I HAVE A BOOK RECOMMENDATION FOR YOU

I have just started reading a new book by Father Timothy V. Vaverek entitled “AS I HAVE LOVED YOU” and subtitled “Rediscovering Our Salvation in Christ.”  It is excellent.  I would like to quote from its Introduction to give you an idea of just how good it is.

“As it stands, we can scarcely imagine the miracle of our participation in Jesus’life and mission, so, of course, we cannot live his life as fully as we might or bear as faithful a witness as our always-troubled Church and world need.  The result is that the true breadth of the abundant life Christ offers to share in this world and the next remains hidden from us and from others.  We need to rediscover that life for our sake and theirs.  Then we will be better able to set about the work of witnessing to the Good News and the truth about human life regardless of the specific cultural challenges facing us.  

The entire human race awaits the Church’s gospel witness, for  deep within every person is a yearning that finds fulfillment only in communion with God and one another.  We were created, endowed and called by the Trinity so in Jesus we might enter that communion while on earth and enjoy it forever in heaven.  This orientation can be obscured or stifled by culture, syncretism, error and sin, but it cannot be undone.  There are signs of it in the desire for community, the dissatisfaction with the material world, and the search for enduring meaning and love that stir in every human person, regardless of historical and cultural circumstances.  Authentic  Christian witness cooperates with God in appealing directly to this most intimate human purpose and longing.  The person of Jesus and the life he offers open a new world that we previously could not have imagined but which was there all the time, underlying, transfusing, and transforming the world we new – or thought we knew.

     To offer others a credible witness, we have to our own vision and imagination by becoming familiar with much older Christian understandings of God and His eternal covenant, human nature and sin, Jesus’ life and mission, our participation in Christ’s saving work, and the consummation of the Wedding Feast of Heaven.  That renewal involves the difficult work of setting aside inadequate or mistaken views of the Gospel that have developed within Christianity as well confronting misconceptions about human life that dominate our culture.  Fundamentally, this requires a recovering of an understanding that human beings are not autonomous, self-actualized individuals but are divinely created persons whose identity and purpose are fulfilled in relationships with the
Trinity, others, and the world, relationships with the Trinity, others, and the world, relationships that are ultimately set right only by sharing covenantal life with Christ in his Church.  Most importantly, therefore, this depends on encountering Jesus and his saving work in a new way, allowing him to show us more fully the life he offers.  Fostering that encounter and rediscovery is the purpose of the chapters that follow.

Father Vaverek’s book is published by Emmaus Road Publishing and is available from Amazon.

About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
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