Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Catholic Company Review: The Virtues

The Virtues by Pope Benedict XVI

In this book, the editors selected quotations from Pope Benedict's homilies, addresses and encyclicals on the theological virtues (faith, hope and love) and the cardinal virtues (prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance). Most of the excerpts are a few paragraphs, few longer than a page, so it's perfect to pick up and read when you have just a few moments.

I read this book over a relatively long period of time, giving myself a chance to really consider the passages. I think the editors did an excellent job choosing the quotations, though I'm guessing much of what the pope says is worth reading.

Love for the poor and the divine liturgy go hand in hand, love for the poor is liturgy. The two horizons are present in every liturgy that is celebrated and experienced in the Church which, by her nature, is opposed to any separation between worship and life, between faith and works, between prayer and charity for the brethren.
The source for each quote is included at the end of the quotation. When appropriate, references are made within the quotations as well -- to the Catechism, previous encyclicals, Bible verses and works by the saints.

I did notice one error. I happened to note one paragraph in particular I liked...and was surprised to find it again, in its entirety, four pages later.
The religious sense planted within the human heart opens men and women to God and leads them to discover that personal fulfillment does not consist in the selfish gratification of ephemeral desires. Rather, it lead us to meet the needs of others and to search for concrete ways to contribute to the common good. Religions have a special role in this regard, for they teach people that authentic service requires sacrifice and self-discipline, which in turn must be cultivated through self-denial, temperance, and a moderate use of the world's goods. In this way, men and women are led to regard the environment as a marvel to be pondered and respected rather than a commodity for mere consumption.
If I had a guest room, this is the kind of book I'd like to leave on the bedside table. Something uplifting and
encouraging. Someone can pick it up, read a few pages, and find something profound to contemplate.

This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. I did not receive anything for this review, but I did receive a free copy of the book. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on The Virtues . They are also a great source for serenity prayer and baptism gifts.

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