Category Archives: Books

The Suffering of Jesus

“More than the other evangelists, Luke presents Jesus as the pattern man, and the Christian life as, through the Spirit, the imitation of Christ.  This is particularly true of Luke’s treatment of the story of the passion.  The New Testament as a whole does not present the crucifixion in such a way as to appeal primarily to our feelings, and certainly does not exploit them.  The actual sufferings of Christ are not underlined in the way that we might expect when we remember that, as the New Testament itself shows, the Christian life was practically defined (by the Pauline epistles and 1 Peter) as a sharing in the sufferings of Christ.  It is not the actual physical (or mental) sufferings of Christ which are emphasized in the Gospels, but the shame of Israel’s rejection of her Lord.”

The Cambridge Bible Commentary on the New English Bible: The Gospel According to Luke by E.J. Tinsley; p 11

How to become a theologian by Karl Rahner

Biblioteca de Autores Cristianos / Sacrae Theologiae Summa
B.A.C. (Biblioteca de Autores Cristianos) aka Sacrae Theologiae Summa original Latin edition published 1955

When Karl Rahner came to the United States in the 1960s, he gave a talk to some Jesuit seminarians. One of them asked him, “Fr. Rahner, what must one do to become a theologian?” He answered immediately, “The first thing you have to do is master the four volumes of B.A.C.* Then you can begin to become a theologian.”

He added that those four volumes are the best summary of scholastic theology available. Needless to say, the young Jesuit seminarians at the time were rather shocked to hear the famous theologian praise a summary of scholastic and Thomistic theology.

Fr. Kenneth Baker, S.J.

*B.A.C. = Biblioteca de Autores Cristianos, literally “Library of Christian Authors,” the original publisher

The Sacrae Theologiae Summa (The Complete Sacred Theology) is being translated into English for the first time by Fr. Kenneth Baker, S.J.  Split into 8 volumes, to date six of them have been completed.  The planned 8 volumes are:

  • IA Introduction to Theology.  On the True Religion.
  • IB On the Church of Christ.  On Holy Scripture.
  • IIA On the One and Triune God
  • IIB On God the Creator and Sanctifier.  On Sins.
  • IIIA On the Incarnate Word.  Mariology.
  • IIIB On Grace.  On the Infused Virtues.
  • IVA On Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Penance and Anointing.
  • IVB On Holy Orders and Matrimony.  On the Last Things.

The currently available volumes are available by mail order only (not by online order) from

Pope Francis suggests ‘Divine Comedy’ as important reading for Year of Mercy

By Elliot Williams
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Dante Alighieri’s “Divine Comedy” is more than a literary masterpiece, it is an invitation “to rediscover the lost or obscured meaning of our human path and to hope to see again the glowing horizon on which the dignity of the human person shines in its fullness,” Pope Francis said.

Dante Running from the Three Beasts, by William Blake. From Blake's Illustrations to Dante's Divine Comedy
Dante Running from the Three Beasts, by William Blake.
From Blake’s Illustrations to Dante’s Divine Comedy

As the Italian government formally celebrated the 750th anniversary of Dante’s birth May 4, Pope Francis sent a message saying that while the centuries have passed Dante “still has much to say and to offer through his immortal works to those who wish to follow the route of true knowledge and authentic discovery of the self, the world and the profound and transcendent meaning of existence.”

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, read the pope’s message at the celebration in the Italian Senate where Oscar-winning actor Roberto Benigni read from Dante’s “Paradise.”

“Paradise” is the final portion of the “Divine Comedy,” an epic poem written between 1308 and 1320, recounting Dante’s allegorical journey through hell, purgatory and heaven.

“We are able to enrich ourselves with his experience in order to cross the many dark forests still scattered on our earth,” the pope said, “and to happily complete our pilgrim story, to reach the destination dreamed of and wished for by everyone: ‘The love that moves the sun and other stars.'”

Pope Francis said he hoped that as Catholics prepare to celebrate the extraordinary Holy Year of Mercy they would pick up Dante’s work and allow it to be a spiritual guide.

Dante, he said, is “a prophet of hope, herald of the possibility of redemption, liberation and the profound transformation of every man and woman, of all humanity.

The Year of Mercy begins on this year‘s feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, 2015 A.D. It will close on November 20, 2016 A.D., that year‘s feast of Christ the King.

The New Eve

If the former [Eve] disobeyed God, the latter [Mary] was persuaded to obey God, so that the Virgin Mary became the advocate of the virgin Eve. And thus, as the human race fell into bondage to death by means of a virgin, so it is rescued by a virgin.

– The Early Church Father and Bishop of Lyon, France, Irenaeus (d. 202).

Mary and Eve
Pencil and Ink by Sr Grace Remington OCSO
Copyright 2005