Book Review: Ignatius Catholic Study Bible New Testament

The Ignatius Catholic Study Bible is the long awaited single-volume edition of the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible (New Testament) series edited by Scott Hahn and Curtis Mitch. Rest assured, this single-volume edition contains all the study notes from the individual volumes, this version is not an abridged single-volume… it has it all! Text size is roughly the same as a regular Bible, and the study notes are the size of typical footnotes. I find it to be very readable. The study notes are also accompanied by mini icons, each of which corresponds to a particular point of the Church’s criteria for Biblical interpretation: “content and unity”, “living tradition”, and “analogy of faith”. The Scriptures take up roughly the top half of the page, and the study notes fill up the remainder. It is a good balance that I found to be a bit more readable than some of the Navarre Study Bible series which occasionally fit only a few verses on one page; having a good balance makes it easier to read passages in context.

As a personal note, Aquinas & More was awesome enough to send me the leather bound version, and after also seeing the paperback Bible, I think the leather bound version is a better choice for two reasons. The first is because of the size. This Bible is big (nearly 10 ½ by 7 ½!), so it is a lot to handle when you are sifting through the pages. The leather binding is flexible enough to be comfortable and (my second reason for recommending the leather bound version:) it will be more durable than the paperback. The leather bound Bible also comes with two gold ribbons to help you mark your place—very handy! And has gold edges. While the gold edges make the Bible look pretty, it’s not what you’d expect from a Study Bible and personally I find it unnecessary. You want to mark up your Study Bibles (or at least I do), and yet here’s this nice pretty gold edging that makes you feel like it should be a coffee table Bible instead of your sturdy Study Bible. On that note, the margins are also a bit small to accommodate much writing. However, considering the size of the Bible and the readable text size, I do not think that the margins could have been made any larger without making the overall size of the Bible too cumbersome to lug around.

You can purchase this book here.

I wrote this review of  The Ignatius Catholic Study Bible for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, the largest Catholic Storeonline. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.

Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.

I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.


Fr. Thomas Dubay, SM – R.I.P.

Fr. Thomas Dubay, SM died on Sunday, September 26 at around 4:45am after battling a long illness.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.

Fr. Dubay was the author of many books on the Spiritual life worthy of consideration and reflection:

Seeking Spiritual Direction
Prayer Primer
Fire Within
Deep Conversion, Deep Prayer
And You Are Christ’s
The Evidential Power of Beauty
Happy Are You Poor
Faith and Certitude

In his honor, I hope to get a couple reviews of some of his books up on the site relatively soon.

What Really Constitutes Extraordinary Means?

Life issues are always at the forefront simply because they are life issues. Life and death are serious events that demand reflection.

I’m sure most people remember and are familiar with the Terri Shiavo tragedy from 2005… though the news media (fueled by her  demonic husband, Michael) painted her death as “merciful” and “peaceful”– it was anything but that. It was, at the very least, inhumane. In her final moments, Terri’s skin was flaking off, her eyes sunken, and blood leaked from her eyes and mouth because her body was so dried out because of dehydration. Her death was full of suffering and intense, agonizing pain. It’s not a quick process; a person who starves to death doesn’t die instantly. It’s a long, slow, painful process that takes weeks.

Why do I bring up Terri Shiavo today? Because the same thing is happening to another unfortunate victim. Only this time, instead of taking 14 days to die from dehydration (like Terri did), the patient has been clinging to life for over 55 days. Trisha Rushing Duguay has been fighting for her life, without nutrition or water, for 55 days. Almost 8 weeks. 2 months. Have we become the Nazis? Or worse? Feeding a person is not extraordinary means. Trisha, like Terri, needs no machines to keep her body functioning. She needs, as we all do, food and water. To strip a person of a feeding tube and refuse them fluids to let them die of dehydration is not humane or merciful… it’s vicious and demonic. This is euthanasia. The fruit of the culture of death. We kill our children in their mother’s wombs, and now we kill anyone who is unable to speak for themselves.

