Tag Archives: Critical Review

A Call for the Return of [Proper] Christian Patriarchy

For a while now, I have been working my way through a thin volume from Tan Books/Saint Benedict Press 2010 releases: The Three Marks of Manhood: How to Be Priest, Prophet and King of Your Family. The length of time it took me to read this book in no way reflects the content or the author’s skill. What it does say is that I need to find more to time to pray and sleep.

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The Three Marks of Manhood: How to be Priest, Prophet, and King of Your Family. Cover image via AquinasAndMore.com

From the publisher:

Author G.C. Dilsaver writes that the time has come for Catholic families to re-discover true patriarchy – time for Catholic men to accept and fulfill their role as leader and head of their families. Christian manhood, as ordained by God and confirmed by Catholic teaching, is symbolized by three staffs: the Scepter of authority and self-discipline, the Crosier of spiritual stewardship, and the Cross of redemptive suffering. Three Marks of Manhood can help Christian families realize their identity to the fullest – empowering them to resist the encroachment of secular culture. Read it and learn how to build a strong and lasting marriage, raise children to become faithful men and women of God, and foster an authentic Catholic culture in your home.

On the surface, the above description seems to portray a self-help book for men. This is less a self-help book and more a splash of cold water to the face. Dilsaver does not pull a single punch it outlining the woeful state of manhood today, especially in the case of Christian men and even more especially those of the One True Faith – Catholics.

The book proceeds to build a comparison between the Mystical Body of Christ and what has long been called as the “little” Church otherwise referred to more recently as the “domestic” Church, that is the household of a validly married couple. In this, Dilsaver reminds men (and their spouses) that although the ordinary vocation of the espoused is to be a husband, we act in similar fashion of the ministerial priesthood by “putting on Christ” by means of the relationships in our lives. These relationships include our dealings with God, our wives, our children, our employers, etc.

Every point and lesson touched on in this book is certainly orthodox and on point. Perhaps it is fact that initially put me off as I flipped through the first few pages. Despite my fervent return to the Faith and my profession of fidelity to the Church and Christ, I felt a bit disturbed at the tone, which can most certainly be construed as counter-cultural especially by hardened feminists.

Long story short, this book does not mince words concerning the present state of manhood and offers valid, faithful and long-standing suggestions on how to reclaim our God-given roles as priest, prophet and king of our homes reminding us of St. Paul’s words in his Letter to the Ephesians:

Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, and I mean in reference to Christ and the church; however, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

— Ephesians (RSV) 5:21-33

You can purchase this book here.


I wrote this review of The Three Marks of Manhood for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, your source for Baptism Gifts and First Communion Gifts. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.

Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.

I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.


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A Call for the Return of [Proper] Christian Patriarchy

For a while now, I have been working my way through a thin volume from Tan Books/Saint Benedict Press 2010 releases: The Three Marks of Manhood: How to Be Priest, Prophet and King of Your Family. The length of time it took me to read this book in no way reflects the content or the author’s skill. What it does say is that I need to find more to time to pray and sleep.


The Three Marks of Manhood: How to be Priest, Prophet, and King of Your Family. Cover image via AquinasAndMore.com

From the publisher:

Author G.C. Dilsaver writes that the time has come for Catholic families to re-discover true patriarchy – time for Catholic men to accept and fulfill their role as leader and head of their families. Christian manhood, as ordained by God and confirmed by Catholic teaching, is symbolized by three staffs: the Scepter of authority and self-discipline, the Crosier of spiritual stewardship, and the Cross of redemptive suffering. Three Marks of Manhood can help Christian families realize their identity to the fullest – empowering them to resist the encroachment of secular culture. Read it and learn how to build a strong and lasting marriage, raise children to become faithful men and women of God, and foster an authentic Catholic culture in your home.

On the surface, the above description seems to portray a self-help book for men. This is less a self-help book and more a splash of cold water to the face. Dilsaver does not pull a single punch it outlining the woeful state of manhood today, especially in the case of Christian men and even more especially those of the One True Faith – Catholics.

