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Showing posts with label StephenWang. Show all posts
Showing posts with label StephenWang. Show all posts

Thursday, 18 June 2020

Meeting Christ in the Eucharist - Father Stephen Wang - CTS Living the Sacraments

Meeting Christ in the Eucharist
CTS Living the Sacraments
Fr. Stephen Wang
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781784695668
eISBN 9781784695880
CTS Booklet Do938

Over the last few years I have read and reviewed over 150 books and booklets from the Catholic Truth Society. This is the second volume by Father Stephen ang that I have read. After reading the first I started following his social media presence and have been very impressed with his work. This piece was originally published in 2000 and released as a booklet and eBook in 2018 from the CTS. I did not know it when I read it; but this volume can be read as a book or worked through as a group study. The description states:

“This booklet will help you grow in your love for Christ in the Holy Eucharist. It includes clear explanations, prayers, scripture readings, meditations, quotations from the Catechism and from the saints about the Eucharist, together with illustrations to aid personal reflection. There is also an option to use these in a faith sharing group.

The chapters cover six main themes: the Christian encounter with the Lord; the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist; the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass; the graces given in Holy Communion; Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament; and the implications of the Mass for service and mission.”

And the chapters in the volume are:

“I Will Be with You Always”: 
         The Christian Encounter with the Lord
The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist
The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
Sacred Banquet, Spiritual Food: 
         The Graces Given in Holy Communion
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
“Love One Another as I Have Loved You”: 
         The Implications of the Mass for Service and Mission
Prayers for Personal Devotion
How to Run a Faith Sharing Group Using this Booklet

This is an excellent little volume. Either for personal or group use. Throughout the volume are several prints of painting by Elizabeth Wang. Each of the illustrations has a description and image code for the artwork. Each of the chapters contains the following sections:

Holy Scripture
Catholic Teaching
Wisdom from the Saints
Summary of Core Beliefs
Practical Suggestions

But one chapters, includes … And from Tolkien in the Wisdom From the Saints sections. One such quote is:

“Out of the darkness of my life, so much frustrated, I put before you the one great thing to love on earth: the Blessed Sacrament … There you will find romance, glory, honour, fidelity, and the true way of all your loves upon earth.” 
J.R.R. Tolkien

That same chapter on The Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament also contained these quotes:

“Through adoration, the Christian mysteriously contributes to the radical transformation of the world and to the sowing of the gospel. Anyone who prays to the Saviour draws the whole world with him and raises it to God.” 
Pope St John Paul II

“Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the Living Heart of each of our parishes.” Blessed Paul VI 

“Do not think that Jesus Christ is forgetful of you, since he has left you, as the greatest memorial and pledge of his love, himself in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.” 
St Alphonsus Liguori 

“When the Sisters are exhausted, up to their eyes in work; when all seems to go awry, they spend an hour in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. This practice has never failed to bear fruit: they experience peace and strength.” 
St Teresa of Calcutta

There is also a wonderful collection of prayers. This is a wonderful little volume. It is a great read. And one I know I will return to again and again. It is also one I plan to read with a group when we can get one together.

As the second volume from Father Stephen Wang that I have read, I am impressed. I plan on tracking down more of his books. It is a great read and I highly recommend it!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Books by Steven Wang:
The Long Road To Freedom: The Story Of Wang Mingdao
The Christian Faith: A Mini-Catechism for Catholics
Aquinas & Sartre: On Freedom, Personal Identity, and the Possibility of Happiness
Meeting Christ in the Eucharist
The New Evangelisation
What is the Catholic Church?
Being a Parent Today
A Way Of Life For Young Catholics
How to Discover your Vocation

Available in French:
Comment découvrir sa vocation

Books in the Living the Sacraments Series:
Confirmed - Catholic Truth Society
Food for the Journey - Catholic Truth Society
Meet Christ in the Eucharist - Fr Stephen Wang
Spiritual First Aid - Fr Jim McManus CssR
A Question of Death & Life - r Neil McNicholas
Cherishing Your Wedding - Kerry Urdzik
7 Words on Marriage - Fr Ivano Millico
Love's True Meaning - Fr Anthony Doe
Beloved - Catholic Truth Society
Preparing for your Child's Baptism - Sr Hyacinthe Defos du Rau OP