Trisha Rushing Duguay was married and within 48 hours diagnosed with a brain tumor. Within 10 days of her marriage, she’d fallen into a coma. What were her last words?

“I am going to beat this,” she told [her husband], then joked: “You are not going to get rid of me this easy.”

And still here she is, clinging to life while being starved to death as doctors, nurses, and family members look on: unwilling to care for her most basic needs: food, and water. Her husband who promised to love and care for her “in sickness and in health” etc. and explicitly promised her before her surgery that he would always take care of her if she became disabled has broken those promises. Broken his wedding vows. He’s killing his wife, not caring for her.

Pray for Trisha Rushing Duguay, her family, friends, and those who sit idly by while she dies an agnozing and painful death. Pray for those are starving her, and consenting to her starvation.

What is the world coming to?

Pray for Trisha Rushing Duguay facebook group:!/group.php?gid=128342343885221&v=wall&ref=ts

UPDATE: I learned that Trisha died Friday September 24 a little after 9am. 56 days to starve and dehydrate to death…  she fought hard for her life.

Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Book Review: Conversation with Christ

Overall: Interesting “how-to” book on prayer and meditation. Points for practicality.

Peter Thomas Rorhbach’s book Conversation with Christ seeks to help the reder understand meditation (and personal prayer) according to St. Theresa of Avila. It is a rather short, practical “how-to” type manual that really lays out clearly not only the utter importance of meditation and personal prayer in the spiritual life, but also gives the reader a concrete example to draw from.

The general outline for practicing meditation includes: a period of preparation, the selection of the material (something to read or a holy picture), consideration, conversation, and conclusion. Preparation mainly consists in placing oneself in the presence of Christ. The selection of the material, either a picture or a book (the various accounts of Our Lord’s Passion from the Gospels are highly recommended) is designed to open the mind and provide direction for the meditation. The consideration consists in asking the main questions: who, what, where, when, how, etc. to reflect upon the material selected. The conversation is really the heart of the meditation where we converse with Christ. The author says in this conversation we ought to employ the affections of love, sorrow, contrition, thanksgiving, petition, etc. towards Our Lord. Lastly, the conclusion consists in thanking Christ for the favors we have received, and examining our success(es)/failure(s), and making a resolution to keep at it and strive for continual and better conversation with Our Lord in the future.

Regarding the necessity of meditation and preparation the author says,

The best over-all preparation for successful meditation is a personal conviction of its importance and a staunch determination to persevere in its practice. Is one has acquired this attitude of mind, he has made a splendid preparation for his meditation.

St. Teresa gives us this important admonition:
It is essential, I maintain, to begin the practice of prayer with a firm resolution to persevere in it.

If one be not convinced of the necessity of meditation in his own life, nor resolved never to omit its daily exercise, he will soon give it up on one pretext or another. Therefore, one should not adopt the practice of meditation with the intention of “giving it a try”; but rather, one must undertake the exercise with a firm belief that it is of the utmost importance that he begin and persevere in it. Our mental attitude towards any enterprise will determine, to a large, extent, our success in it; meditation is no exception.

and later,

Meditation, naturally, consumes time. But this is not time lost; rather, the time expended in meditation aids in the ultimate conservation of time. This is true, first of all, because it places the soul under the direct influence of Christ, Who will then take complete charge of a person’s activities. And, further, the added perspective gained in meditation will enable one to better regulate his life by the separation of the non-essential from the essential. Dom Chautard, in his magnificent book, Soul of the Apostolate, relates this enlightening incident:
One of our great bishops, overburdened with his duties, explained this to a statesmen, who also had too much to do. The latter had asked the bishop the secret of his constant work. “My dear friend,” said the bishop, “add to you other occupations half an hour’s meditation every morning. Not only will you get through your business, but you will find time for still more.”

