Bookshelf

Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist: Unlocking the Secrets of the Last Supper

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As a 2019 Pew Research study suggests, just one-third of American Catholics believe that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist, but the transubstantiation is a unique and differentiating component of Catholicism compared to other Christian denominations who view the bread and wine as symbols of Jesus Christ, not the actual Divine Person. Of those two-thirds who do not believe, there is much confusion. Many do not know or understand this fundamental Catholic teaching. So what to do? Enter: Dr. Brant Pitre and his book, Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist: Unlocking the Secrets of the Last Supper

This book really is a must-read for Catholics, whether they are confident in their faith and want to help share the wonder and beauty of the Eucharist with family and friends, or if they struggle with this teaching and want to learn more about it. While Pitre has the chops to write a book that is highly academic, he makes Jewish Roots both intellectually satisfying while also keeping the style easy to read, making this a book that anyone from high school age and up would benefit from and enjoy.

Pitre doesn’t shy away from the hard truths, doing an excellent job of explaining the richness of scriptural texts, from the foreshadowing of the Eucharist in the Old Testament through to its institution at the Last Supper in the New Testament. The beauty of our Catholic faith comes from the meeting of Scripture and Tradition. Pitre relies on both, and offers guidance with a discussion guide and questions listed in the back of the book for anyone who would like to follow along with them or go deeper into the text. 

A great book, whether you’re reading it on your own, with family, or in a study group, Dr. Brant Pitre’s Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist, should be on every Catholics Must Read Book List.

The Interior Castle

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St. Teresa of Avila is a Doctor of the Church who led many people to build a relationship with Jesus through a very special type of prayer. She taught people to build an interior castle. The interior castle is inside of each of us. We each have our own interior castle. Consider using the time in Lent to discover it and make it strong.

Written for children ages 7 and up, "The Interior Castle," by Judith Boulloc will be enjoyed and will inspired readers of all ages. Based on St. Theresa of Avila’s classic work, "The Interior Castle," it is a beautifully illustrated book that engages the reader in the treasure to be found in a personal conversation with God. The story follows a boy who journeys through the steps of contemplative prayer. 

Illustrated by award-winner Eric Puybaret. 

Posted by Jill Fischer

Secrets of the Sacred Heart

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Is Jesus in your home? We all know that He is, but when you stop and think, is His image in your home? This question was raised to me in the context of reading a lovely text that I received at Christmas entitled Secrets of the Sacred Heart: Twelve Ways to Claim Jesus’ Promises in Your Life, by Emily Jaminet. When being forced to think about it, I mentally ran through every room in our house. We have crucifixes. We have Marian objects. I don’t have a picture of Jesus. After noting that this needs to be fixed, I read about a process called enthronement. Enthronement is a special act of consecration done by a family or individual who wishes to welcome Jesus into their home (or other dedicated space) as King, Savior,
Brother or Friend (p.11). It involves placing an image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in a place of importance to signify the intention of all those present to grow closer to God and to allow him to enlighten their souls with Divine Truth (p. 12). Upon learning this, I felt compelled to make sure that I did this. Who doesn’t want peace in their home? In their place of work? I know I do and am so grateful that a very large statue of the Sacred Heart graces our school stairwell right
by the office. As I further moved my way through the text, I was taught a very simple way to engage the Sacred Heart in my daily life. These are called small prayers of aspiration. Upon passing an image of the Sacred Heart, whisper a small little prayer like “Jesus, I trust in you” or “Jesus, I love you” or “Make my home in your heart”. Starting there can open up a conversation with Jesus. I liken this to when I pass a photo I took of my father that rests on my dresser. He passed away nearly eight years ago, but every time I pass the photo, I talk to him. I can do that same thing with the image of Jesus. Doing so can bring peace to my home and my heart. Who couldn’t use that these days?

When we lack peace, it prevents us from seeing God’s hand, especially in times of struggle and difficulty. Often, fear and anxiety steal our peace and we begin to tremble and worry. Jesus wants to exchange our restless, broken hearts for his heart that is full of peace. (p. 15)

 

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