45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on June 23, 2004
Finally, after ten years of teaching RCIA, I have found the book that every teacher's been looking for. Unlike the other materials that we've had to use, these authors don't talk about mystagogy, they DO it. Better, they show how the Church fathers did it. Our parish priest agrees. This is the best resource for our catechumenal candidates.
40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2004
This anthology presents a number of short readings for meditation and prayer. They are drawn from writings of recognized early teachers of Christian doctrine, including St. Basil the Great, St. Gregory of Nysaa, St. Cyril of Jerusalem, St. Ambrose of Milan, St. Augustine of Hippo, St. John Chrysostom and St. Leo the Great. We may have heard of, even revered these early saints, hearing them mentioned on feast days, without really knowing their thoughts and ideas. This book makes those thoughts accessible. Very fresh and useful, too. The authors, Hahn and Aquilina, also show us how to use their book, with encouraging words about such things as meditation. The book focuses on on the ancient riches of God's Word and early Christian teachers and their value for us today.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
When I first began to study the early church fathers, as a committed Christian of the Reformed (Calvinist) Protestant tradition, they began to draw me in and change my way of thinking. At first I thought they were calling me to be Orthodox and so my growing love for "the mysteries" pulled me toward this book. This was not the book that made me slide away from Orthodox and into Catholic but it did feed my hunger for living the mysteries which began with my Orthodox friends.
Cardinal Newman once said that the early church fathers made him Catholic and he would not so quickly kick the ladder that had brought him to that height. The fathers made many of us Catholic and they never cease to inspire and guide us to new heights. Dr. Hahn and Aquilina have demonstrated time and again their passion and heart for the fathers. This is just one more way they have revealed it to those of us who have fallen in love with the Church because they fell in love with the Fathers. This is a highly recommended resource for living the mysteries rather than just talking about them. Sts. of the early Fathers, pray for us.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 7, 2007
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
A fantastic book for Neophytes! This little book gives day-to-day meditations and goals to more fully live the sacramental life. A must read for all Catholics at all stages of spiritual growth.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Scott Hahn and Mike Aquilina should need no introduction, especially if you have read any of my other reviews. Both have written thousands of pages on Catholic doctrine and devotion. This book is intended to be read after Easter as it is a series of reflections or devotions over 50 days. However, one would benefit from reading it at any point in the Church's calendar, as we are all unfinished Christians.
Upon reading the first few pages of this book, the reader is informed that the content of the book is taken from ancient Church Fathers. I will admit that I was a bit skeptical at first as I thought it would be a ton of St. Augustine, as he is THE Church Father for Western Catholicism. And while he is one of the eight Church Fathers that the authors drew from, they also did a magnificent job of using some Eastern Church Fathers as well, including St. Basil, St. Gregory of Nyssa (St. Basil's brother), and the theological heavyweight in the East, St. John Chrysostom.
Each day ends with three steps to help make the lesson stick. You pray about it, try and commit one of the key lines in the sermon to heart, and then there is a practical application for your daily life. It is tough to say which one is my favorite week, as each proved useful and worth reading. However, if I had to pick one, I think I would pick St. Clement of Alexandria's week "On Illumination." Throughout this week, one learns about "The Power of Prayer" and "How to Live Like a Christian." The messages on both of these days were powerful and inspiring.
This book gets 5 out of 5 stars, but I wish I could give it more. If you want to know more of what the early Church taught and would like to read more from the Church Fathers, this is a good starter book for you. I know Easter is still several months away, but this is my recommendation to you for Easter reading. I look forward to reading through it again during the Easter season at a slower pace and trying to gain more from this rich and beautiful book. This book was provided for free in exchange for a review by Our Sunday Visitor.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 2012
We used this book in the Mystagogy period following Easter in my RCIA class. It is excellent. The readings are short and to the point, but contain a good deal of depth for reflection on the sacraments of the Church. I recommend this book for anyone looking at the Catholic Church, for new Catholics, RCIA directors and catechists, and those going through RCIA.
on November 7, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
The history of mystagogy is fascinating!
Our particular mystagogy program is developing, and returning to the Catechetical model. I've brought this book into my group because of the way it takes us back to the original importance of this part of the journey.
I think mystagogy is often overlooked and almost an afterthought, because we don't really know what to do with it. What is it for? What are we trying to accomplish?
Despite our best efforts to the contrary, there is so much emphasis on the sacraments for 6-9 months, (and rightfully so) that the new Christians can't help but get the feeling after that vigil Mass that they are "done." They've graduated and what else is there but to just be Christian?
But, how quickly we can fall into lukewarm faith! How many are still going to Mass every week a year after confirmation?
It wasn't like that in the early Church. The new Christians in the first few centuries of the Church weren't given the key to the mysteries until after they'd received the sacraments of initiation. That's when the things that were hidden from the wise were revealed to the newborn Christians!
The book was intended for a time of concentrated study between Easter and Pentecost, with a short chapter and meditation for each day.
But, I was only two chapters into this book when I knew I needed to bring it into our program, for a weekly "shot in the arm" - an inoculation against lukewarmness. In addition to the other topics and activities, we will spend 15-20 minutes that week's chapter, both to connect us to our ancient heritage and to reflect on how to keep Christ before us, in us and around us in our daily life. The writings from the early fathers are perfectly relevant, today - reading the news will convince you of that. And they inspire us to persevere, to remember who we ARE and what God wants to make of us.
The book is already a blessing to me and I pray that it will help keep the fire lit for my group.
11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on September 30, 2005
Once again Scott Hahn manages to provide such a wealth of resource and this book is a real guide.It will be read many times
on March 7, 2011
I went through the RCIA program a couple of years ago, and this book by Scott Hahn & Mike Aquilina was our key text during the Lenten season. I looked forward to reading it every day. It offered sufficient fodder for discussion as well as contemplation. It seemed to really focus on the important parts of being a Catholic Christian, without getting bogged down by unnecessary complexity.
on March 6, 2015
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
The best book I have found that allows the reader to experience the mysteries of the sacraments, written by men who lived in the time of and just after Christ and a book that establishes that NOTHING in Jesus' Church has changed since then. A very good book for the new Catholic. Everyone who believes in Jesus should read it, Catholic or Protestant.