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Showing posts with label PaulVI. Show all posts
Showing posts with label PaulVI. Show all posts

Friday, 28 December 2018

Top Ten Fiction and Non-Fiction Books Fourth Quarter 2018

Top Ten Fiction and Non-Fiction Books Fourth Quarter 2018

My total books this quarter is down a bit from last quarter, but my page count is actually up. Just variations in the length of material read. And I am finishing the year at just under a book a day with 359 books read over the year, down a bit from the 380 last year. The Quarter by the numbers: 

78 books read
49 received 5/5 stars
8 of those had been read before
25 were non-Fiction
24 were fiction

So here is my top ten fiction and non-fiction books of the fourth quarter 2018. 

Top Ten Non-Fiction Books:

1. Inspiration from the Saints - Maolsheachlann O Ceallaigh
2. Father Damien's Letters - Joseph Damien De Veuster
3. Finding Our Way Home: A family's story of life, love, and loss - J Damon Dagnone
4. Footprints of the Northern Saints - Basil Cardinal Hume
5. Love In Action - Fernando Ocáriz
6. Overcoming Lukewarmness: Healing Your Soul's Sadness - Francis Fernandez-Carvajal
7. Wisdom from Pope Paul VI - Pope Paul VI and Mary Leonora Wilson FSP
8. Call Him Father: How to Experience the Fatherhood of God - Fr. Edward Maritany
9. To Raise the Fallen: A Selection of the War Letters, Prayers, and Spiritual Writings of Fr. Willie Doyle, S.J. - Edited by Patrick Kenny
10. Catholic Christianity: A Complete Catechism of Catholic Beliefs Based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church - Peter Kreeft 

Top Ten Fiction Books:

1. Lives of the Early Christians in Rome Trilogy - Father Michael E. Giesler
Junia - Marcus - Grain of Wheat
2. Thanos Titan Consumed - Barry Lyga - MARVEL's Avengers
3. The Absence of War - Amy Welborn
4. Siege of Reginald Hill - Corinna Turner 
5. Treachery and Truth - Katy Huth Jones 
6. Ornamental Graces - Carolyn Astfalk
7. Charlotte's Honor - Ellen Gable - Great War Great Love Book 2
8. Guarding Aaron - T.M. Gaouette - Faith & Kung Fu Book 3
9. David Vining Short Stories Collections:
A Boy and His Satellite
Shoes for Two Soldier Sons
10. Death by Airship - Arthur Slade - Orca Currents

If you give some of these a try I am sure they will be with the read! 

Note: I did not include books that have been read in previous years and were reread this year in my top ten lists, they were in the bonus section. As stated it was no easy task making this quarter. But if you want more options check out my favorite books year by year list. This post is going up early because of the end of the quarter falling during holy week.

Relates Posts: 
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2010
Top 10 Reading Goals for 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2010

Top 10 Fiction Books 4th Quarter 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2010 - Recap

Top 10 Fiction Books 2010
Top 10 Picture Books of 2010
Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2010

Top 10 Graphic Novels for 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2011

Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals for 2011 Update
Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2011 
Top Ten Fictions Books 4th Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals 2011 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2012

Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books  4th Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2013
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2013

Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2013
Top 10 Books Second Half 2013
Top Ten Fiction Books 2013
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2013 
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2014
Top Ten Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2015
Top Ten Fiction Books 2015
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2015
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2016
Top Ten Non- Fiction Books 2016
Top Ten Fiction Books 2016
Top Ten Catholic Books
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2017
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2017
Top Ten Fiction Books 2017
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2018
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2018
Top Ten Fiction Books 2018
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2019 

All Top Ten Lists on Book Reviews and More

Statistics Books Read By Year:

359 - 2018
380 - 2017 
272 - 2016 
177 - 2015 
130 - 2014 
88 -  2013
176 - 2012 
163 - 2011
302 - 2010
142 - 2009
98 - 2008
83 - 2007
191 - 2006
151 - 2005
60 - 2004
52 - 2003
97 - 2002
50 - 2001
41 - 2000
71 - 1999
73 - 1998
131 - 1997
101 - 1996

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Saint Pope Paul VI - Matthew Bunson - Celebrating the 262nd Pope of the Roman Catholic Church

Saint Pope Paul VI:
Celebrating the 262nd Pope of the Roman Catholic Church
Matthew Bunson
Sophia Institute Press
ISBN 9781682780701


Over the last few years I have read several books both by and about Pope Paul VI. With his canonization in 2018, and the 50th anniversary of the publication of Humanae Vitae there has been a lot of interest in in the man and his works. And this book is an excellent addition to that area of scholarship, and devotion. That book once started is hard to put down. And it reads as part biography, part academic treatise, and part exhortation from the wisdom of Paul VI’s writings.