Monday, 25 March 2019

A Way Of Life For Young Catholics - Father Stephen Wang

A Way Of Life For Young Catholics
Fr. Stephen Wang
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781860824876
eISBN 9781784692421
CTS Booklet DO774

In just over the last year I have read over 60 books and booklets from the Catholic Truth Society. So far there have been many great books, and many excellent series. This book is not called out as part of a series but based on the design and format of the cover it feels like it is at least associated with a few other books I have read or want to read from both Father Stephen Wang and from other authors by the Catholic Truth Society. This book is described as a ‘practical guide to young people wanting to live their faith’. And it is designed to do that, but any Catholic, any Christian can read this book and benefit from the wisdom imparted within.

Now it is true the book is designed to help younger readers establish their own faith. Separate and distinct from the faith of their parents and grand parents. And it is truly filled with practical advice. It is the sort of book I wish I had read 35 years ago when I was an impressionable teen and wandered away from the church off and on for many years. It is the type of booklet I look forward to reading with my children when they are a little older. My oldest is being confirmed this year and I plan on giving her a copy of this book and reading it with her soon after her confirmation.

The chapters in this volume are:
Using this Book
How to Live your Catholic Faith
      Five essentials of Catholic life
      Five activities that will help your faith
      Five ways to appreciate the Mass more
      Five inspiring Christian truths
      How to give your life to God
How to Pray
      Five ways of praying
      Five elements of prayer
      Five fundamental Catholic prayers
      Five other important prayers
      Five prayers for particular times in the day
      Five ‘acts’ to make frequently
How to be Holy
      Five spiritual practices
      Five Christian responsibilities
      Five ways to sanctify your home or room
      Five things to be
      Five saints for young people
      Five great saints of the twentieth century
How to go to Confession
      How to go to Confession: The basics
      Examination of conscience
      Five ways of dealing with recurring temptations
      Five common struggles
      Five things to avoid
How to be Chaste
      The meaning of chastity
      Dating and friendship
      How far can we go?
How to Discover your Vocation
      Five ways to become clearer about your vocation
      Five ways to find a good Catholic husband or wife
      Five ‘signs’ of a vocation to the priesthood or consecrated life
How to find Support and Information
      Catholic groups, communities and movements

This volume was originally published in 2008, and the eBook edition was released in 2017. The book begins with these words:

“This Way of Life is written for young Catholics who want to live their faith more deeply but are not sure what steps to take. It contains practical, down-to-earth advice on all sorts of issues that come up in the lives of young Catholics. It is not for experts, but for ordinary young people who have been touched by God in some way but are not sure how to respond. It will be especially helpful for older confirmation candidates, for students at college and university, and for young adults who are hoping to learn more about their faith and put it into practice in the reality of their daily lives.

This is not the kind of book that you read straight through. It is designed so that you can dip into it. Look at the “Table of Contents” and see if anything interests you. There are lots of lists and headings and things to do - this is to make the book clear and easy to use. The risk with giving lists is that we become overwhelmed and do nothing, and end up feeling guilty about what we haven’t done! But the ideas that follow in this Way of Life are not meant to be a burden. They are here to give you food for thought, to guide you if you are stuck, to put you in touch with the wisdom and experience of the Church, and hopefully to inspire you. Perhaps one or two suggestions will strike you, and you will be able to put them into practice. You could keep this Way of Life on your desk or by your bed, and come back to it now and then. See if something new strikes you. As you grow in the spiritual life, the Lord will give you new insights just when you need them. And he will nudge you to take new steps when the time is right.”

Now admittingly I did not follow the advice given above. I have read this through from cover to cover twice. The first time in one sitting because I could not put the book down. And the second over a few sittings on consecutive days. I love lists and this book is full of them, the first list we encounter is:

Five Essentials Of Catholic Life
   1. Daily prayer
   2. Sunday Mass
   3. Regular Confession
   4. Keep the Commandments
   5. Love Your neighbour

With a paragraph or two expanding upon the subject of each point. The final list other than those of resources is called ‘Five ‘Signs’ Of A Vocation To The Priesthood Or Consecrated Life’. Most of the lists in the book are a series of 5 points. The book includes a wonderful ‘examination of conscience’. Overall it is an amazing little resource. 

