We are in the final weeks before Easter, which means that we are in the final weeks of candidate and catechumen preparing for full initiation at the the Easter Vigil.
(Of course, RCIA is really, properly only for the unbaptized and already baptized Christians can and should be catechized and brought into the Church year-round if it’s appropriate for that person. But, nonetheless…)
The Scrutinies are the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Sundays of Lent and so perhaps this is a good time to share some good instructional material with friends or family members who are revving up for meeting Christ in the Eucharist for the first time in a few weeks.
The How To Book of the Mass has recently undergone a makeover – I had no role in it and was as surprised as anyone. Mike fought hard for the original cover – he didn’t want the normal Catholic-looking cover and wanted something that would really stand out on a bookstore shelf, so for years the left-hand image had been the cover.
The new cover looks much like any other intro-to-the-Mass book, but rest assured the content is the same. I’m glad it’s still in print, still selling welling, and helping people. And the content does reflect the most recent translation. Here is an excerpt.
I have a few copies with the original cover – you can order here. Or get through your local Catholic bookstore or online.
In addition, I’d recommend my Words We Pray – which is a collection of essays I wrote on traditional Catholic prayers from the Sign of the Cross to the Lord’s Prayer to the Memorare to the Liturgy of the Hours to Amen. Each essay ties in some historical material with spiritual reflection, the goal being to help the pray-er link the prayers of his or her own heart with the prayer of the Church. St. Paul says, In the same way, the Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit itself intercedes with inexpressible groanings.(Romans 8:26).
One way the Spirit helps us pray as we ought and give voice to our the depths of our hearts is via the Spirit-formed traditional prayer of the Church. It leads us away from solipsism and situates our prayer properly, putting praise and gratitude to God first, and placing our needs in the context of his will, above all.
I have a few copies of that here too, as well as all the picture books. But you can get The Words We Pray online anywhere as well.