Part of the call of the Year of Faith is to renew our knowledge of and commitment to the faith that was gifted to us at baptism. Veritas is therefore happy to offer a Year of Faith: Book of the Month. These books are intended to inform readers on a wide variety of faith topics. As an initiative for the Year of Faith, you might like to start a Year of Faith Book Club in your work, school or parish community, where these publications can be discussed and shared.
Book of the Month for May: Faith Working Through Love: Prayers, Meditations and Reflections Celebrating the Year of Faith
An extract from Faith Working Through Love
Fifty years after the beginning of Vatican II, in the Year of Faith established by Pope Benedict XVI, we reflect on our Christian faith, on all that holds us close to Jesus Christ and through him prompts us to reach out to the world in gratitude and hope. The phrase ‘faith working through love’ (Galatians 5:6), highlighted in the pope’s letter Porta fidei, introducing the Year of Faith, sums up the prayers, meditations and reflections found in this book. Along with well-known and lesser known prayers, you will find in this collection pieces from scripture, passages from the documents of Vatican II and from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, as well as relevant sections from the Irish Episcopal Conference’s Share the Good News: National Directory for Catechesis in Ireland. They have been chosen to encourage reflection on the Christian life, the mission of the Church, the call to ministry and the variety of roles we can play in our local Church community. Some pieces emphasise the value of prayer and of continuing reflection and faith development. Other passages highlight the work of justice and peace and that of building up the Christian community together. This book invites us to recover our appetite for prayer, reflection and meditation on the beauty of God and of God’s creation, on our calling to intimacy with God in Christ Jesus and in his Spirit. We are reminded of the gifts we hope to receive and bring to the world, and the mission of love that is the Church:
Our joy should be to live in the love of God as Jesus has done and to love one another as he has loved us. This is our programme for life.
Share the Good News, 59
This is not a book to be read through, but a series of prompts for prayer and meditation. Take one page at a time, or just one phrase perhaps, and reflect on it in the presence of the Lord. Open yourself up to Jesus speaking to you and enter into conversation with him for a moment, for some minutes, for whatever time you may have. Do not be in a rush, but ask the Spirit sent by Christ to encourage you in whatever you need. Stay with the text a while and make it your own. Allow Jesus to draw you to himself and allow yourself to be with him in love. You can do this in a quiet space at home, on a park bench, walking by the sea, before the Blessed Sacrament in your church, or as a focus for prayer with a group of friends. Over a period, go back time and again to the prayers and reflections that nourish you, challenge you, strengthen you, and ask the Holy Spirit to encourage you in making these words come alive in your life.
In this world, with Christ by our side, we too can be gentleness, kindness, generosity, forgiveness, peace, joy and love. If you have found this book helpful, suggest it to those who might enjoy it, to those who are full of hope and those who have no hope at this time. It may be of help to those who are ill, to a friend in need, to anyone who might be open to meeting Christ in a new way.
Each day, we live in Christ’s love and bring him with us for others wherever we go.
Share the Good News, 30
All Creation Sings to the Glory of God
The Christian tradition understands all of creation as the gift of God. God’s ongoing creative action includes not only the work of origins but that of salvation and consummation as well. The potential of human nature has been fully revealed in the mystery of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Son of Mary, risen from the dead. He is the cosmic Christ, Lord over all creation (Philippians 2:5-11). In him all things have been created anew (1 Corinthians 15:45ff). Humankind, our world, all creation, is in need of healing and of wholeness, the salvation in Christ to which he calls all things. Christian spirituality does not seek escape from this world to God. It is rather a way in and with the world to God.
Share the Good News, 14
We have forgotten that you put us in
your world to care for it,
And to sustain it for our children and
our children’s children.
We repent of our greed and commit
ourselves to work together,
Even by small steps, to restore your
creation to wholeness. Amen.
To look inside this book, please click here.
About the Author:
Gareth Byrne is a priest of the Archdiocese of Dublin assisting in St Gabriel’s Parish and in the other parishes of the Clontarf/Dollymount Pastoral Area. He is chairman of the Dublin Diocesan Council of Priests. Dr Byrne is Head of Religious Education at Mater Dei Institute of Education, Dublin City University, and Coordinator of the Irish Centre for Religious Education.
Previous Books of the Month:
April 2013: Dear James Anthony: Why I Want You to be Catholic
March 2013: Share the Good News: National Directory for Catechesis in Ireland
February 2013: Take the Plunge by Timothy Radcliffe
January 2013: Will there be Faith? Depends on Every Christian by Thomas H. Groome
December 2012: The Illustrated Bible: Story by Story by Michael Collins
November 2012: Sacred Space: The Prayer Book 2013, from www.sacredspace.ie
October 2012: Heaven Sent: My Life Through the Rosary by Fr Gabriel Harty