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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.

Learn more about the Bible!

The Bible is the inspired word of God, and this month, Verbum features one of the most up-to-date and scholarly study Bibles available: The Catholic Study Bible, 2nd edition. Along with essays and notes by world-renowned scholars on the writing, history, and interpretation of Scripture, Verbum’s amazing functionality links you in with commentaries and resources of your choice on each page. You can save even more when you make your purchase part of a new library!

Fr. Daniel Harrington notes that the Catholic mass has included more Scripture since Vatican II:

Since Vatican II the Bible has become prominent not only in Catholic liturgy and education but also in popular piety. The revised prayers for the sacraments and other liturgical actions use biblical language almost entirely. Charismatic groups and base communities have found biblical reflection and prayer to be the source of great spiritual energy. Even traditional Catholic observances like the Rosary are (and always have been) thoroughly biblical. The language of Catholic prayer in almost every instance derives from the Bible.

…Catholic theology since the Council gives far more attention to biblical sources and is likely to express itself more in biblical than in philosophical language. Official church documents on theological matters or current problems almost always begin from Scripture and try to ground their arguments in biblical texts. The Catholic Church today is far more biblical than it was in the mid-1950s (18-9, emphasis added).

Take advantage of the special features of Verbum that enhance your study with the Catholic Study Bible, on sale through the end of the month as part of our Easter Sale.

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New to Verbum? Learn more about our powerful Catholic study tools.

 

Fulfilled in Christ by Fr. Devin Roza: Enjoy Easter Savings!

Last week, Fr. Devin presented a wonderful video demonstration on “The Last Seven Words of Jesus” using Verbum 6, and throughout the month of April, Fr. Devin’s book Fulfilled in Christ will be featured on Verbum’s Easter Sale!

Fulfilled in Christ explains typology, one of oldest and most important aspects of salvation history. This book has received many accolades; well-known Catholic author Scott Hahn has this to say in his Foreward:

Importantly, Fr. Roza’s book is quite timely. We are experiencing a call for a renewed emphasis on mystagogy in liturgy and catechesis…

Adult education and RCIA groups will encounter here a rich treasure trove where they can dive into the profound meaning of the sacraments as a real participation in the mysteries of Christ. Catechists and scholars will find a comprehensive and yet succinct volume which makes accessible the beauty of the Church’s typological and symbolic understanding of the sacraments, including carefully chosen and compelling excerpts from Church Fathers.

But the appeal of this book is not limited to those working with adult education or RCIA. Pastors will appreciate the fascinating connections between sacraments and Scripture that lend themselves to liturgical preaching. The summaries of the texts referenced are organically organized and theologically solid, allowing even a beginner in the faith to grasp the coherence and completeness of God’s plan of salvation and to investigate on their own.

Typological interpretation is especially appropriate today, when so many people have lost the sense of mystery in their faith. Catholics who begin to dig deep into the typology of the sacraments will encounter the mystery of our life in Christ. Fr. Roza’s study restores us to the mystery that is at the heart of our faith: the mystery of God’s love as it plays out in human history, recorded in the Bible. As Pope Benedict states:

Mystery is the heart from which our power comes and to which we return to find this center. For this reason I believe that catechesis that we might call mystagogical is very important. Mystagogical also means realistic, referring to our life as people of today. If it is true that the human being’s ‘measuring stick’ for what is just and what is not lies not within but without, in God, it is important that this God is not distant but recognizable, concrete, and that he enter our life and truly be a friend with whom we can speak and who can speak with us.(Lenten Meeting with the Clergy of the Rome Diocese, 2009)

This is the God who came down from heaven to be with us, to be our intimate friend. In bringing to life the prefiguring of the sacraments, Fr. Roza’s complete and accessible book offers a fresh, invigorating means of reading the Scriptures which was present from the earliest Christians—indeed, even Jesus himself—and which is of vital interest to believers today.

See all of the deals on the Easter sale!

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Interview with Dr. Peter Kreeft, Part 1

Verbum interviewed Dr. Peter Kreeft, Catholic convert, author, professor, and apologist. We are pleased to offer 27 volumes of Kreeft’s work,  the Peter Kreeft Bundle, including 3 separate collections, featured on Verbum’s Monthly Sale through the end of September.

