Friday, September 24, 2010

Review: A Year With the Church Fathers

You've probably seen some advertisements for this book around the internet and in print. St. Benedict Press and Mike Aquilina have done a great job with this daily devotional.

I was just telling someone yesterday that I don't have much "need" for modern yet-to-be-approved private revelations because I haven't learned all I can from approved sources. The Church Fathers are one of those and this book is a great introduction to them.

Let's first of all judge it by the cover, which we are told never to do. We have here a very beautiful rendition of the highly flexible, soft, leather-feel, DuoTone/Ultrasoft material. It is comfortable to hold and the two-tone cover is a nice touch. If this were a Bible I would prefer a solid color.

The picture below shows its flexibility.

I don't know if this was intentional or not but the book has a near-semi-yapp cover on it. There is certainly a generous over hang. Intentional or not, it will help keep the guilt edges from getting marked up.

Below: Back cover.

The embossing on the cover is great as usual with S.B. Press. When I saw this book it reminded me of all those protestant devotionals you see when you walk into a book store. "God's Promises", "My Utmost..." "Purpose Driven Life" (etc) and now we have a decent looking Catholic one with some real meat to it.

Below: One thing I would change about the book construction is the thick pages. It seems they were going for completely opaque, and to do that you use thicker paper. But here it causes the book to be somewhat stiff. This will work itself out when you use it I suspect. Just go easy on it for a while.

I'm not a fan of glossy pages. I would also change this. But the page layout is good for a daily devotional. That's good advice on the page isn't it? And from St. John Chrysostom - the golden mouth!

You can see above there is a topic for the day, a short explanation, an excerpt from a Church Father, a short meditation, and a closing prayer. This may be a good way to begin the practice of mental prayer for ordinary Catholics. Not having read the whole thing yet, I can't vouch for all of the text but Mr. Aquilina is a well known and trusted apologist. I have his book "The Mass of the Early Christians" and enjoyed it.

1 comment:

Barbie said...

As usual, you answered most of my questions about this volume. What a great addition to a Catholic library, I'm so happy to see these types of books come out.
Thanks for the review!

"The whole truth is generally the ally of virtue; a half-truth is always the ally of some vice." - G.K. Chesterton