For the past few months, I (Kevin) have been writing a new Bible study for FOCUS called Living Gospel: 7 Habits of Highly Effective Catholics.
The study has two simple aims.
First, the purpose of the study is to establish believers, new and old, into the main activities of the Church that enable them live out the faith. We chose seven essential practices that all believers should know and practice in their walk with Jesus Christ.
Second, the study helps college students learn the practice the art of reading Scripture, especially the Gospels. Hebrews 4:12 tells us that God’s word is “living and active”. So often we seek to hear God’s voice. Scripture is God’s Word that expresses the love He has for us and the plan he has for our lives. Cultivating the skill of reading Scripture can create an open and dynamic stream of communication with the creator of the universe.
The title, Living Gospel, tries to reflect these two aims with its double meaning. On one hand, we want students to live out the Gospel and to embody its message with their lives. On the other hand, the Gospels are not just fairy tale or merely a historical account, but a living reality that affects us today just as much as it affected Jesus’ listeners 2,000 years ago. It has the power to completely change our lives if we are open to hearing God’s message.
My plan is to do a 7 part series (a post for each chapter) in the upcoming weeks to give some insight into what the study looks like.
One really cool part of my job is that I get to do a good amount of reading and researching for my Bible studies. I thought I would share some of the gems that I have found or rediscovered over the past few weeks in case you were looking for a good read or a Christmas gift.
Ignatius New Testament Study Bible: For the past ten years, Curtis Mitch and Scott Hahn have been writing a study Bible. Over the years, they would release the study book by book (in some cases they grouped smaller books together. These individual editions cost about $10. Now, you can buy the whole series for $15!
Praying Scripture for a Change: This book focuses on lectio divna and how to pray with Scripture. It is an awesome read. Tim Gray who taught me at the Augustine Institute is its author.
Time for God: My personal favorite book on prayer. Jacques Philippe takes the ancient wisdom of the Church and distills it down into simple language that you and I can understand.
Ranerio Cantalamessa: He has been the preacher to the Papal household since 1980. He has several international best sellers. For the study, I used his homilies on the Beatitudes. Lots of great free stuff on his website: http://www.cantalamessa.org/ Its in seven different languages just in case you know Polish.
Pope Benedict XVI: Yes, I know it seems obvious at first glance. I really enjoyed his last homily to World Youth Day 2010 in Sydney. He talks about the Holy Spirit and how to receive it more deeply in our lives: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/messages/youth/documents/hf_ben-xvi_mes_20070720_youth_en.html
The speech is also in Bermese and Macedonian among 23 other languages.
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