Q. What role do you see philosophy playing in the work of the New Evangelization?

A. The role of professional philosophy has steadily decreased in Western culture for the last half a century at least. I think philosophy will have little or no role to play in “the New Evangelization” because professional philosophy has become a victim of its own technological sophistication and it has abandoned even the attempt to communicate to ordinary people as distinct from scholars. What we could call amateur philosophy, however, will have a crucial role, because it is universal and necessary and distinctively human. “Amateur” literally means “lover.” Real philosophy, then, is an “amateur” affair because that is what philosophy is and means, according to its inventors: “the love of wisdom”; not the cultivation of cleverness.

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Philosophy asks fundamental questions like “Why?” and “What?” If we do not ask why we are doing evangelization, and why it must be new, and what the New Evangelization essentially is, we will be muddle-headed in our actions as well as our thought.

Q.  You have written extensively on the philosophy and theology of St Thomas Aquinas in A Shorter Summa and A Summa of the Summa. In your experience as a teacher, how would you suggest getting young people excited about the Angelic Doctor?

A. Getting anyone excited about Aquinas is mainly a matter of exposure. His clarity and commonsense and intelligence all sell themselves and don’t need salesmen. There is no need to package him for youth, or for moderns, or for any other subclass of human beings. You don’t even need to translate him into modern language. Once you understand the meanings of a few basic technical philosophical terms like “form” and “matter” and “efficient cause” and “final cause,” you see that Aquinas is very simple and clear.

Q. Among the works which are part of this Verbum collection, are there one or two that you really enjoyed writing? Was there one which was particularly difficult to write?

A. I enjoyed writing all my books; none were just duties. But I especially enjoy writing dialogues. An article in Aquinas’ Summa is really a dialogue, though in condensed form, a dramatic conflict between two ideas, Yes or No, with one winning and refuting the other. Of all the dialogues I’ve written, I suppose A Refutation of Moral Relativism is the most important culturally now and for the New Evangelization. As recent popes have told us, Western culture is dying because of this cancer (moral relativism) above all others. That’s the abstract and general way of putting it; the more concrete and personal way of putting the same point is Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s point in his great 1978 Harvard commencement address, “We have forgotten God.”

The Year of Faith and Verbum’s Catechism Collection

Year of Faith LogoThe Year of Faith was instituted as an opportunity for every Catholic to turn toward Jesus Christ, encounter him in the Sacraments—especially the Eucharist—and rediscover the Faith and the Church. During the Year of Faith, Catholics were asked “to study and reflect on the documents of Vatican II and the catechism so that they may deepen their knowledge of the faith.”[1]

Though the Year of Faith is over in a formal sense, it persists through the Faithful who are called to study the Scriptures and Tradition so as to deeper their faith.

Verbum’s Catechism Collection is the perfect way to engage the Church’s call to study the Catechism and conciliar documents. With the Catechism Collection, you get all the Vatican II documents, two Bibles, the Sources of Catholic Dogma, the Catholic Lectionary, and more.

The best part? It’s only $49.95.

Open up a new world of study possibilities.

CatechismIn Verbum, the Catechism connects you to the entirety of the Faith. Open the most important citations in the Catechism with just one click. Jump from the Catechism to the Vatican II documents, and from the Vatican II documents to Scripture or other important Church councils. Study the Church’s Faith with confidence. Make new connections between Holy Scripture and the doctrines and dogma of the Church.

The Year of Faith has ended, but only in name. In many ways, the Year of Faith is extending into the next year and beyond as the Church continues look to Christ as the “One Savior of the world” (Porta Fidei 6). And, in many other ways, the Year of Faith will echo well into the halls of eternity as those who have made a profession of faith this year continue to seek out the kingdom of God.

Continue the year of Faith well beyond 2014 with the Catechism of the Catholic Church Collection in Verbum. Get it today for only $49.95.

Verbum at the Fullness of Truth Conference

 

Submit your questions for Dr. Scott Hahn, Dr. John Bergsma, and Dr Michael Barber by joining this group.

 

Verbum has partnered with Fullness of Truth to make great conferences even better. Want to know how? This post should answer all your questions.

