Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Year of Faith Bible Study

Welcome back to Stuart's Study. As you recall, last Wednesday, I posted some book reviews and recommendations for deepening your faith in this Year of Faith. I recommended you a method of prayer known as Lectio Divina. I would like to say that I succeeded beautifully at it and am now a master of it, but I have not. In fact, I have barely had time to devote serious effort to it. I know that is a poor excuse, and that if something is important to you, you make it a priority, but I have not. Unfortunately, I am only human. So I fall, and I get back up. Perhaps, I aimed a bit too high, and need to start smaller. With that in mind, I picked up a new book that Our Sunday Visitor sent me, called The Year of Faith: A Bible Study Guide for Catholics and started again.

Fr. Pacwa is one of the priests on EWTN who hosts two shows, Threshold of Hope and EWTN Live. He has also written several books and Bible studies, in the same fashion as this book. One of these was a Bible Study on Paul for the Year of Paul, which I personally found very enlightening.

In this short book (less than 100 pages), Fr. Pacwa walks us through Pope Benedict's document Porta Fidei, which established and serves as a guideline for the Year of Faith. There are six sessions in this Bible Study, which you can study solo or in a small group. Each session is 10-15 pages long, so you can take each session and do one a week, or if you read quickly like me, do one a week, and be done in less than a week.

The questions Fr. Pacwa asks at the end of each session provide good discussion, if you read this study in a group, or reflection, if read by yourself. I also liked that he took the Nicene Creed and listed the Scriptural references that backed up each line of the Creed. However, I found "Session 6 - Faith and the New Evangelization" the most helpful session. It helped wrap this book up nicely, while also putting into perspective that we are not only supposed to be building our faith but the faith of others. I have never been good at that, even when I was Baptist, which has always bugged me, because Protestants are usually good at that kind of thing.

This book is an invaluable tool and resource, not just for the Year of Faith, but for anytime. It is a practical study guide that I am glad to have received, and I'm sure it is one I will reference during the Year of Faith. That is why I give this book 5 out of 5 stars, and recommend it to you all.