This is the second book written by Matthew Bunson that I have read, and both are excellent reads. Bunson writes in such an open and honest way. Bunson presents Paul VI, as a man, a man with faults, but a man with a deep devotion and passion for God. The first words of Paul VI that we encounter are before the book begins:

“I must bear witness to his name: Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God (Matt. 16:16). He reveals the invisible God, he is the firstborn of all creation, the foundation of everything created. He is the Teacher of mankind, and its Redeemer. He was born, he died, and he rose again for us. He is the center of history and of the world; he is the one who knows us and who loves us; he is the companion and the friend of our life. He is the man of sorrows and of hope. It is he who will come and who one day will be our judge and — we hope — the everlasting fullness of our existence, our happiness.”

Taken from a Homily for Mass at Quezon Circle, the Philippines November 29, 1970. Paul VI had an unenviable task. When he was elected pope, the church was in the middle of Vatican Council II. There was speculation oat the time that he would cancel it, or even radically change its direction. Instead he saw it through in the spirit of Saint Pope John XXIII and spend the rest of his pontificate defending both the counsel and his own writings. He was the first pope that was known as a world traveller. He dispensed with many of the trappings of the Papacy. Sold off papal gear to finance ministry and trips. He was the first pope to set foot in Jerusalem. And made 9 trips during his pontificate including the United States, Middle East, Africa, India, and Philippines.

Many consider his works prophetic. And reading them with an open mind I do not see how you could disagree. You might not like his conclusions, and how society as a whole has changed. But he saw much of the result the changes that had started.

The chapters in this volume are:

1. The Life and Holiness of Pope St. Paul VI
2. Jesus Christ
3. The Church
4. Mary
5. The Second Vatican Council
6. Credo of the People of God
7. The Mass and the Sacraments
8. Joy
9. Marriage, Life, and Family
10. The Human Person
11. The Modern World
12. Peace
13. Prayer, Holiness, and the Life of Faith
14. The Testament of Pope Paul VI
Selected Writings of Pope St. Paul VI

The book draws heavily from the writings of Paul VI and is in fact written around his own words. It is an excellent addition to the canon of work about Paul VI, and one of the first published after his canonization. It does not matter if you are interested in Paul VI, ad a man, as a priest, or as a pope, this book will give you a great deal of detail around the man and his thought.

It is a wonderful volume, and a book I will likely return to again as I continue my studies on Paul VI and his works. If you have already read about Paul this will be a great read. If you have not read much about him, it is an excellent introduction. A great read no matter your level of interest and I highly recommend it.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan!

Other books by or about Pope Paul VI:
Love's True Meaning The Message of Humanae Vitae 50 Years On - Fr Anthony Doe
Paul VI - Anthony Symondson- CTS Biographies
Wisdom from Pope Paul VI - Mary Leonora Wilson FSP
Saint Pope Paul VI  - Matthew Bunson

Books by Matthew Bunson:
Apostle of the Exiled St. Damien of Molokai
Our Sunday Visitor's Encyclopedia of Saints
Encyclopedia of Ancient Rome
Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire
Encyclopedia of U.S. Catholic History
A Dictionary of the Roman Empire
Saint Kateri: Lily of the Mohawks
John Paul II's Book of Saints

Monday, 15 October 2018

Wisdom from Pope Paul VI - Saint Pope Paul VI and Mary Leonora Wilson FSP

Wisdom from Pope Paul VI
Saint Pope Paul VI
Mary Leonora Wilson FSP
Pauline Books and Media
ISBN 9780819883773
eISBN 9780819883780


