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That Nothing May Be Lost: Reflections on Catholic Doctrine and Devotion Paperback – March 25, 2017
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"Sacraments are symbols that convey the reality they signify. All other signs remain distinct from the things they signify. Only sacraments bring about what they signify. Sacramental signs convey the sacred reality itself. There can be no more perfect communication than this. Only God could express Himself in this way." --Scott Hahn, from the Introduction to Chapter IV, The Sacraments
"One of the blessings of being a Catholic is discovering we are part of a large extended family of holy people. Their stories cover many centuries and diverse cultures, and knowing them, we come to a better understanding of Christ, the One they loved and followed." --Mary Ellen Bork, from the Introduction to Chapter VI, The Saints
"As I read my friend Fr. Paul's moving and rich reflections on various feast days, an image from my childhood returned. It is of a Corpus Christi procession through the French Quarter around St. Louis Cathedral. Once again that eternal clash of the sacred and the profane that the rest of the world tries to ignore or deny is made manifest. This is what feast days are all about: dedicated times for us to stop and experience the deeper spiritual reality beyond the blur of our chaotic lives." --Raymond Arroyo, from the Introduction to Chapter IX, Feasts: The Pattern and Rhythm of the Christian Life
About the Author
Father Paul Scalia is a native of Virginia and grew up in the Diocese of Arlington. He attended the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. He studied theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University and the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas in Rome. Ordained in 1996, Fr. Scalia was appointed the Bishop's Delegate for Clergy in 2012. He has written for various publications, served as a frequent contributor to the Arlington Catholic Herald and Encourage and Teach, the diocesan blog.
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Top customer reviews
I preordered Fr. Scalia's book and received and read it during lent. I read it in four days and then re-read chapters that urged me to rethink my relationship with God, Jesus, and the Catholic Church. I found the book to be a beautiful….reflective…lesson in faith, love, family. This book is heartfelt and from the soul. Beautifully written. I thought of my recently departed mom as I read this book and her unwavering love of the church and of God and how happy I am that she raised me as a Catholic and kept God in our house always. I highly recommend this book to not only Catholics but also to those who need to be uplifted or maybe just need their faith renewed as well as the nonbelievers who may one day….hopefully… believe in Him….thank you for this beautiful book Fr. Scalia…..JSP
The title of this work is derived from the only miracle of Jesus reported in all four gospels: the multiplication of the loaves and the fishes. After feeding the crowd, Jesus instructs his apostles to collect the remaining portions for later use. Rev. Scalia uses this as an allegory for one’s spiritual life; while it would be no challenge for Jesus to replicate such a miracle, it is important that we not neglect the small details of life just because we believe we have found the big answer. As such, the author rarely touches on divisive doctrinal issues. Instead, he casts a surprisingly ecumenical tone and focuses on the small wonders of life that are most important to faith. While everyone focuses on the moment of conversion or baptism, it is the moments thereafter as we go about our lives that reveal whether it is genuine. As he notes in one early essay, the mindset we choose when interacting with the world shapes our decisions. Often we make compromises with some small evil, rationalizing it or stating to ourselves that it is an isolated incident, and slowly it becomes something we are comfortable with. It is only we turn away at the beginning that we can avoid such damning negotiations.
Perhaps my favorite essay comes midway through the book. Taking the story of Lazarus’ revival, the author uses it to elaborate on the idea of penance. When caught doing something wrong, most of us are quick to offer an apology. The measure of that apology’s validity, according to Rev. Scalia, is whether we are willing to admit it publicly and our resolve to not make the same mistake again. It takes a particular mentality to admit our error in front of others. Even though the Gospel of Matthew notes that eventually each of our sins will be revealed, pride often holds our tongue because we fear appearing weak, despite the strength it takes in actuality to admit our error. In my own life, there have been many occasions I made a mistake and promised myself I wouldn’t do so again. Unsurprisingly, on those occasions when I did so half-heartedly, I was more likely to err again. It is a lesson we could apply to any segment of our lives.
The introductions by other writers are also valuable. The one that piqued my interest the most was by Mary Ellen Bork, the wife of the deceased Judge Robert Bork. Interestingly, she also offered one of the points I most strongly disagreed with in the book when she praised Thomas More, the patron saint of lawyers. Although she casts him in the mold of a defender of religious liberty, More as chancellor of England, acting in the name of King Henry VIII, burnt at the stake dozens of Protestants before the king had him executed. One cannot help but view it to some degree as retributive justice. Those are small points of historical quibbling, however.
Appropriately, one of the final pieces in the book is a transcript of the eulogy that first introduced me to the author. Overall, Rev. Scalia’s writings are many pieces of fleece from a lamb of faith and they have been woven into a fine coat. His writing always proves enlightening, even for those of us who disagree with him on certain points. I sincerely hope his next volume maintains the same quality.
Some of the essays comment on specific liturgical feasts, the sacraments, and the Catholic devotion to Mary, while other tackle the centrality of paradox in Catholic thought, the purpose and importance of prayer, and the role of grace in our lives -- the trust in God that transforms. Taking to heart the Church's call to Her priests to care for both the Catholic faith and the souls of Her children, Father Scalia contributes to the Church's tradition of handing down the Faith "whole and entire for the salvation of souls." In so doing, the hope is that nothing, and no one, may be lost.