We want you to get the most out of the conference, and continue growing even after Mass on Saturday. Our Faithlife group and free app help you do this in several ways:

1. Join our Faithlife group to get exclusive conference information and news.

Follow this link and use your Logos account (or easily create one for free) to join a group of conference attendees. Get access to the schedule as a PDF document (in the documents tab) or right in the group (in the calendar tab). Keep an eye out for news and updates in the news tab.

Of course, all these tabs will appear once you join the group:

Join Faithlife Group

 2. Carry the Bible in your pocket.

The free Verbum app (for iOS and Android) puts several Bible translations—including the RSVCE—right on your phone or tablet. Use it to follow along with speakers, review the readings before Mass, or simply dive into the Scriptures. And yes, of course you can keep using it after the conference ends.

 Free Resources

(Trying to download to your Kindle Fire? Here are some step-by-step directions.)

For more information on downloading and using the app, continue to this post. Please note that free resources in the mobile app do not transfer to the desktop software.

3. Access conference information on your mobile device.

Once you’ve downloaded the free app and logged in with your Logos account, you’ll see the Faithlife news feed right in your app. It defaults to “My Faithlife,” but you can swipe in that panel to switch to the conference group feed. Keep track of updates and specials, or share your favorite insights from speakers.

Groups panel

Share right from your mobile device by clicking the “edit” icon.

Post a note

You can even access the calendar from your phone to make sure you don’t miss your favorite speaker. Simply click the “expand group” icon and navigate to the calendar tab.

Expand Group

You’ll access the website through the app frame.

App Frame

Click “done” to return to the Verbum app.

Once you’ve gotten familiar with the group and the app, be sure to join the Fullness of Truth group to hear about other upcoming conferences and special promotions.

Have a question? Post it below. We know this is a quick overview, and we want to help you get the most out of the conference. So let us know how we can help.

The Ascension: A Call to Evangelism

Mark 16:19

Luke 24:49–53

Acts 1:6–11

This Sunday, many of us will be celebrating the feast day of the Ascension of our Lord (unless you live in in certain ecclesiastical provinces and have celebrated it already on Thursday). We observe the Ascension of our Lord as a holy day of obligation—it is a commemoration of the moment when Christ was taken up into heaven 40 days after his resurrection. But our commemorating of the ascension is not just a remembering of Christ’s going into heaven; when we read the scriptural accounts of the ascension, we are also reminded that his ascending into heaven marked the beginning of an evangelistic ministry that would change the world.

Benvenuto_Tisi_da_Garofalo_-_Ascension_of_Christ_-_WGA08474There are three primary accounts of Christ’s ascension in the Scriptures, two in the Gospels and one in the Acts of the Apostles. It is in Acts that we see the most detailed account, but each portrays a unique and important aspect of the ascension. In Mark 16:19, we read that after Jesus was taken into heaven, the disciples “went forth and preached everywhere” and that “the Lord worked with them.” In Luke 24:4953, we read that the disciples went and were “continually in the temple blessing God” after Christ’s ascension. In Acts, right before Jesus is taken up, he tells the apostles that “you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.” After Jesus disappears, two angels called out to the gawking disciples, “why do you stand looking up into heaven?,” as if to waken them out of a stupor.

What do all these accounts have in common? Other than the fact that Jesus is indeed taken up to sit at the right hand of the Father, the most important element in all these accounts is that Christ’s ascension is fundamentally tied to a call to evangelism and worship. The disciples did not lose heart when Jesus was taken up. They did not disperse in confusion. Instead, they “went out and preached everywhere” to be Christ’s witnesses “to the ends of the earth.” Looking at the Scriptures, we see that the concept of ascension is fundamentally died to the concept of ministry. When we celebrate the ascension, we are celebrating not just the sovereignty of our Lord as King, but also the promise that when Jesus goes, he leaves us the Holy Spirit to go and carry out his ministry while he is away.

The angels that appeared to the apostles remind us that Christ will come again, just as he has left. But in the meantime, we are given guidance and strength that the Holy Spirit provides as we carry out Christ’s ministry as his hands and feet. As we celebrate the ascension this weekend, let us remember not just our Lord’s ascension into heaven, but also our call to proclaim the Gospel on earth.

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