This book was published just prior to the canonization of Pope Paul VI. Saint Paul VI holds a level of personal fascination for me, he was pope when I was born, and I remember his passing as one of my earliest memories. This book contains a brief biography of Paul VI, contains a number of selections of his works either from talks, addresses or his writings, each ends with a prayer. And the final section is a collection of prayers attributed to Paul VI. Mary Leonora Wilson FSP is the person who wrote the brief biography and compiled this volume. She states in the introduction:

"I was thrilled when I heard that Pope Paul VI was going to be canonized; he has been a mentor and model to me for more than fifty years. This mentoring started-even though I wasn't aware of it-when I was just a teenager. I entered the congregation of the Daughters of Saint Paul on June 29, 1963, the same day that Pope Paul VI was crowned. The coronation ceremony was fascinating, but foreign to me. It was like opening a time capsule. Little did I know, I was witnessing the elaborate ceremony for the last time. The coronation was just one of the many trappings of aristocracy that would be removed, prompted by subsequent decisions of Pope Paul VI to simplify the papacy and render it more evangelical."

She also says:

"In those early days I was especially impressed with his love for Christ and the Church, his insistence on dialogue and ecumenism, his concern about rampant injustice and escalating violence in the world, and his unwavering serenity and gentleness despite harsh public criticism. I was particularly touched by his compassion, fired by his missionary vision, and awed by the way he embraced and carried the Cross of Christ. Pope Paul VI stoked the fire of my own love of Christ. More by his life than by his words, he taught me what it means to be a disciple of the Master. His weekly addresses illuminated my theology studies, and as I studied Scripture I began to recognize that he was indeed a contemporary prophet. He became "my pope.""

The sections in this book are:

A Brief Biography

     Life Is You, O God!
     Don't Be Afraid
     Believe in Christ
     Immersed in God

     God Loves Us!
     God IS Love
     Respond to Divine Love
     Love Is the Art of Peace

     Mystery of Love
     Extraordinary Bread
     Real Presence
     Mystery of Faith

Mary, Our Mother
     Devotion to Mary
     Look to Mary
     Mother of Christ
     The Rosary

     Inner Silence
     Need of Prayer
     Jesus Prays
     Personal Prayer

     God Is Our Happiness
     Serene in Christ
     Easter Joy
     Joy in the Church

     Christianity Is Demanding
     Live by Hope
     The Christian Lifestyle
     Christ Is for Us

     We Have Good News!
     God's Great Plan
     Epiphany Proclamation
     Now Is the Time

Selected Prayers
     Make Us Worthy, Lord
     Abandonment in God
     A Prayer for Faith
     Prayer for Peace
     Come, Holy Spirit
     Lord, I Believe
     Prayer to Mary, Our Mother
     A Priest's Prayer to Mary
     A Prayer for Vocations
     Blessed Are We
This book is an excellent little volume. For those with a devotion to Paul VI it will help it grow. For those who do not have a devotion It is packed with some amazing prayers and wisdom. And for casual readers it will open up the man, his though and his faith to you. And because of the design and format it can be read through from beginning to end, or randomly read sections as they pick your interest. One of the things I love most were the prayers, both the section of prayers at the end, but also the ones at the end of each chapter. This book is worth more than the price even if only used as a prayer book. My favorite prayer from the selected prayers on my first reading through is:

"Make Us Worthy, Lord

Make us worthy, Lord,
to serve our fellow men
throughout the world,
who live and die in poverty and hunger.
Give them today, through our hands,
their daily bread,
and through our understanding love,
give peace and joy. Amen."

Some of the prayers from the ends of chapters that I highlighted are:

"Jesus Master, I believe in you. Make me a true disciple-not merely in words, but in how I live my life. The standards of the world are so different from those you preached. Grant me the courage to be true to who I am-a Christian, a follower of you, Lord. You are my Way, my Truth, and my Life."

"Jesus, loving Master, your life is one great lesson in love! You say to me, "As I have done, so are you to do." I desire to follow you in the way of love by reaching out to those who need my help, listening to those who need understanding, resonating with those who need compassion, and encouraging those who need to be urged on. Help me always remember that it is you inviting me in my brother and sister."

"My hope, O Lord, is in you. You are my Way, my Truth, my Life; my one and supreme good. Help me to never lose sight of my ultimate destination or be detoured by the maze of slogans clamoring for my attention. Keep my heart and my gaze fixed on you, who give meaning to everything in and around me."

