Birthday of a Saint

Mother TeresaAugust 26 marks the 106th anniversary of an Albanian-Indian Catholic nun and missionary that changed the world. Devoted to charitable work with the poorest of the poor, Anjese Gonxhe (little flower) was became known to the world as Mother Teresa of Calcutta. In typical Teresa style, she considered August 27, the day she was baptized, as her true birthday.

By age 12, she was convinced that her life should be handed over to a religious life. At the age of 18 she left her home in Skopje, Macedonia, to join the Sisters of Loreto in Ireland where her first task was to learn English in order to serve her religious order in India.

Her first desire for a new name as a sister of the convent was Therese, after Therese de Lisieux, patron saint of missionaries. However, she was informed that another nun had made the same choice before her, so she happily settled for the Spanish version, Teresa, and took her vows in 1931. She first served as a teacher in an India devastated by the Bengal famine of 1942 that brought death and misery to the to the city of Calcutta. The famine was soon followed by political violence that was particularly oppressive to the poor. These were the people she wanted to serve, but she would have to leave the convent to do so.

In 1948, she became simply Mother Teresa, replacing her nun’s habit with a simple, white cotton sari with a blue border. A year later, through her example, young women joined her work, leading to the foundation of a new religious community, Missionaries of Charity.

While looking for a home I walked and walked till my arms and legs ached. I thought how much they (the poor) must ache in body and soul, looking for a home, food and health. Then, the comfort of Loreto [her former congregation] came to tempt me. “You have only to say the word and all that will be yours again”, the Tempter kept on saying … Of free choice, my God, and out of love for you, I desire to remain and do whatever be your Holy will in my regard. I did not let a single tear come.

She opened a hospice for the dying and those with leprosy that led to clinics throughout India. She took in endless numbers of homeless and orphaned children. Her work encouraged expansion to South America, Italy, Tanzania and Austria, and later even to the United States and dozens of other countries. Priests begged to join the movement of caring for poor souls and by 1984 the Missionaries of Charity combined with resources from the priesthood with almost 450 brothers and 5,000 sisters worldwide.

By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong entirely to the Heart of Jesus.

After a heart attack in 1983, she was never truly healthy again, even with a pacemaker. In 1996 she broke her collarbone, was stricken with malaria, and fought heart failure. She died on September 5, 1997. At the time, her 610 missions were active in 123 countries. She is the epitome of charity and service to the poor, the sick, and the disadvantaged and remains today as the highest example of service to humanity.

Mother Teresa coverMany books and articles have been written about the life, suffering and service of Mother Teresa. Lectio author, Robert Garrity, Ave Maria University, has written an insightful, beautifully crafted proposition that Teresa, through God’s divine intervention, originated a distinctive form of theological mysticism defined as both seeing Jesus Christ and serving Jesus Christ in the poorest of the poor.

In Mother Teresa’s Mysticism: A Christo-Ecclesio-Humano-centric Mysticism, Fr. Garrity suggests that God’s gift to Teresa of this experiential knowledge of Christ’s presence in today’s world has the power to be a significant source of theological and pastoral renewal in the Church of the twenty-first century.

Happy Birthday, Saint Teresa of Calcutta! Thank you for your inspiration, life, and devotion. Pray for us!

Resurrection: Truth or Deception?

resurrection_power-epub_cvrIn Resurrection Power! Spiritual Solutions for an Anxious Age, Robert Garrity seeks to represent timeless truths from philosophy, theology, psychology and law to introduce readers to the idea of leading victorious, joyful lives, even in these anxious times. He offers a spiritual guide that is as practical as it is life-changing, organizing his discussion around empowerment over daily struggles and joyful acceptance of what cannot be overcome.

Garrity draws a framework for exploring the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ of Nazareth and argues that we, like Jesus after the Resurrection, share in his new and indestructible life and that we rise daily with him. We share Paul’s teaching that “Sin and death have no more power over him.”

Second Edition

In this newly released second—digital only—edition, the author challenges us once again to delve more deeply into the subject through supplemental material…The Resurrection: Truth or Deception? Here Fr. Garrity explores a unique approach to find proof of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. He explores “is God real?” through examining the historicity of the evidence—truth or deception?—through a “mock trial” narrative with St. Paul on the stand in order to bring out the facts in the “case” followed by a hypothetical “verdict of truth” that Jesus rose from the dead. Finally, Garrity offers an analysis of the Bible’s narrative tradition along with an hour-by-hour timeline of the first Easter Sunday.

Throughout, Fr. Garrity shows the source and relevance of the Resurrection doctrine in an easily understood format with frequent summaries of major points and scriptural references. The book will engage readers seeking to better understand the relevance of the Resurrection and its explosive power for genuine spiritual renewal. Buy the eBook on Apple iTunes »

Mother Teresa’s Mysticism

Mother Teresa's Mysticism coverSaint Teresa of Calcutta’s mystical awareness of Christ in the poor not only transformed her own life, but the lives of millions of people throughout the world, Christians and non-Christians alike, awakening a deeper appreciation of the inherent dignity of every human being. Mother Teresa’s Mysticism by Robert M. Garrity (Lectio Publishing, May 2017) specifically explores what is yet to be learned from her experience, theory, and praxis—particularly through the lens of her mysticism—and suggests that theologically it must be affirmed to be fully consistent with, and expansive of, the Church’s spiritual tradition.