Finally, St. Peter of Alcantara sums up for us the benefits of meditation in a vibrant passage:
In mental prayer the soul is purified from its sins, nourished with charity, confirmed in faith, and strengthened in hope; the mind expands, the affections dilate, the heart is purified, truth becomes evident; temptation is conquered, sadness dispelled; the senses are renovated; drooping powers revive; tepidity ceases; the rust of vices disappears. out of mental prayer issues forth, like living sparks, those desires of heaven which the soul conceives when inflamed with the fire of divine love. Sublime is the excellence of mental prayer, great are its privileges; to mental prayer heaven is opened; to mental prayer heavenly secrets are manifested and tear of God ever attentive.

You can purchase this book here.

I wrote this review of Conversation with Christ for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, the largest Catholic Store online. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.

Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.

I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.

Our Lady of Sorrows… Mary as Co-Redemptrix

“And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother: Behold this child is set for the fall, and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted; And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed.”

Luke 2:34-35

Today is the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows… probably one of my ‘favorites’. There is a shrine in Carey, Ohio to Our Lady of Consolation. When you walk in, on the right hand side is the statue the shrine is named for… but the side the draws my attention, is the left side… Our Lady of Sorrows:

And just underneath the altar: the cause of Mary’s deepest sorrow:

Her Son, her Divine Son, Our Lord, lying in a tomb after being falsely accused, spat upon, treated with such indignities, scourged, paraded like a criminal, and then crucified between two thieves… all for love of us.

Catholic tradition sees seven sorrows (or dolors) of Mary. Seven times the sword that the prophet Simeon predicted would pierce her soul, pierced her Immaculate Heart. First, the presentation in temple where Simeon foretells the coming sorrows. Second, when the Holy Family (Jesus, Mary, and Joseph) must flee to Egypt to escape Herod’s murderous rampage. Thirdly, when on their way back from Jerusalem they “lost” Jesus for 3 days whilst he was in the Temple. Fourthly, as Our Lady watched her scourged and bleeding Son carry His cross to Calvary. Fifthly, at the crucifixion as she stood beneath the Cross of her Son, pouring out His innocent precious Blood for the salvation of sinners. Sixthly, when after the death of Jesus, they lowered His bleeding Body from the Cross and she received her dead Son into her arms. Finally, when they laid the Body of Jesus in the tomb and sealed the sepulcher by rolling a large stone in front of it. Mary suffered with Jesus, as Simeon had foretold, she consented to God’s plans without knowing the details of their unfolding. One of my favorites lines from Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ is when he shows Mary during the scourging at the pillar, she says, “My Son… when, where, how… will You choose to be delivered of this?” She doesn’t cry out, she doesn’t seek to stop His sufferings… she trusts. And in doing so, suffers with Him.

This is what the Church means when she calls Mary Co-Redemptrix. Mary is the woman with the Redeemer. It is impossible to tear Mary from our Redemption. Our Redemption (Jesus Christ) began in her. Our Redemption came through her. She was chosen, and she consented. She stood in sorrow unimaginable beneath the Cross of Our Lord and offered Him to the Father, trusting completely in His plan of salvation.

Today especially, and always: Our Lady of Sorrows, ora pro nobis! (pray for us!)

Mother, have pity on me, who has not loved God, and who has so greatly offended Him. Thy sorrows, it is true, assure me of pardon, but that is not sufficient. I wish to love God. Who could obtain for me that grace if not thee, who are the Mother of holy love! O Mary, Thou consolest everyone; favor me also, with thy consolations. Amen. (Prayer of St. Alphonsus Liguori)

Catholic reads for the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows:

The Foot of the Cross by Fr. Frederick W. Faber

Happy Birthday to the Blessed Virgin Mary!

Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O sacred Virgin; give me strength against thine enemies, and against the enemy of the whole human race. Give me strength humbly to pray to thee. Give me strength to praise thee in prayer with all my powers, through the merits of thy most sacred nativity, which for the entire Christian world was a birth of joy, the hope and solace of its life.

When thou wast born, O most holy Virgin, then was the world made light.

