Julia's book is rich in Scripture quotations from the Old & New Testaments.
REVIEWS ... The Torbay Deanery
'Written with compassion and candour
enemies, (Luke 6:27) our neighbour, (Luke 10: 25-28), ‘love one another as I have loved you’ (John 13: 34-35) and ‘love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind.’ (Matt 22: 37-38)
Julia reminds us in Chapter 10 that God gave us a constant companion, the gift of the Holy Spirit to guide us through life and protect us from the fear of being alone. This advocate, the Holy Spirit, who the father would send in his name, would come to remind us of his teaching. (John 14: 16) These words of Jesus should remind us that the Bible itself is not enough to guide us through our lives on earth.
There are many subjects in this book which are extremely controversial and often cause violent reactions, like abortion, divorce, homelessness, migrants, terrorists and refugees. In many of these cases Julia goes back to Scripture to see what the parallels were and how Jesus would have reacted, or what the Catholic Church has to say about our world where some issues have become a serious problem like the current abortion figures. Julia refers to an article in The Tablet (Feb. 8th 2014) quoting Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark who suggests that the moral significance of abortion has been changed so that it is now seen as a simple medical solution, whereas the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 2270 clearly states that human life must be respected and protected from the first moment of its existence. Julia writes with compassion on the problems of women who have been the victim of rape.
This book covers a wide range of challenges, and we have to desire to know Jesus, to pray, study his Word and learn how to serve him, because he is the Way, the Truth and the Life and will lead us to the Father and our eternal destiny.
Pat Poulain is the former editor of The Vine, the quarterly magazine of theTorbay Deanery of
The Diocese of Plymouth.
BOOKS ABOUT a person’s faith journey into the Catholic Church have always been of great interest to me so when a friend suggested to the author, who is known to me personally, that I might review a book that she had written, I agreed. It has been a challenge because of the length and wide ranging subjects. It is a book rich in scripture quotations from the Old and New Testaments, especially in making the teaching of Jesus relevant to today’s suffering world. It is quite clear from the book how Jesus would have responded and expects us to respond to the terrible tragedies that we see in our newspapers and hear on the television of the sufferings of innocent people and children, at the hands of power crazy politicians, military fanatics, and even some religious leaders.
Besides this there are quotes from 47 religious writers from early Christian and modern times, 13 Vatican documents, including some of the writings of recent popes St. John Paul ll, Benedict XVl and Pope Francis.
These are carefully listed at the back of the book. There are also nine other sources generally available like the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
AGONY AND ANGER
Julia writes about our faults and failings as Christians with great candour, including her own weaknesses and omissions which help to save the book from sounding judgemental. Chapter 7 reveals a devastating incident in her life, which could easily have turned her away from God forever. Both she and her two year old son were seriously injured in a house explosion due to a fault in the plumbing, which led to four years of intense suffering for them both. It is easy to imagine the intense agony of such a scenario. By God’s grace she was eventually able to repent of her great anger against God and recognize her continuing need of him.
Jesus’ law of love features a great deal in the book reminding us that Jesus wants us to model our behaviour on his, loving our
Making the teaching of Jesus
relevant to today's suffering world.
Sanctifying the Spirit
The Holy Spirit, being the third Person of the Trinity, is already sanctified or sacred.
So how do we go about 'Sanctifying' the Spirit?
To be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit, as in the Sacrament of Confirmation, is not the same as getting a prize or an award.
The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are life-changing not only for ourselves but for those we meet. They are: Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety and
Fear of the Lord.
They affirm the graces we receive in Baptism and are the essentials of our life as a follower of Christ.
These gifts and graces enable us to be fully Christian in all that we do and say. Anyone can see the resulting change in us when the fruits of the Holy Spirit are evident within us. They are:
Charity (love), Joy, Peace, Patience, Benignity (kindness), Goodness, Longanimity (long-suffering), Mildness, Faith, Modesty, Continence, and Chastity.
Each time we display just one of these characteristics in our daily lives, we are SANCTIFYING
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