Sunday, March 1, 2015

Catholic Review: Lent and Easter with the Holy Fathers

Lent and Easter with the Holy Fathers compiled by Peter Celano, February 1, 2010, 164 pages. Published by Paraclete Press. Source: publisher.
Spend this Lent and Easter in the Good Company of Popes Past and Present 
   As Pope Clement XIII said in a 1759 encyclical, Easter is the celebration “by which alone the dignity of all other religious occasions is consecrated.” The Church would not exist if it were not for what happened on that first Easter Sunday. Also, the events of this season are all connected: There would have been no Easter Sunday without Good Friday; Good Friday is best understood in the context of Palm Sunday; and the forty days of Lent are modeled after the temptations of Christ in the desert.

This is the story of the passion of our Lord. Our faith revolves around that passion, His death, and His resurrection. Without the events of this season, our faith wouldn’t make any sense at all. There is no better time to listen to the words of the Holy Fathers, then now.

  Praise for Christmas with the Holy Fathers   This is a marvelous book to give anyone who has a real sense of the Church and of the significance of the teachings of the bishops of Rome. I highly recommend it.” —Fr. Benedict J. Groeschel
First Sentence:
This day has two popular names: Shrove Tuesday and Fat Tuesday.

I am so thankful to Paraclete Press for giving me the opportunity to read and review a book they published five years ago. Lent and Easter with the Holy Fathers was an interesting read because it delved a little further into the reasons behind the different practices and observances in both Lent and Easter. I can honestly say that this short book cleared up and introduced a couple points, mainly historical, that I did not know.

The question remains, why was Lent and Easter with the Holy Fathers such an interesting read. Well, to put it simply, I enjoyed it because it opened up a new perspective on the Lent and Easter season. One of the things from this book that surprised me the most was the bit about Fat Tuesday/Shrove Tuesday. While I, vaguely, knew it was a way to contrast the change between ordinary time and that of Lent, I was surprised by how it was supposed to more of a feast before the fast. Not the over indulging that we see nowadays, especially in the US.

Short books are sometimes the most difficult to discuss, especially when there's so much crammed within the book that could be discussed. *reader problems*

While I found every chapter to be interesting and insightful, after Shrove Tuesday/Fat Tuesday, it was the chapter on Ash Wednesday that piqued my attention. I really enjoyed reading what the Holy Fathers had to say about it and how well they explained that we, at this time, are called more deeply into a time of penance.
  I'm actually glad that Lent and Easter with the Holy Fathers showed after Lent started because it helped me to be more receptive to what it was trying to say. While I cannot even begin to really sum it up for y'all without risk of influencing your future thoughts on it, I do want to say how much I enjoyed and feel enlivened by reading this one.

It has only been within the past two years that I have discovered my love of reading the writings of the Holy Fathers. And, as I've delved into their writings I cannot help but come to respect all these men who have served as Pope to the Catholic Church. From their writings one can see their great love for our Lord and their dedication to proclaiming His message throughout the world through the difficult times in which they served. That being said, you can imagine how excited I was to see some of my favorites, like Pope Sts John Paul II and John XXIII, voices ringing out in Lent and Easter with the Holy Fathers.   

Final Verdict: Lent and Easter with the Holy Fathers- A wonderful way to learn more about Lent and Easter through the writings of the Holy Fathers. Don't be afraid to give this one a chance as it's short and really worth checking out.

Lent and Easter with the Holy Fathers earns

This book was received from Paraclete Press in exchange for an honest review.

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