When it comes to spiritual reading, one cannot get a better author than Benedict XVI. Over the past 2 years, the Holy Father has developed the theme of his Wednesday audiences centering on the writings of the Church Fathers from Pope Cement of Rome through Saint Augustine. Each week the Pontiff extrapolates the writings of each Church Father and makes their teachings more applicable to the lives of contemporary Catholic living.
Pope Benedict writes not only as a scholar but also as a paternal shepherd that teaches and guides the Universal Church with his discourses. In most cases many Catholics have had little opportunity to read, study or even comprehend the writings of such luminaries as Saint Eusebius of Vercelli, Saint Ephrem, Origen of Alexandria and other notables. Benedictâ€™s writings and discourses bring these Church Fathers to light along with their philosophical and theological attributes which is part of the vast depository of Church history.
As 21st century Catholics, we indeed have a great obligation to appreciate and understand the experiences of Church leaders that have deeply contributed to the Churchâ€™s living and developing academic and spiritual activities, from the past, in the present and as part of the future life of our Catholic faith. Pope Benedictâ€™s book, Church Fathers is a remarkable synopsis of the essential points of each Church Fathers dialectic on Catholic faith and Catholic lifestyle.
Any Catholic that is curious about the manner in which the Churchâ€™s teaching has evolved and developed over the centuries needs to include Pope Benedictâ€™s book on their spiritual enrichment and development list. The book reads very easily, more of a paternal discourse on each Church Father with a reflective tone that focuses on the most salient points of each Fatherâ€™s teachings and pastoral methodology.
As usual for my rating, this book deserves four miters as a must have work from the leader of the worldâ€™s Catholic Church. The book is available directly from Ignatius Press at their website: http://ignatiuspress.com .
Hugh J.McNichol is a Catholic author and journalist writing on Catholic topics and issues. He attended Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, where he studied both philosophy and theology. He writes frequently at http://verbumcarofactumest.blogspot.com & http://nothing-left-unsaid.blogspot.com . Hugh writes about his Irish Catholic upbringing and educational experiences at http://graysferrygrapevine.blogspot.com . He has contributed works to Catholic News Agency, Catholic Online, The Irish Catholic, Dublin, the British Broadcasting Company, London and the Philadelphia Bulletin, Pewsitter.com, Blogger News Network & The Catholic Business Journal.