Happy is thy stock, holy thy root, and blessed thy fruit, for thou alone as a virgin, filled with the Holy Spirit, didst merit to conceive thy God, as a virgin to bear Thy God, as a virgin to bring Him forth, and after His birth to remain a virgin.

Have mercy therefore upon me a sinner, and give me aid, O Lady, so that just as thy nativity, glorious from the seed of Abraham, sprung from the tribe of Juda, illustrious from the stock of David, didst announce joy to the entire world, so may it fill me with true joy and cleanse me from every sin.

Pray for me, O Virgin most prudent, that the gladsome joys of thy most helpful nativity may put a cloak over all my sins.

O holy Mother of God, flowering as the lily, pray to thy sweet Son for me, a wretched sinner. Amen.

(Prayer by St. Anselm)

September 8th the Church celebrates the birth of Our Lady, esteemed Mother of God, who, by her Immaculate Conception was also born free from all stain of sin. She is the solitary boast of our race. So in honor of Our Lady’s birthday pray the Rosary, pray the Angelus, the Litany of Loreto, the Salve Regina, and don’t forget Mary’s own prayer: the Magnificat

Good Reads:
The Glories of Mary by St. Alphonsus Liguori
True Devotion to Mary by St. Louis de Montfort

Mary in the Church

In honor of today’s being the First Saturday of the month, I thought I’d share my compendium of Marian links (online Papal/Conciliar documents and writings of the Saints and other holy writers). I’m constantly updating my compendium, so don’t hesitate to let me know if you’ve found something more.

Prayer of St. Anselm:

O Glorious Lady, grant that through you we may deserve to ascend to Jesus, your Son, who through you deigned to descend among us.


Supremi Apostolatus Officio, Pope Leo XIII…fficio_en.html

Octobri Mense Pope Leo XIII…-mense_en.html

Adiutricem, Pope Leo XIII

Augustissimae Virginis Mariae, Pope Leo XIII

Diuturni Temporis, Pope Leo XIII

Fidentem Piumque Animum, Pope Leo XIII

Iucunda Semper Expectatione, Pope Leo XIII

Laetitiae Sanctae, Pope Leo XIII

Magnae Dei Matris, Pope Leo XIII

Superiore Anno, Pope Leo XIII

Vi E Ben Noto, Pope Leo XIII

Ineffabilis Deus, Pope Pius IX

Ubi Primum, Pope Pius IX

Allocution, Pope Pius X

Ad Diem Illum, Pope Pius X…ssimum_en.html

Ingravescentibus Malis, Pope Pius XI

Munificentissimus Deus, Pope Pius XII…s-deus_en.html

Ingruentium Malorum, Pope Pius XII…alorum_en.html

Fulgens Corona, Pope Pius XII…corona_en.html

Deiparae Virginis Mariae, Pope Pius XII…mariae_en.html

Ad Caeli Reginam, Pope Pius XII…eginam_en.html

Christi Matri, Pope Paul VI

Mense Maio, Pope Paul VI

Signum Magnum, Pope Paul VI

Marialis Cultus, Pope Paul VI…cultus_en.html

Rosarium Virginis Mariae, Pope John Paul II…mariae_en.html

Redemptoris Mater, Pope John Paul II…-mater_en.html


True Devotion to Mary, St. Louis de Monfort

The Glories of Mary, St. Alphonsus Liguori (excerpts)

The Secret of Mary, St. Louis de Montfort

The Secret of the Rosary, St. Louis de Montfort

Other Marian works

The Mother of the Savior, Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange (excerpts)

The Moral and Social Influence of Devotion to Mary, Dr. Orestes Brownson

The Imitation of Mary, Alexander de Rouville

The Divine Purpose of Mary’s Compassion, Fr. Frederick W. Faber
(taken from Fr. Faber’s The Foot of the Cross)

The World’s Happiest Marriage, Msgr. Fulton Sheen
(taken from Msgr. Sheen’s The World’s First Love)

When Freedom and Love were One: The Annunciation, Msgr. Fulton Sheen
(taken from Msgr. Sheen’s The World’s First Love)