already own, and you still get a great bundling discount on everything new. It’s a fantastic deal!

Available for several months, this bundle has been very popular, especially with customers who already own parts of it.

The Liturgical Press Academic bundle “fills a much-needed gap for Catholic biblical scholarship,” Mark notes, adding, “Rarely has such excellent Catholic scholarship been accessible at such a reasonable price.”

Thank you for taking the initiative, Mark!

Liturgical Press Academic bundle

Special Savings on Fathers of the Church

Verbum Sales Associate Preston Morrison talks about his favorite Verbum resource, the Fathers of the Church Series from Catholic University of America in 127 volumes—now with extra savings through the end of the month!

Preston says:

I love Fathers of the Church because I can actually see what the Church Fathers taught and thought. From a scholarly perspective, I can read the Christian writers who came immediately after Christ. I grew up in a different faith tradition, and I didn’t even know the Church Fathers existed until recently!

The sheer size of the series is most impressive: 46,317 pages of text in 127 volumes. Also, the translations from the original languages are fairly recent, with introductions and notes for each author.

Fathers of the Church Series is at the top of my list because I haven’t found any other resource that compares to the quality of translations, number of authors, and comprehensive coverage of Christian writings for the first 500 years of Christianity.

I find that this series is popular with customers across denominations, and they love it! Once you realize how much content you’re getting, it’s practically a must-own resource.

For a limited time, you can save over $500 on the Fathers of the Church Series as part of the Verbum Monthly Sale. Don’t miss out—the sale ends July 1!

Fathers of the Church

Q and A with Author Shaun McAfee

Verbum is proud to feature Shaun McAfee, author of Filling our Father’s House: What Converts Can Teach Us about Evangelization, available on pre-publication now.

We recently interviewed Shaun, who is serving with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Afghanistan. Thank you, Shaun, for your service to our country and for your support of Verbum!

1. How did you become a fan of Verbum?

My earliest experience with Verbum was hearing and reading Steve Ray and Scott Hahn praise the product, shortly after I had converted to the Catholic faith. Their positive experience and endorsement of Verbum seemed very genuine. I briefly checked it out and was interested, but I must have put it off for some reason. Months later, I found success in blogging and started a Master’s degree in Dogmatic Theology with Holy Apostles College and Seminary. During my graduate work, I learned that all my writing heroes were not just huge supporters of Verbum, but heavy users. At a Catholic Apologetics Academy with Patrick Madrid in early 2014, I was further amazed by the strength of this product when I met with one of Verbum’s sales representatives. At that point, I had to have it.

I got the product and loved it immediately—no buyer’s remorse whatsoever. I wondered how I worked without it for so long. As a growing academic, writer, and Lay Dominican, Verbum became the best investment I had ever made. It still is, really. My passion to get this in the hands of others swelled, and I approached Holy Apostles Seminary about striking a deal with Verbum to get this product to more students. Verbum was generous, and granted a 30-50% off the software (depending on student status). Even while I serve here in Afghanistan, I have Verbum on all of my media devices, and I constantly refer to them in writing and personal study. I wouldn’t just say I became a fan—I became an ambassador!

2. What’s the thing you like best about Verbum 6?

That’s a tough one. Verbum 6 was not a mere systems upgrade, like Windows, to correct problems—it was an all-out change to the fundamental use and capability of Verbum. That’s one thing I appreciate about the folks at Verbum: they understand that people these days are tired of unnecessary upgrades. We like value-added improvements, features, and innovations, and that’s what Verbum did with 6. Personally, I enjoy the dashboard in 6 a lot more: better reading, relevant topics, great graphics, and share-worthy content every day!

3. How does Verbum help your faith grow?

My conversion to the Catholic Church, and my life since, has been ingrained with study. I studied my way into the Catholic Church, learning the truths and the reasons, and how to tell others about that. Those facts became faith. The intellectual became highly personal, and any aid to that study aided in my personal growth.

 4. What do you think is the best way to spread the word about Verbum Catholic Products?

What is Verbum not doing to spread the word?! They just dropped a huge sum of money to support Lumen, their high school curriculum, they sponsor giveaways, and they seem to be at every major event. I suppose the MBA in me is thinking that the real nuggets of growth come from word-of-mouth referrals. I call this Chatter Marketing. When the product is good, and that company does everything it can to support and entertain its users, they’re going to talk. I’ve talked, no kidding, 10 close friends into buying Verbum, and worked for 5 months to attain the deal for my beloved college, Holy Apostles College and Seminary. When people really believe in something, they want others to know about it. Users of Verbum should share this great product with their peers.

