Book Review: To Live Is Christ: a 40-day journey with Saint Paul

Here is a book that has come out in time for Lent which is upon us.  This book is a wonderful way to observe Lent and the Year of St. Paul.  Peter Celano (the compiler of Christmas with the Holy Father s (2008)) has compiled this collection of a 40-day journey with St. Paul.   This collection also provides reflections from various Church Fathers, saints, holy men and women, and popes.  There is an introduction for each day, a scripture reading, a meditative reading from a saint or holy person, a short reflection on that reading and/or saint, and there is a box with a short biography of the saint or holy person.

There are two major thematic parts to the book which subdivides into eight sub-themes.  The first part is themes from St. Paul’s life which subdivides into:  a converted man, trials and afflictions, witness to the nations, and the revelation of Jesus Christ.  The second part is themes from St. Paul’s letters which subdivides into:  to live is Christ, to die is gain; the fruit of the Spirit, the greatest of these, is love; and witnessing to Jesus Christ in our lives.  There is an introduction to St. Paul’s life and ministry.  There is also a collection of “prayers of St. Paul.”  These prayers are from St. Paul’s letters.  The book concludes with endnotes.  The dust cover has an image of St. Paul which is from the late 13th century altar panel by the Master of Soriguela, from Vall de Ribes.  This book can be used for private reflection and meditation or for group-study and reflection.  This book is highly recommended for those purposes or for Lent or at other times of the year, especially during this Year of St. Paul.

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