Thursday, 21 January 2010

Book: Reflections of Pope Benedict XVI on the Eucharist

"Behold the Lamb of God" is a collection of extracts from the speeches and writings of Pope Benedict on the Eucharist, selected by Fr Gerard Skinner. Most of the extracts are about three or four pages long.

Back in the day, most people had to wait several weeks for the text of papal speeches. Enthusiasts would subscribe to the weekly English edition of L'Osservatore Romano and be ahead of the game. Now, if you are keen, you can go to the Vatican News service at about 11am and keep hitting the refresh button. Keen bloggers and readers might think that a book of extracts is not necessary for them because they saw it all when it first came out, we might assume that such a collection is really only for people who do not have access to the internet.

I'm not so sure. Many of us try to take in impossibly vast amounts of information and end up reading a lot but in a superficial way. Some of what we read would reward closer and more careful attention. "Behold the Lamb of God" is a book that one could use for daily spiritual reading or as the text to inform a period of mental prayer or meditation. The Holy Father's homilies and addresses bear quiet and reflective reading, and can be a springboard for affective prayer and positive resolutions to live the Christian life more fully.

For my own morning meditation, I'm currently reading slowly through Abbot Columba Marmion's "Christ the Life of the Soul" (more about that book soon) but when I have finished it, I intend to take up "Behold the Lamb of God."

The book is available from Family Publications priced £8.95. (111 pages)
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