Get a Verbum library today, and be sure to lock in introductory pricing on McAfee’s Filling our Father’s House!

Filling our Father's House

 

 

Celebrate Pentecost with Verbum

We at Verbum wish all of our readers and software users a blessed Pentecost!

We also encourage you to enhance your Biblical understanding with the full Old and New Testament commentaries from the University of Navarre.  While individual titles of the Navarre commentary are available, along with the New and Old Testament may be purchased as sets, Verbum Capstone library is the only base package that includes the full commentary.

Take a look at this Sunday’s Gospel, Jn 20:19-23, in the Navarre Bible commentary, including in-depth discussion of each verse, along with pertinent references to Papal writings and other valuable resources from the Tradition.

Jesus’ first appearance to the disciples (20:19–23)

Jn 20:19–20. Jesus appears to the apostles on the evening of the day on which he rose. He presents himself without any need for the doors to be opened, by using the qualities of his glorified body; but in order to dispel any impression that he is only a spirit he shows them his hands and his side: there is no longer any doubt of its being Jesus himself, about his being truly risen from the dead. He greets them twice using the words of greeting customary among the Jews, with the same tenderness as he previously used put into this salutation. These friendly words dispel the fear and shame the apostles must have been feeling at behaving so disloyally during his passion: he has recreated the normal atmosphere of intimacy, and now he will endow them with transcendental powers.

Jn 20:21. Pope Leo XIII explained how Christ transferred his own mission to the apostles: ‘What did he wish in regard to the Church founded, or about to be founded? This: to transmit to it the same mission and the same mandate which he had received from the Father, that they should be perpetuated. This he clearly resolved to do: this he actually did’ [Here the Pope cites Jn 20:21 and Jn 17:18.]. […] When about to ascend into heaven he sends his Apostles in virtue of the same power by which he had been sent from the Father; and he charges them to spread abroad and propagate his teachings (cf. Mt 21:19), so that those obeying the Apostles might be saved, and those disobeying should perish (cf. Mk 16:16). […] Hence he commands that the teaching of the Apostles should be religiously accepted and piously kept as if it were his own: ‘He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me’ (Lk 10:16). Wherefore the Apostles are ambassadors of Christ as he is the ambassador of the Father” (Satis cognitum). In this mission the bishops are the successors of the apostles: “Christ sent the Apostles, as he himself had been sent by the Father, and then through the apostles made their successors, the bishops, sharers in his consecration and mission. The function of the bishops’ ministry was handed over in a subordinate degree to priests so that they might be appointed in the order of the priesthood and be co-workers of the episcopal order for the proper fulfilment of the apostolic mission that had been entrusted to it by Christ” (Vatican II, Presbyterorum ordinis, 2).

Jn 20:22–23. The Church has always understood—and has in fact defined—that Jesus Christ here conferred on the Apostles authority to forgive sins, a power which is exercised in the sacrament of Penance. ‘The Lord then especially instituted the sacrament of Penance when, after being risen from the dead, he breathed upon his disciples and said: ‘Receive the Holy Spirit …’. The consensus of all the Fathers has always acknowledged that by this action so sublime and words so clear the power of forgiving and retaining sins was given to the Apostles and their lawful successors for reconciling the faithful who have fallen after Baptism’ (Council of Trent, De Paenitentia, chap. 1).
The sacrament of Penance is the most sublime expression of God’s mercy, described so vividly in Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son (cf. Lk 15:11–32). The Lord always awaits us, with his arms wide open, waiting for us to repent—and then he will forgive us and restore us to the dignity of being his sons.
The popes have consistently recommended Christians to have regular recourse to this sacrament: “For a constant and speedy advancement in the path of virtue we highly recommend the pious practice of frequent confession, introduced by the Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit; for by this means we grow in a true knowledge of ourselves and in Christian humility, bad habits are uprooted, spiritual negligence and apathy are prevented, the conscience is purified and the will strengthened, salutary spiritual direction is obtained, and grace is increased by the efficacy of the sacrament itself” (Pius XII, Mystici Corporis) (194-5).

Upgrade to Capstone by calling 1-877-542-7664 to find out about your customizable discount!

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Pentecost by Titian, 1545

Jesus, Nos Da un “Amor Nuevo”

This guest post was written by Juan-Pablo Saju, Verbum Spanish Products Manager.