The book proceeds to build a comparison between the Mystical Body of Christ and what has long been called as the “little” Church otherwise referred to more recently as the “domestic” Church, that is the household of a validly married couple. In this, Dilsaver reminds men (and their spouses) that although the ordinary vocation of the espoused is to be a husband, we act in similar fashion of the ministerial priesthood by “putting on Christ“ by means of the relationships in our lives. These relationships include our dealings with God, our wives, our children, our employers, etc.

Every point and lesson touched on in this book is certainly orthodox and on point. Perhaps it is fact that initially put me off as I flipped through the first few pages. Despite my fervent return to the Faith and my profession of fidelity to the Church and Christ, I felt a bit disturbed at the tone, which can most certainly be construed as counter-cultural especially by hardened feminists.

Long story short, this book does not mince words concerning the present state of manhood and offers valid, faithful and long-standing suggestions on how to reclaim our God-given roles as priest, prophet and king of our homes reminding us of St. Paul’s words in his Letter to the Ephesians:

Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, and I mean in reference to Christ and the church; however, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

— Ephesians (RSV) 5:21-33

You can purchase this book here.


I wrote this review of The Three Marks of Manhood for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, your source for Baptism Gifts and First Communion Gifts. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.

Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.

I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.


ADW Blog Reviews “The Rite”

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Cover via Amazon

In 2009, Matt Baglio was a guest on Catholic Answers LIVE. That is when I heard about his book The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist. As Msgr. Pope rightly states in his post, The Rite is a well-researched book that represents the subject matter in a manner that is anything but horrific. The facts concerning exorcism, exorcists and the rite itself are in line with Church teachings and impartially presented.

However, upon seeing the first trailer for the film my hopes of the seeing the same on the silver screen were quickly dashed. I should know better but I am a serial optimist. Anyway, check out the blurb below and click on the link to read Msgr. Pope’s entire post. It is very insightful. I would also like to suggest that you buy or borrow Mr. Baglio’s book; it is good stuff.

I have also read the book The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist by Matt Baglio. The movie is only very loosely based on the book. The main subject in the book is not a troubled seminarian but an experienced priest of strong faith. The greatest strength of the book is that it is carefully researched and draws deeply on the Catechism, scripture, and the official instructions of the Church for exorcists. The movie, as you might expect goes more for the sensational and takes a lot of cinematic liberty with Catholic rites. The book however is careful and balanced, depicting the Church as also careful and balanced when it comes to exorcism. I strongly recommend the book for any who wish to learn more of this ancient Rite of the Church.

I would like to say a few things about exorcism that are important to know and remember, especially when sensationalistic movies etc. take liberties. Allow these observations of mine in no particular order.

via Movie Review: “The Rite” And A Reflection on the Church’s Rite of Exorcism | Archdiocese of Washington.

ADW Blog Reviews “The Rite”

Cover of "The Rite: The Making of a Moder...

In 2009, Matt Baglio was a guest on Catholic Answers LIVE. That is when I heard about his book The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist. As Msgr. Pope rightly states in his post, The Rite is a well-researched book that represents the subject matter in a manner that is anything but horrific. The facts concerning exorcism, exorcists and the rite itself are in line with Church teachings and impartially presented.

However, upon seeing the first trailer for the film my hopes of the seeing the same on the silver screen were quickly dashed. I should know better but I am a serial optimist. Anyway, check out the blurb below and click on the link to read Msgr. Pope’s entire post. It is very insightful. I would also like to suggest that you buy or borrow Mr. Baglio’s book; it is good stuff.

I have also read the book The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist by Matt Baglio. The movie is only very loosely based on the book. The main subject in the book is not a troubled seminarian but an experienced priest of strong faith. The greatest strength of the book is that it is carefully researched and draws deeply on the Catechism, scripture, and the official instructions of the Church for exorcists. The movie, as you might expect goes more for the sensational and takes a lot of cinematic liberty with Catholic rites. The book however is careful and balanced, depicting the Church as also careful and balanced when it comes to exorcism. I strongly recommend the book for any who wish to learn more of this ancient Rite of the Church.