"Jesus Master, living the Gospel is not always easy and I often find myself challenged in living humility, patience, gentleness, and reconciliation, and bearing with one another in love. But with you, all things are possible and you have promised every grace to those who ask. So I ask you to help me live, generously and un-afraid, the Christian life as you modeled it."

"Jesus Incarnate, let me be like the star that by its glow leads others to you. May I always witness to you by what I think and say and do. In whatever ways I can, I want to spread your Good News to as many persons as possible, for you alone give meaning to our lives. May everyone know you, love you, and follow you, Lord."

The single passage from the writings of Paul VI that is really sticking with me is:

"Beloved sons and daughters! Let us maintain the desire for a life modeled after the Christian lifestyle. The Christian lifestyle is not always easy. It is, we know, a demanding style of living, sometimes inconvenient, and not always fashionable. But remember: it must not be judged only by what it takes away, but evaluated by what it gives. And if it is engraved on us by the law of sacrifice, that is, by the Cross, remember, or rather, experience for yourselves the paradox characteristic of the Christian way of life. It consists in an extraordinary and simultaneous fusion of braking and thrusting, of moderation and vitality, of sorrow and joy. The present life finds in this lifestyle its highest and fullest expression, as Saint Paul said: "I am overjoyed in all our affliction" (2 Cor 7:4).

May God help all of us impress on our modern life a new style, sweet and austere, the Christian lifestyle."

I hope this sampling of prayers and quotes will inspire you to pick up this book and give it a read. It is an excellent little volume and I know that I will be returning to it again and again!.

Saint Pope Paul VI pray for us.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan!

Other books by or about Pope Paul VI:
Love's True Meaning The Message of Humanae Vitae 50 Years On - Fr Anthony Doe
Paul VI - Anthony Symondson- CTS Biographies
Wisdom from Pope Paul VI - Mary Leonora Wilson FSP
Saint Pope Paul VI  - Matthew Bunson

Monday, 20 August 2018

Paul VI - Anthony Symondson - CTS Biographies

Paul VI
CTS Biographies
Anthony Symondson
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781860825323
eISBN 9781784693824
ASIN B073H111T3

I have now read nearly a dozen books in the CTS Biographies series from the Catholic Truth Society. The ones that have really grabbed my attention currently are the biographies of popes. First I read the one on Pius XII, and then Benedict XVI both by Helena Scott and Ethel Tolansky and both were excellent reads. And now I have read this one and also picked up the three other biographies of Popes by CTS I could find.

With his upcoming canonization I renewed interest in the man, his life, his work, and his papacy of Pope Paul VI, the man born Giovanni Battista Montini in 1897 and who died in 1978. Paul VI was the Pope when I was born, and the first Pope I remember passing away. I remember in grade school the announcement that he had passed, and following the election as part of current events. Looking back on the man things always end up circling back to his encyclical, Humanae Vitae, 'Of Human Life'. And in fact the introduction of this book begins with these words:

"On 25th July 1968 Pope Paul VI promulgated the encyclical, Humanae Vitae, 'Of Human Life'. Many regard this document as the most prophetic of his encyclicals for the way that it foretold the consequences of taking the conception of life lightly and the diminution this would have on human society. Pope Benedict XVI declared at a conference in Rome marking the fortieth anniversary of Humanae Vitae that, 'The truth of Humanae Vitae does not change; rather, in the light of the new scientific findings, its teaching becomes ever more up-to-date and induces reflection on its intrinsic value.'

This anniversary provides an opportunity to look at the life and achievement of Giovanni Battista Montini (1897-1978) who reigned as Paul VI from 1963 until 1978. Peter Hebblethwaite, Pope Paul's English biographer (to whose work this study is deeply indebted) described him as the 'first modern Pope' and that is an accurate description. Battista Montini was consistently a man of his time and the theological discourse, political controversies and social development of the twentieth century - locally in Italy, more widely in Europe, the United States and the emerging nations of the Third World - engaged his time and attention as a Vatican diplomat in the department of the Secretary of State and later as Pope."