Be sure to see Verbum’s new Spanish libraries, Esencial and Verbum Esencial Bilingüe!

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Texto de Evangelio (Jn 15:9-17)

Como el Padre me amó, yo también los he amado a ustedes; permanezcan en mi amor. 10 Si guardan mis mandamientos, permanecerán en mi amor, como yo he guardado los mandamientos de mi Padre, y permanezco en su amor. 11 Les he dicho esto, para que mi gozo esté en ustedes, y su gozo sea colmado. 12 Este es el mandamiento mío: que se amen los unos a los otros como yo los he amado. 13 Nadie tiene mayor amor que el que da su vida por sus amigos. 14 Ustedes son mis amigos, si hacen lo que yo les mando. 15 No los llamo ya siervos, porque el siervo no sabe lo que hace su amo; a ustedes los he llamado amigos, porque todo lo que he oído a mi Padre se lo he dado a conocer. 16 No me han elegido ustedes a mí, sino que yo los he elegido a ustedes, y los he destinado para que vayan y den fruto, y que su fruto permanezca; de modo que todo lo que pidan al Padre en mi nombre se lo conceda. 17 Lo que les mando es que se amen los unos a los otros (Jn 15:9-17). [1]

Comentario

Después que Jesús nos enseña que debemos permanecer unidos a la vid, que es él, ahora nos dice cuál es la savia que alimenta y da vida a esa unión y es el “amor.”

Ya en el capítulo 13 (Jn 13) Jesús nos había dicho que siguiéramos su ejemplo mostrando que no solo tenemos que cumplir sus palabras sino que debemos seguir sus obras. Él dice: “Porque les he dado ejemplo, para que también ustedes hagan como yo he hecho con ustedes.” (Jn 13: 13,15)[2]

En el v9 del capítulo 15 (Jn 15:9), nos da el ejemplo no solo de su amor hacia nosotros sino del amor del Padre hacia Él, que en definitiva es el mismo amor que une a la Santísima Trinidad y a Jesús con nosotros. En el mismo versículo nos dice que permanezcamos en su amor, haciendo referencia a mantener vivo al Espíritu Santo, Amor del Padre y del Hijo, y al fuego de su amor dentro de nuestras almas. Una vez más nos invita a permanecer en Él, pero esta vez nos dice que lo debemos hacer manteniendo su amor en nuestros corazones.

En el v10 (Jn 15:10), nos enseña el modo de mantener el amor en nuestras almas, que es cumpliendo sus mandamientos. Paralelamente se pone nuevamente como ejemplo haciendo referencia a que él ya la ha hecho “como yo he guardado los mandamientos de mi padre”. Y así siendo obediente al Padre es que permanece en su amor.

En el v11 (Jn 15:11), nos revela la razón o la consecuencia que produce esta gran enseñanza, que a la vez es experiencia del amor. El poseer este amor eterno produce un gran gozo. Y no solo causa una profunda satisfacción el experimentar este amor sino el compartirlo y que los demás también lo disfruten y lo comuniquen, ya que el amor es difusivo de sí. O sea que el que lo posee siente la necesidad de compartirlo. Por eso Jesús dice: “les he dicho esto para que mi gozo esté en ustedes.” La satisfacción que se siente es total y por eso el Señor continua diciendo: “y su gozo sea colmado”.

En el v12 (Jn 15:12), vuelve a enunciar el mandamiento nuevo que ya lo había dado en (Jn 13:34). La diferencia entre estas dos proclamaciones es que en Jn 13:34 nos “da” el mandamiento y en Jn 15:12, Jesus dice que es “su” mandamiento. Los dos versículos son totalmente compatibles ya que el Jn 13:34 muestra que el mandamiento nuevo del amor es un don que nos hace Jesús, y el de Jn 15:12 muestra que ese regalo que el Señor nos quiere hacer es completamente suyo. Ahora surge la pregunta de que si es un mandamiento, porqué Jesús lo menciona como un don y no como una exigencia que debemos cumplir. Porqué en vez de decir “os doy” diga “cumplan” este mandamiento. La respuesta surge primeramente del verbo usado “os doy” en griego “δίδωμι” “didomi” que se usa cuando se intenta dar un obsequio y segundo del análisis que podemos hacer y descifrar de lo que dice Jesús seguidamente en el v12 del capítulo 15 dice: “Que se amen los unos a los otros como yo los he amado” (Jn 15:12).