I would like to say a few things about exorcism that are important to know and remember, especially when sensationalistic movies etc. take liberties. Allow these observations of mine in no particular order.

via Movie Review: “The Rite” And A Reflection on the Church’s Rite of Exorcism | Archdiocese of Washington.

Celebrating Christmas Like Pope John Paul II

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Oplatki Christmas Wafers. Image via Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.

And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19)

Thoughts
The Central Eastern European Christmas tradition of the Oplatek is one rooted in the greater understanding of the Eucharist. It is the only “representative” Bread of Life that any Catholic should ever partake in. This is because, as a (small t) tradition it utilizes the matter but not the form of the Sacrament of the Eucharist. In this, families from countries such as Poland, Lithuania, Slovakia and the Czech Republic make use of what would otherwise be recognized as altar bread, sans the embossing of Advent and Christmas imagery, to symbolizing unity within a family, forgiveness amongst brothers and even blessings from one generation to another.

As a stranger to this tradition, I find that the texture and taste of the Oplatek is lends to the full appreciation and symbolism that exhibited around the tables of Slavic families during the Christmas Vigil dinner when this is traditionally celebrated. I can imagine the family patriarch leading his children and grandchildren and their families in prayer. And then, in the role of the priest, prophet and king of his household – the persona Christi of this domestic Church, he “breaks bread” with a relative to his right forgiving an offense or acknowledging the same. Or could this be a blessing for recent addition to the family and that child’s parents?

No matter the reason, this sharing of bread carries much weight in these homes and rightly so. For in a matter of hours they will leave their table and count themselves present among the greater mass of brothers and sisters all gathered in communion at the Lord’s Table to celebrate His birth, His life, His death in expectation of His return.

Matter
Aquinas and More provide their customers with the very best in Oplatki as baked by one of the most renowned names in altar bread-making, the Cavanagh Company. This Oplatki is made from the same ingredients and to the same standards as those made for use at Mass, the only differences are the embossing of Christmas imagery that portray the true meaning of this joyous season and the fact that these wafers are not consecrated.

Again, taste and texture are identical to that of Communion hosts, but are sized different, about that of an index card. The quality of the bread is evident simply by looking at the wafers – even through the packaging I received.

Recommendation
For those seeking to institute, recapture or continue a pious and unitive Christmas tradition, the Oplatki offered by Aquinas and More is an ideal place to start. As the 1917 Catholic Encyclopedia, hosted by New Advent, states concerning this tradition amongst the Poles in America:

The most beautiful custom and the one that bids to outlive all others among the American Poles is that of the oplatki (wafers). Shortly before Christmas the parishorganist distributes wafers resembling those used for Holy Mass, and at this distribution each parishioner makes a slight offering to the organist or altar-boys who bring the wafers. These are sent to friends and relatives in Europe, and the latter do not forget those in America. On Christmas Eve the family gathers to partake first of all of the wafer in token of continued love, mended friendship, and goodwill to all men.

I wrote this review of Oplatki Christmas Wafers for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, your source for Oplatki and Advent Calendars. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.

Celebrating Christmas Like Pope John Paul II

Oplatki Christmas Wafers

And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19)

Thoughts
The Central Eastern European Christmas tradition of the Oplatek is one rooted in the greater understanding of the Eucharist. It is the only “representative” Bread of Life that any Catholic should ever partake in. This is because, as a (small t) tradition it utilizes the matter but not the form of the Sacrament of the Eucharist. In this, families from countries such as Poland, Lithuania, Slovakia and the Czech Republic make use of what would otherwise be recognized as altar bread, sans the embossing of Advent and Christmas imagery, to symbolizing unity within a family, forgiveness amongst brothers and even blessings from one generation to another.

As a stranger to this tradition, I find that the texture and taste of the Oplatek is lends to the full appreciation and symbolism that exhibited around the tables of Slavic families during the Christmas Vigil dinner when this is traditionally celebrated. I can imagine the family patriarch leading his children and grandchildren and their families in prayer. And then, in the role of the priest, prophet and king of his household – the persona Christi of this domestic Church, he “breaks bread” with a relative to his right forgiving an offense or acknowledging the same. Or could this be a blessing for recent addition to the family and that child’s parents?