And as I write this review 10 years after this book was first published there ia much renewed interest and scholarship around Paul IV and specifically Humanae Vitae. The chapters in this introductory book to Paul VI are:

A simple funeral
Diplomatic career
Archbishop of Milan
The Second Vatican Council
Steering the Church in troubled times
Final years and legacy

A previous biographer coined the title for Paul VI as the first modern pope, And it has been maintained. Paul was the first modern pope to travel and he traveled extensively. He travelled to the Holy Land, the United States, and even India. During his pontificate the Papacy went from being a leader of the Catholicism, to playing a role of universal significance. There are many who do not appreciate Paul and his legacy, and many others who do. This book gives us keen insight into the man who would become pope. Paul, often portrayed as shy or cold in manner was actually a man moved deeply about spiritual and physical needs of mankind. In the book we are told:

"Pope John's observation on Paul's likeness to Hamlet preyed on his mind a little. Others accused him of being Quixotic. He did not keep a diary but wrote personal memoranda in a fine script. In 1975, when he was seventy-eight, beginning to weary, and was seen by the world to be pessimistic and querulous, he made the following note:

 What is my state of mind? Am I Hamlet? Or Don Quixote? On the left? On the right? I don't feel I have been properly understood. I have two dominant feelings: Superabundo gaudio. I am filled with comfort. With all our affliction, I am overjoyed (2 Co 7:4).

From the heading of this note we know that the two dominant feelings in his mind were certainty and joy (Certezza e Gioia). In Italian culture Hamlet is the symbol of indecisiveness. 'To be or not to be' is the only Shakespearian quotation known in Italy. Don Quixote tilts at imaginary windmills. Many thought that Paul's analysis of late-twentieth-century problems was faulty -that is the substance of the Don Quixote charge. For either he was attacking the wrong targets, or he was prophetic in the strict sense that he correctly diagnosed the present and prepared for the future. Thirty years after his death many consider that his analysis of the present and anticipation of the future was prescient."

Paul struggled his who life and especially during his pontificate to find the balance between openness and fidelity. In the book we are told:

"Years later the Argentinian bishops petitioned Pope John Paul II to consider the beatification of Paul VI. His later Jesuit confessor, Paulo Dezza, recognised that, since Paul's death, an ever-growing esteem and admiration for him had developed that superseded the dismissive attitudes of the last painful years of his pontificate."

And that is what I feel most people will come away from this book with, a greater appreciation, esteem and admiration of the man that we will soon call Saint Pope Paul VI. This book is a great read and another excellent book from CTS.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Other CTS Biographies of Popes:
Pius XII - Helena Scott and Ethel Tolansky
Paul VI - Anthony Symondson
John XXIII The Universal Parish Priest - Josephine Robinson

John Paul I - Stephen Dean
John Paul II The Road to Sainthood - Jim Gallagher
Benedict XVI - Helena Scott and Ethel Tolansky
Pope Francis - Dushan Croos

Other books by or about Pope Paul VI:
Love's True Meaning The Message of Humanae Vitae 50 Years On - Fr Anthony Doe
Paul VI - Anthony Symondson- CTS Biographies
Wisdom from Pope Paul VI - Mary Leonora Wilson FSP
Saint Pope Paul VI  - Matthew Bunson

Monday, 6 August 2018

Love's True Meaning The Message of Humanae Vitae 50 Years On - Fr Anthony Doe

Love's True Meaning: 
The Message of Humanae Vitae 50 Years On
Living the Sacraments Series
Anthony Doe
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781784695767
eISBN 9781784696641

So far this year I have read 25 books from the Catholic Truth Society,  this one was just released, and I checked every day until the eBook version was available. Some that I have read are more than 100 years old. To date every book I have read from CTS has been excellent. From biographies of saints and blessed to works like this on theology. This book is part of the Living the Sacraments Series. This book is really two works in one, we get Fr. Doe's Love's True Meaning and the entire text of Humanae Vitae. The sections in this book are:

Love's True Meaning:
A Prophetic Vision
What Does Love Mean in a Secular Culture?
Opposition to the Meaning of Humanae Vitae
The Two Major Themes of Vatican II
The Call to Holiness and Mission
Jesus the Healer of the Wounds of Sin
What is Love?
The Gift of Sexuality
Jesus the Healer of the Wounds of Sexuality
The Holy Spirit in the Call to Love
Marital Love in Humanae Vitae
Proclaiming the Message of Love to Others

Humane Vitae:
I. The question's new aspects, and the Magisterium's authority
II. Doctrinal principles
III. Pastoral directives and appeals
Notes on this translation
Notes on earlier translations

First a bit about our author, FR. Anthony Doe is a diocesan priest of Westminster. He was ordained in 1981, and is currently the Spiritual Director of the Venerable English College in Rome. He is a trained psychotherapist, with multiple post graduate degrees. 

