The Catholic Truth Society has just released its new selection of pamphlets which are, as ever, a great service to the Church and especially to those who wish to learn more about their faith, and grow in their spiritual life.
The CTS takes seriously its role as "Publishers to the Holy See" and has always made available printed texts of the teaching of the Popes. Thus there is a new pamphlet with the First Addresses of Pope Francis. Nowadays, of course, many people read these on the internet long before they are printed but they serve two purposes: first to make the texts available to those who do not use the internet or have not yet realised what a wealth of Catholic material is available, and secondly for anyone who wants to carry the texts around in a pocket-sized format for reading at leisure.
The Encyclicals of Pope Benedict XVI. Properly bound in signatures with quality paper and printing, Deus Caritas Est, Spe Salvi and Caritas in Veritate are given a fine presentation. The price of £9.95 strikes me as very reasonable for a production of such quality.
Among the other new pamphlets there is a good short biography of Pope Francis by Fr Dushan Croos SJ. I took this on the train with me yesterday (small format fits in jacket pocket) and found it a helpful summary, tackling some of the controversial issues that have been raised in the first couple of months of his pontificate, including the dirty war and his relationship with the Argentine President. It is a good balanced introduction and will be finding a place on our pamphlet rack at Blackfen. I liked the way that Fr Croos concluded with Our Lady, Untier of Knots.
In the Deeper Christianity Series, there are two new booklets The first is by Eileen Clare Grant on Understanding the Story of the Bible. This mainly focuses on the Old Testament and it occurred to me that it would be a good introduction for young people who needed to get an overall picture of the history of salvation. The other is on Catholic Architecture by Steven Schoeder. This is an excellent introduction which distils the author's expertise in an accessible way, dealing with modernism, the question of signs and symbols, the sacraments, the old and new testaments, especially the themes of the Body of Christ, Temple, Tent and the City.
Among the several other new titles are Effective Parenting by James B. Stenson and Christian Love by the late Fr John Edwards SJ. Finally Saints of the Roman Canon by Julien Chilcott-Monk which is a great addition to devotional material for the Mass giving short biographies of each of the saints together with suggestions for prayer.