Now I am an eBook guy, I read 20 eBooks for every physical book I read. But this is one of those exceptions, I want a copy of this in my prayer table for quick reference, and to be able to flip around as the author suggests in the beginning.

This is an excellent resource for young people. And also great for those of us a little older that want a great tool in our spiritual toolbox. I give this book a very solid 5/5 stars! 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Books by Steven Wang:
The Long Road To Freedom: The Story Of Wang Mingdao
The Christian Faith: A Mini-Catechism for Catholics
Aquinas & Sartre: On Freedom, Personal Identity, and the Possibility of Happiness
Meeting Christ in the Eucharist
The New Evangelisation
What is the Catholic Church?
Being a Parent Today
A Way Of Life For Young Catholics
How to Discover your Vocation

Available in French:
Comment découvrir sa vocation

Related CTS Book:
Finding Life's Purpose: Inspiration for Young People - Pope Benedict XVI
Don't Be Afraid To Be Saints - Pope Benedict XVI and Pope John Paul II

Related Articles:
Daily Study Prayer of Pope Benedict XVI

Friday, 31 August 2018

100 Books You Really Should Read - Catholic Truth Society

100 Books You Really Should Read
Catholic Truth Society
eISBN 9781784694418


As a confirmed bibliophile I never shy away from looking at booklists. In fact I have collected a number of recommended Catholic Book lists over the years, One of my favorites is by Fr. John McCloskey his 'A Catholic Lifetime Reading Plan'. So when I came across this book while researching a different title from the Catholic Truth Society, I had to take a look. But this book is much more than just a list. This book was created by compiling data from 25 contributors who each listed their 10 favorite books, that would enrich and nourish their Catholic and Christian faith. One of the things they did in compiling the book, is if one of the books is out of print at the time of publication it was marked with a (P). But the list also contains a brief summary of the book, a paragraph or two per book.

As can be gathered from the title this book contains a list of 100 books. They are broken down into the following categories and counts:

Biography - 28 Books
Fiction - 26 Books
History - 9 Books
Spiritual Reading - 19 Books
Theology, Teaching The Faith - 18 Books

In the introduction we are told:

"Ever wanted to get hold of some really good fiction, biography, history or general spiritual reading to broaden your mind and support your Christian faith? Apart from suggestions from a colleague or friend who knows it all, how can you make a systematic and informed start? Well, here it is: a listing and brief review of 100 good books you really should read. Title and author details are followed by a summary of the book and recommendation as to why you should read it. You can search by title or author. Ranging from great classics to more modern works, this little guide will get you reading!"

Even with all of the reading I have done, averaging over 100 books a year since I started keeping track, I had only read 24 of the 100 titles in this book. I had another 16 already in my to be read pile and have added another 26 to that pile. So I would agree this book is a great start or jumping off point. This book was compiled with the help of the following 28 contributors:

David Baldwin
Ashley Beck
Martin Blake
Joanna Bogle
Vivian Boland OP
Richard Brown
Stratford Caldecott
Nick Donelly
Piero Finaldi
Patrick Fleischer
Donal Foley
Marcus Holden
Mark Langham
Amette Ley
Fergal Martin
Barry Midgley
Jennifer Moorcroft
Fiorella Nash
Charlie O'Donnell
Susan Parsons
Helena Scott
Peter Sefton-Williams
Ethel Tolanski
Brendan Walsh
Stephen Wang
Richard Whinder
Eldred Willey
Petroc Willey

I have read books by a few of these contributors and would have loved if we had the list of 10 each contributor had submitted, but then the list would have been 280 books long, and not been the great little volume we have available now. This is a great book. I really enjoyed reading the summaries of the books, even those I had already read.

This book is an excellent resource and give it my highest recommendation!

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.