Prior to obtaining this book, I had read Humane Vitae twice earlier this year. I have also now read through this book twice. There were times when I was a little younger, and a lot more immature both emotionally and spiritually, when I struggled with the church's teachings on sexuality and specifically on Humane Vitae. But as I have aged, matured and grown, I come to see how important a document it is. It is one of the key teachings that separates Catholics from most other denominations. And the culture we find ourselves in. A few years ago our oldest daughter was talking to my wife, and she was shocked to find out we had been born in the 19's. It has become a bit of a family joke. But this encyclical letter written in the '19's' is of utmost importance to us today. 

The document was a shock when it first came out. For it rejected the conclusions of the Pontifical Commission on Birth Control, that Paul VI himself had expanded. And instead of modernizing the church's teachings, reaffirmed the Catholic Church's historical orthodox view of marriage and relationships. 

As can be expected the document has had fierce opposition when it was released and that opposition has continued until today. Fr. Doe states:
"Therefore, when it was published, proclaiming the traditional catholic teaching on sexuality and moral principles with a clear presentation regarding the spiritual integrity of marriage and the transmission of life, expressed in terms of the natural law of the Church, the negative reaction in many quarters was considerable. As has already been stated, the belief in a person's right to exercise personal freedom without automatic recourse to objective moral values, not only within the marriage but also outside the marital relationship, was becoming the norm for many people by the late sixties, particularly in the case of contraception. We can now see all too clearly the terrible damage, both socially and spiritually, this re-interpretation of freedom, particularly in a relational context, has wrought in the lives of people of all ages since that time. The breakdown of the traditional concept of marriage, leading to the fragmentation of family life with its severely destructive effects, emotional and psychological, in the lives of increasing numbers of children, has created a culture of instability that has increased the illusion that personal freedom must be exercised at all costs in order to compensate for the lack of a true sense of fulfilment."

He also declares:
"As the last five decades have demonstrated, the use of contraception, with all its justificatory arguments, has facilitated lifestyles and attitudes that do not promote a deeper sense of love but rather have increased the dominance of a totally self-oriented understanding of human fulfilment. Blessed Pope Paul, in the section of his encyclical entitled "Responsible Parenthood", prophetically outlines all the symptoms of this contraceptive culture which have now become commonplace and largely go unquestioned, with all the damaging consequences that have already been referred to. Unless the "design of God the Creator" is able to come alive in a way that challenges the opposition to the encyclical in a life-giving way, the true meaning of married love will continue to die, with all its tragic consequences."

It is true Pope Paul VI could see where free love would lead. And I doubt he could have seen how sideways things could go in 50 years. But they went the exact direction he expected; they might have far overshot his prediction. But all is not woe and doom. Father Doe highlights the key aspects of the message of Humanae Vitae, and links them to personal witness and the new evangelization in a way that makes great sense, and shows us the work that all Catholics should be striving for, in personal holiness, and it witness to life.

This book was an excellent read. And I will circle back and read it again in the near future. It is one of the best of the 25 books from the Catholic Truth Society that I have read so far this year! And I have already picked up the other two books by Fr. Doe to read.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Books by Fr. Anthony Doe:
Love's True Meaning: The message of Humanae Vitae 50 Years On
The Call to Evangelise: Founded on loving intimacy with the Lord
True Love - Passion and Purity

Other books by or about Pope Paul VI:
Love's True Meaning The Message of Humanae Vitae 50 Years On - Fr Anthony Doe
Paul VI - Anthony Symondson- CTS Biographies
Wisdom from Pope Paul VI - Mary Leonora Wilson FSP
Saint Pope Paul VI  - Matthew Bunson