Saturday, July 11, 2020

A Devotional Journey into the Mass by Christopher Carstens, Foreword by Dan Burke. Sophia Institute Press. 2017

Most of us enter Church and never give a thought to the symbolism of this simple act.  We make the sign of the cross as we have been taught since childhood almost mechanically.  We participate in the Mass but are we really entering into it fully conscious of the profound symbolism of each physical act we make?

Christopher Carstens is the Director of the Office for Sacred Worship in the Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin.  He was commissioned to write this book following the inspiration Dan Burke had with Romano Guardini's book entitled Sacred Signs.  The Mass must be prayed fully conscious of the mystery that is behind the physical outward signs and symbols. 

The chapters include how to enter the church building, how to make the sign of the cross and pray the opening prayer, how to listen to the readings and participate in the Eucharistic Prayer, how to receive Communion to the fullest and how to respond to the dismissal.

In addition to these beautiful and enlightening chapters, Mr. Carstens adds a summary at the end of each chapter to help put the suggestions into practice.

This book is highly recommended.  It will help the thoughtful reader pray each Mass more devotedly and reverently.

Review by Rosa M. Sautner, Catholic Homeschooling mother of two in New Jersey

Book Review - Conquering Coronavirus by Teresa Tomeo. Sophia Institute Press. 2020

On the Feast Day of St. Joseph this year, Teresa Tomeo lost her mother to the current coronavirus pandemic.  Through the pain of her loss and the complications of social distancing she found strength in her faith.

In this lovely book, Teresa has carefully put together a well-researched summary of how this pandemic has wreaked havoc on the world in general and on each family whose lives have been touched by sickness and death.  She speaks from her experience and from her heart.

The reader will find in this well-organized book practical advice and Biblical inspiration on how to remain faithful and optimistic in the face of this pandemic.

More importantly this book is about encouragement during this difficult time of the current crisis.  It is also a book of spiritual and material resources to help the reader with practical applications of their faith.

Review by Rosa M. Sautner,
Catholic homeschooling mother of two in New Jersey