Sunday, September 28, 2014

Catholic Review: The Feasts

The Feasts: How the Church Year Forms US as Catholics by Cardinal Donald Wuerl and Mike Aquilina, September 16, 2014. 208 pages. Published by Image. Source: Blogging for Books.
Every day is a holiday in the Catholic Church. In their latest collaboration, Cardinal Wuerl and Mike Aquilina examine the history and traditions behind both favorite and forgotten holidays, from Christmas to Easter, from the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity to the Feast of the Holy Angels

Catholic faith is festive, and the Catholic faithful count their days by celebrating the mysteries of Jesus’ life. There is a message to be found in the passing of days, weeks, and seasons. Through the feasts, ordinary Christians learn the life of Christ, share it, and come to imitate it.

This book continues the work the authors began in their books The Mass and The Church, exploring the meaning and purpose of the most basic and beloved aspects of Catholic life. Each chapter uncovers the biblical origins and development of one of the great feasts or fasts — Advent, Epiphany, the Holy Angels, all the Marian feasts, and even this very day. The calendar can be a catechism for Catholics who know how to live it.
First Sentence:
If you get out much, you've probably seen at least one church signboard with this message: Seven days without worship make one weak.

Originally, I had meant to read The Feasts by Cardinal Wuerl and Mike Aquilina over a couple days. The problem came about when I hit the second chapter and was so taken by the joy of reading this book and seeing how the many feasts of the Church help to convey the truths and history of the Catholic faith that made it impossible for me to set this one aside. 

So, after realizing that I would be unable to set The Feasts aside after only a couple chapter, I feel I should explain why I could stop reading. Well, my love of this book began with the writing of Cardinal Wuerl and Mike Aquilina and how well they were able to explain the why's behind all of the various feasts that the Catholic church partakes and how it helps to pass along the teachings and history of our faith. I would have to say that this is the first book I've read that centered on the different types as well as the differences of the many celebrations celebrated throughout the year in church.
   There were so many aspects of how feasts days were used, not just in the past but even now, to pass along the faith and help to instruct everyone within their faith. While I knew all this on one level, it took reading this book to really bring it home how much one learns just from following the church calendar throughout the year.

In a historical aspect, I was really able to see how in the past, when the availability of printed books and the ability to read was not high, how the church calendar really helped to build up and train those in their faith. It was actually pretty interesting to see the importance of these dates and how certain feasts are more popular or more widely celebrated based on location, too.
   On many levels, from that of an answer as to why we celebrate all these feast dates, how they pertain to conveying the faith from one generation to next, and the differences between solemnity, feast, memorial and Sunday services there is much for one to learn while reading The Feasts.

As the hour draws late, yet again, I have a few more thoughts that I would like to share on this book. It's hard to explain just why I found so much joy within the pages of this book and how it had me so excited and impatient for the next time I could attend Mass, I cannot even express why I find myself overflowing with joy...but I think it's because this book was able to bring the joy of church alive and because it answered some questions that I didn't even realize I had running through my head.

Final Verdict: The Feasts: How the Church Year Forms Us as Catholics- While the writing pulls you in, it is the history and facts behind some of the biggest celebrations within the Catholic Church the keeps you reading. I recommend this one solely on how informative and view changing it is. For me, it has reawakened the way I look at the different celebrations throughout the Church year.

The Feasts: How the Church Year Forms Us as Catholics earns

this book was received from blogging for books in exchange for an honest review

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