Father Robert M. Garrity, Assistant Professor of Theology Education at Ave Maria University dives into Christ’s private revelations (Eph 3:3-9) to Teresa, aside from her extraordinary vision or locutions, and labels her experiences as Christo-ecclesio-humano-centric mysticism: a profound consciousness of God’s presence in Christ and in His people, and especially in the poorest of the poor.

Teresa discovered and loved Christ through extensive periods of darkness of the soul and in service to the poorest of the poor. Her life and her example uncovers for us all a new place for “doing theology” in today’s world.

The book argues that Teresa’s mystical knowledge of Christ in the poor is distinctive, not because no one else has identified Christ in the poor (e.g. St. Elizabeth of Hungary and St. Vincent de Paul), but that Mother Teresa’s mysticism colors her entire worldview and her theology-in-praxis in an unequaled and most observable way, thanks to the power and influence of today’s 21st Century media.

The author uses a simple three-step method to analyze Mother Teresa’s theology to:

  1. explore one or more quotations from Mother Teresa on each of several theological topics
  2. compare her thought or practice with that which the Church believes and teaches in this area, as expressed in Scripture or Tradition
  3. consider whether Theresa’s thought in each area can influence contemporary theological reflection and pastoral practices.

Learn more, download a free ePub excerpt, or purchase your copy »

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Robert M. Garrity, JCL, STD, is currently an Assistant Professor of Theology at Ave Maria University, Florida where he has served since 2004. He received his S.T.D. and J.C.L. from The Catholic University of America (Washington, DC) and his BA in English Literature from Aurora College. He is author of Resurrection Power: Toward a Spirituality of the Resurrection (Lectio Publishing 2016), and O Happy Fault: Personal Growth through Spiritual Progress (Paulist Press 1994). Fr. Garrity was ordained in 1981.

Quiet Time Calls For a Book

On the feast day of St. Andrew the Apostle and for four consecutive Sundays thereafter, as daylight fades more quickly and the hush of pending winter is upon us—let us ponder what God has in store for us to learn through books.

Advent is a reminder of life’s ebbs and flows. A time to prepare our minds, hearts and souls for His coming. We at Lectio Publishing want to do a small part by offering a selection of books chosen specifically to appeal to our inner spirituality or our passion to know all there is to know about God—and do it for 20% less, regardless of a title’s time on the market.

romero and grande coverRomero & Grande, Companions on the Journey takes you on a personal journey to El Salvador where Archbishop Oscar Romero and his friend Fr. Rutilio Grande were gunned down because they spoke up for the poor and vulnerable. A must-read for those interested in Hispanic/Latino Theology!
Author: Salvadoran-born Ana María Pineda, R.S.M., 200 pages, published May 2016.
Learn more »

Resurrection Power! coverResurrection Power! Spiritual Solutions for an Anxious Age is inspired by timeless truths from philosophy, theology, psychology and law—yet is entirely practical in nature. It’s a victorious and joyful journey that doesn’t relieve us of all pain or remove the cause of suffering from our lives, but teaches us how we can rise above our daily problems drawing on the power of the Resurrection.
Author: Fr. Robert M. Garrity, 236 pages, published February 2016. Learn more »

Other books on sale that may interest you…
Pope Francis, The Legacy of Vatican II by Eduardo J. Echeverria Learn more »

Evangelization coverEvangelization: Building and Rebuilding the Kingdom; Issues of Language, Culture and Conversion by Fr. Leon F. Strieder. Learn more »

The Creed: the Faith That Moves EvolutionThe Creed, the Faith That Moves Evolution by Fr. Donald C. Maldari, S.J. Learn more »

More books…

DETAILS: All titles offered by Lectio Publishing are 20% off from now through Christmas Sunday, December 25, 2016 when you order directly from the Publisher. Go here to make your selection. This Advent discount is automatically applied in your cart. Multiple book orders apply.

Bookstores should contact Lectio’s Textbook Adoption Team for special rates. (772) 932-7969.

Proselytism vs. Evangelization

Dr. Eduardo EcheverriaIn today’s edition of The Catholic Thing, Dr. Eduardo J. Echeverria authors an article on Pope Francis and proselytism. He begins…

In a recent interview arranged by Fr. Antonio Spadaro, S.J., the editor of La Civiltà Cattolica, prior to the trip to Sweden for an ecumenical gathering anticipating next year’s 500th anniversary of the Reformation, Pope Francis expressed something that he has voiced several times during his pontificate: “to proselytize in the ecclesial field is a sin.” He added: “Proselytism is a sinful attitude.”

This is strong language and deserves careful attention, because many think the pope is saying the Catholic Church should no longer evangelize other Christians. That’s a large question that would take extensive treatment. Here, I’m going to limit myself to the “ecclesial field,” in the pope’s phrase, of ecumenical dialogue. Unfortunately, Francis did not define what he means by proselytizing, and did not distinguish it from evangelizing. He simply states that proselytism as such is a sin. But he doesn’t tell us why. Nor does he distinguish between unethical and ethical means of proselytizing. Read the entire article »

Dr. Echeverria has authored for us a scholarly book entitled Pope Francis, The Legacy of Vatican II (256 pages, $29.95). Learn more, download sample ePub, or buy now »

You may also like Fr. Leon Strieder’s recent publication, Evangelization: Building and Rebuilding the Kingdom: Issues of Language, Culture, and Conversion (492 pages, $46.95).
Learn more, download sample ePub, or buy now »