Friday, March 10, 2017

The Holy Spirit: A Bible Study Guide for Catholics (Our Sunday Visitor)

The Holy Spirit is the latest in a series of Bible study books from Fr. Mitch Pacwa with other topics being St. Paul, Mary, and the Eucharist. The book is divided into seven sessions:

1. The Holy Spirit in Creation
2. Authority and Power Come by the Holy Spirit
3. Prophets and the Spirit of God
4. Giver of Wisdom, Guidance, and Truth
5. Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Trinity
6. Empowerment in the New Testament
7. The Spirit and the Spiritual Life

Within each chapter, there are multiple sections of Study, Consider, and Investigate. These sections not only give you Scripture passages to read, but also provide summaries and historical context on what you are reading. You are also encouraged to take notes in the book on certain biblical passages. At the end of each session are discussion questions and advice on how to put what you learned this session into practice. Though all the sessions are important and well written, the session which stood out to me most was the first one on Creation. In addition to focusing on Genesis 1 and John 1, we see references to creation in Psalm, Ezekiel, Judith, and Wisdom. Fr. Pacwa also provided an interesting contrast between the Creation story we know and the Babylonian creation myth. Other interesting points from the different sessions are how the Holy Spirit spoke through the Prophets, his empowering presence in New Testament figures, and the role he currently plays in our lives.

I've said it before, but it bears repeating. The Holy Spirit is the overlooked and often forgotten member of the Holy Trinity. This book will open your eyes to the important role that the Holy Spirit has played throughout salvation history, but the continued role He plays in our everyday lives. As always, Fr. Pacwa does a masterful job of taking a core part of the Catholic faith and explaining it in a way that anyone can understand, without dumbing it down.

This book was provided to me for free by Our Sunday Visitor in exchange for an honest review.