May 02, 2006

Building blocks

The Old and New Testaments together are the Word of God. However, how do I begin to make sense of the Word? How did the first apostles and followers of Jesus understand him?

Aside from the Bible, two books have been the building blocks for my own understanding and appreciation of God's Word and Presence in my life experiences as an adult.

In 1977 I came across a new book entitled The Teaching of Christ. It has gone through several editions through the years. The book is an overview of the ancient and living Christian faith. I used to read it about once year during college and for a few years after. It's really an introduction to the faith for adults. Donald Wuerl (then a priest, now a bishop) is its editor. The book gave me a good, overall grasp of our Christian belief system that deepened each time I again read it. If you look at the list of "Links" on the righthand side of this blog, you will see "Birth of My Adult Faith"-- a link to The Teaching of Christ on

The second "building block" book for my Christian life is really a booklet-- it's the letter of Pope John Paul II entitled "The Christian Meaning of Human Suffering." You can read it online through the link of the same name on the righthand side of this blog. If you read the letter, do so slowly.

I''ve let these two pieces, The Teaching of Christ and "The Christian Meaning of Human Suffering", set deep foundations for my thinking, for understanding myself, for understanding and appreciating the Word of God ... Christ himself and his Gospel.

Throughout my years as a monk and a priest, those are the two reads I have recommended the most to people seeking to deepen their faith or wanting to know how to make Christian sense out of their lives.

So now, by way of this blogpost, I recommend them again.


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