Monday, June 9, 2014

The Gift: Discovering the Holy Spirit in Catholic Tradition (Paraclete Press)

What does the Catholic Church teach on the Holy Spirit? What are the Gifts of the Holy Spirit? How does the Holy Spirit work in the Catholic Church? Dr. Schreck, professor at Franciscan University of Steubenville, answers all these questions and more in one of his latest books, The Gift: Discovering the Holy Spirit in Catholic Tradition. The book spans seven chapters (by design, I'm sure) and is approximately 150 pages.

Chapter 1 talks about the Person of the Holy Spirit. Chapter 2 discusses devotion to the Holy Spirit. Chapters 3 and 4 address the Spirit of Truth and the Spirit of Holiness, respectively. The next two chapters particularly stood out to me and were the ones I found the most interesting. Chapter 5 discussed the Gifts of the Spirit. In addition to discussing the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, Dr. Schreck also explains how "the Holy Spirit is the Gift of God who is God." He then explains the difference between Baptism and Confirmation. In Baptism, we receive the Holy Spirit, but in Confirmation "the faithful are equipped for their apostolate." This chapter is followed by Chapter 6, which discusses the Church, the Holy Spirit, and Mary. A particularly fascinating section explains the difference between Mary and the Holy Spirit. This seems like a no-brainer of a distinction, but it clears up some common misconceptions Protestants have regarding Mary. The last chapter discusses the role of the Holy Spirit in the Church today.

Overall, this was a very well-written book. In it, Dr. Schreck includes numerous references and quotes from saints, popes, the Catechism, etc. There has been a lot of talk about the New Evangelization. However, we tend to overlook the fact that if we are going to have a New Evangelization, we must have a new Pentecost. The only way to accomplish that is to constantly pray for the Holy Spirit's intercession. That is why, as Dr. Schreck points out, that all prayers to the Holy Spirit begin with the word "Come." So in the opening words of the Veni Creator Spiritus, "Come, Creator Spirit, Visit the minds of those who are yours; fill with heavenly grace the hearts that you have made."

This book was provided to me for free by Paraclete Press in exchange for an honest review. If you found this review helpful, please click here and hit Yes!