No matter the reason, this sharing of bread carries much weight in these homes and rightly so. For in a matter of hours they will leave their table and count themselves present among the greater mass of brothers and sisters all gathered in communion at the Lord’s Table to celebrate His birth, His life, His death in expectation of His return.

Matter
Aquinas and More provide their customers with the very best in Oplatki as baked by one of the most renowned names in altar bread-making, the Cavanagh Company. This Oplatki is made from the same ingredients and to the same standards as those made for use at Mass, the only differences are the embossing of Christmas imagery that portray the true meaning of this joyous season and the fact that these wafers are not consecrated.

Again, taste and texture are identical to that of Communion hosts, but are sized different, about that of an index card. The quality of the bread is evident simply by looking at the wafers – even through the packaging I received.

Recommendation
For those seeking to institute, recapture or continue a pious and unitive Christmas tradition, the Oplatki offered by Aquinas and More is an ideal place to start. As the 1917 Catholic Encyclopedia, hosted by New Advent, states concerning this tradition amongst the Poles in America:

The most beautiful custom and the one that bids to outlive all others among the American Poles is that of the oplatki (wafers). Shortly before Christmas the parishorganist distributes wafers resembling those used for Holy Mass, and at this distribution each parishioner makes a slight offering to the organist or altar-boys who bring the wafers. These are sent to friends and relatives in Europe, and the latter do not forget those in America. On Christmas Eve the family gathers to partake first of all of the wafer in token of continued love, mended friendship, and goodwill to all men.

I wrote this review of Oplatki Christmas Wafers for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, your source for Oplatki and Advent Calendars. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.

Catholic Bible Topic Tabs: A Great Tool and Stocking Stuffer

General Description: Topic Tabs are the perfect way to mark your favorite Bible verses and be prepared for discussions with Fundamentalists.

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Catholic Answers Topic Tabs. Available at AquinasandMore.com

Features include:

  • 80 durable glossy coated tabs
  • Color and icon coded for easy recognition
  • Sub-divided into ten different apologetic categories
  • Each tab has book, chapter, and verse
  • Compatible with all Bible translations
  • Color category guide sticker to place on inside front flap or to use as a bookmark
  • via Catholic Bible Topic Tabs.

    Initial Thought

    Normally, I do not start off my review of a product with the description provided by either the publisher/producer or the seller (at least I do not recall if I do/did.) But in the case of Catholic Answers’ Topic Tabs I wanted to make an exception.

    Topic Tabs are no ordinary product they are an apologetics tool. As the description states above, it is [at least one of] “the perfect ways to mark your favorite Bible verses.” I would not go so far as to say favorite verses as much as I would say “proof-text” equivalent verses. And yes, they will prepare you discussions with Fundamentalists – so long as you read the Word.

    For me, this product is a Bible study gem and must-have item for any Catholic, especially amateur apologists. You know, the guy who always has an answer in defense of the Church and is not afraid to charitably correct those who misunderstanding Catholic doctrine, etc. even if that means he gets to taste a little dirt from the bottom of his feet? Yours truly is one of them.

    Quality

    For $12.95, these topic tabs are a bargain. They are of quality construction and are so specific in nature that it had me wondering during application, why the cost was not more. As with many things Catholic, especially from Catholic Answers, the instructions are short, detailed and well-written. Furthermore, Catholic Answers does well in warning the user not take care during application as the glue on the stickers is meant to keep it in place. My thoughts are that they foresaw the potential toss across the room at a particularly stubborn and annoying opponent. Not a recommended tactic for any person, especially one defending the Church, but surely one that has crossed the minds of even the most experienced professional Catholic Apologist.

