The Principium Institute has just published my new booklet on prayer, entitled, Speaking with God: A Short Primer on Mental Prayer. It is available both electronically from Kindle, as well as in paperback. I hope you find it to be a helpful little resource on how to get more out of prayer. The Principium Institute will be publishing more helpful resources like this one, from me and from a number of other scholars who are trying to write works that are accessible and helpful for ordinary Christians beyond the small circle of scholars for whom we often write. Right now the Kindle version of my text is selling for only 99 cents, and the 65 page paperback sells for $3.99.
My Catholic Apologetics Resources has been published by the Principium Institute, and is available in both Kindle for $2.99, and in Paperback for $6.99. It has come out just in time for Lent, for those interested in beefing up on their apologetics reading during Lent. The book is a lengthy bibliography, organized both topically and by reading level. Spanning 219 pages, this resources lists important sources on a variety of topics: baptism, communion of saints, confession, Crusades, Eucharist, existence of God, Inquisition, Jesus’ resurrection, Mary, papacy, purgatory, reformation, reliability of the New Testament, reliability of the Old Testament, and a number of other topics.
The online magazine, The Bible and Interpretation, has recently published an article I wrote entitled, “On Biblical Scholarship and Bias.” The article has stirred up some controversy, even eliciting a published response by Thomas L. Thompson, the famous biblical “minimalist” from the University of Copenhagen. The Bible and Interpretation intends to present articles written by biblical scholars that are more widely accessible to a broader audience outside the realm of specialist scholars. My article uses Joseph Ratzinger’s (Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI) 1988 Erasmus Lecture on “Biblical Interpretation in Crisis” as the starting point for the discussion. If you are interested in this debate, check out my Three Skeptics and the Bible.
A few days ago we celebrated the optional memorial of St. John of God. Our pastor gave a marvelous homily that day, which inspired this post. One of the key connection points the pastor made was the connection St. John of God had with other Saints with whom I was more familiar. To be quite honest, I knew next to nothing about St. John of God. So I began to investigate his life, and what an amazing man of God, St. John of God was! I thought his life–as well as his spiritual connection to other Saints–made this a very appropriate topic for a post during Lent….especially as we approach the end of Lent.
St. John of God is best known for his many followers who eventually founded the Hospitallers, a religious institution focused on aiding the sick, suffering, and dying, among other services they now provide. They are still in existence today.
What I didn’t know was St. John of God’s late conversion in life. In many ways he was a prodigal of the Church. A baptized Catholic, like virtually all his family and friends, he was a public sinner, who sinned in countless ways. He wasn’t just known for one particular sin, but many. He was a soldier, but was particularly known for leading a life best described as completely “wild.” He was around 40 years old, or so, when he had his conversion. He found mercy rather late in life.