El único modo que amemos como Jesús nos ha amado es que él nos regale el don del amor eterno que posee. Y es por eso que el mandamiento nuevo es un don porque incluye  el obsequio “del amor” con el que tenemos que amarnos. Ese amor divino que Dios nos da a la vez que es eterno “con amor eterno te he amado” (Jn 31:3), es también un amor mutuo, o sea que nos mueve a compartirlo con el otro. Por eso el mandamiento nuevo incluye también la reciprocidad o correspondencia del amor: “que se amen los unos a los otros”.

El Cantar de los Cantares “que es fuerte el amor como la muerte” (So 8:6) el amor que nos regala Jesús se muestra en la entrega total por el bien del amigo, como él lo hizo por nosotros en la cruz, muriendo por nuestros pecados.

Como el fundamento de la amistad es el amor mutuo, si aceptamos el don del amor que nos da Jesús y lo amamos, él nos llama amigos. Es otro gran regalo que debemos agradecer el tener a Jesús como amigo. Así dice el Señor: “ustedes son mis amigos si hacen lo que yo les mando” O sea si nos amamos los unos a los otros como Jesús nos ha amado somos amigos de Jesús.

En el v15 (Jn 15:15), Jesús nos enseña otra de las características que tiene la amistad y es el abrirse al otro con sinceridad revelando quienes somos y brindando lo mejor de nosotros para que el otro lo aproveche. Es por eso que Jesús no nos llama siervos sino amigos porque él nos abrió su corazón para revelarnos los misterios más profundos de la Sabiduría de Dios.

En el v16 (Jn 15:16), Jesús nos revela que la elección que ha hecho de nosotros fundada en su amor divino está destinada a dar frutos de santidad que perduren eternamente. El Señor quiere que el amor que compartimos con él dure para siempre, crezca en esta vida y lo gocemos eternamente junto a él en el Cielo. Es por eso que cualquier cosa que pidamos que nos ayude a crecer en el amor y a ser felices junto a Jesús, el Padre nos lo dará. El Señor nos alienta a rezar con mucha confianza porque seguro vamos a ser escuchados: “todo lo que pidan al Padre en mi nombre se lo conceda”

Para terminar el evangelio de hoy que narra el corazón de la Buena Nueva, que Jesús vino a anunciar, que es el mandamiento del amor, Jesús refuerza su deseo de que hagamos uso del regalo más precioso que vino a traernos que es su amor divino diciendo: “lo que les mando es que se amen los unos a los otros”

Seamos anunciadores con nuestras palabras y nuestras obras en el mundo de esta gran noticia de amor, consuelo, gozo y eternidad que tantas personas necesitan escuchar.

[1] Biblia de Jerusalén Latinoamericana. (2007). (Jn 15.9–17). Bilbao: Desclée de Brouwer.

[2] Biblia de Jerusalén Latinoamericana. (2007). (Jn 13:15). Bilbao: Desclée de Brouwer.

 

 

 

Sheen, Sheed, and Shea—all in 1!

We couldn’t wait to tell you about the Ignatius Press Theology and Discipleship Collection, with special introductory pricing! This collection includes the following:

  • Verbum’s first title from Fulton Sheen, The Priest Is Not His Own.This beloved classic brings to light the real meaning of the priesthood: priests carry on the sacrificial mission of Christ.
  • Frank Sheed’s Theology and Sanity. Sheed explores the Faith through such down-to-earth topics as “God,” “Creation,” and “Oneself.” Sheed was clearly ahead of his time, and this classic speaks directly to the current imperative of the New Evangelization. (Along with another book by Sheed!)
  • Mark Shea’s extremely popular account of his journey from Evangelicalism to Catholicism, which places his narrative in the center of contemporary Biblical scholarship. Learned and engaging, By What Authority? is not to be missed.

Also included in this impressive collection, Cardinal Christophe Schönborn’s God Sent His Son: A Contemporary Christology is a scholarly yet accessible examination of the Church’s understanding of Christ through “the pillars of faith”—Scripture, Tradition, and Experience—and the challenges they face now.

Take advantage of this truly extraordinary collection—on pre-publication now!

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Get a Free Book from Verbum!

Did you know Verbum offers a free book each month?

You still have time to get April’s free offering, An Exposition of the Gospel of St. John by John MacEvilly, a solid scriptural study by  an Irish archbishop. Read it for study or to deepen your devotions.

Offer good through May 3rd!

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