    Thoroughness

    To reiterate what I wrote above, the product came with very detailed instructions part of which included a ruler for proper placement and, what I will call, the “2-second apologist’s card.” The latter is placed on the inside of the back cover of your Bible and acts as a cheat sheet for your cheat tabs. For example, if you get stuck explaining something or need to refresh/compose your argument or response, this is the place to go. This 8-page (7 with content), fold-out card effectively navigates you through the 80 tabs that are now scattered throughout your Bible, especially within the New Testament.

    After meticulously applying all of the tabs, I was impressed by being able to see the Biblical roots of Our Faith in 3-dimensions. Couple that with the knowledge that these tabs only scratch the surface of Catholicism and you may have to remember to close your jaw before that fly buzzing around your office decides to take residence.

    These 80 tabs span across 15 major apologetics topics divided into 10 color-coded rows with icons to match:

    1. The Holy Trinity and The Holy Spirit
    2. The Divinity of Christ
    3. Mary and The Saints [Should be a Motown-sound Catholic praise band.]
    4. Baptism
    5. The Bible Plus [Defense against Sola Scriptura.]
    6. The Pope, St. Peter
    7. The Holy Eucharist
    8. Faith Plus [Defense against Sola Fide.]
    9. Purgatory and Statues
    10. Fathers (Priests), Celibacy and Confession

    That is a lot of content to fit in 80 tabs.

    Usability

    Here is where the rubber meets the road or better yet, where the thumb meets the tab. Thanks to the Tiber River Blogger Review Program, Catholic Answers’ Topic Tabs have been in my possession for a couple of months now. I purposely delayed writing any review on the product due to its nature and the intent expressed by the publisher: apologetics. This means the Tabs had to be road-tested for placement, ease and durability.

    I took my time applying the stickers and had my share of minor difficulties but that is my bad not theirs. (I looked over the instructions instead of actually reading them so some of my tabs are a bit too far inward.) After applying the tabs I flipped through them and tried to made myself comfortable with the order and placement as I waited for an opportunity to actually use them. Thanks be to God, I did not wait too long and the in the time I waited, I was unknowingly preparing for a 3-week long discussion on the Deuterocanon and some of our Catholic doctrines rooted therein.

    For 3-weeks straight, I was invited and re-invited to a Protestant bible study on the “Apocrypha” and with my Ignatius Press Catholic Bible (RSV-CE 2nd Edition) – tabs an all – plus by Thomas Nelson New American Bible, Catholic Study edition and the Catechism of the Catholic Church plus some Sacred Scripture cheat sheets in tow. Needless to say, the open nature of the discussion had me relying on my Topic Tabs more than any other extra-Biblical resource.

    When pressed to response to some accusation or utterance against Catholic doctrine, I was quickly able to find a Biblical passage to back up my explanation. Furthermore, these tabs held up and did not cause any problems with my Bible and still look as though I put them on yesterday, although they lean back a bit because I carry my Bible in a heavily loaded commuter backpack during the week.

    Anyway, I can safely say that these tabs are not only usable, they are essential. However, they are of no value to the user unless that user studies the Word of God with the Heart of the Church. This is essential because many of the passages that we use in defense of Catholicism are often followed with verses, before or after, that are used to contradict the Fullness of Truth as revealed by God to His spouse the Church.

    Like any tool, proper instruction and practice is required prior to being able to use it at full capability.

    Conclusion

    Buy one for each Bible that is not a family heirloom. Also buy one for your kids and family members – heck, buy Topic Tabs as stocking stuffers for Christmas!

    You can purchase this book here.

    I wrote this review of Catholic Bible Topic Tabs for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, your source for Oplatki and Advent Calendars. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.

    Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.

    I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.

    Catholic Bible Topic Tabs: A Great Tool and Stocking Stuffer

    General Description: Topic Tabs are the perfect way to mark your favorite Bible verses and be prepared for discussions with Fundamentalists.

    topic tabs

    Features include:

    • 80 durable glossy coated tabs
    • Color and icon coded for easy recognition
    • Sub-divided into ten different apologetic categories
    • Each tab has book, chapter, and verse
    • Compatible with all Bible translations
    • Color category guide sticker to place on inside front flap or to use as a bookmark

    via Catholic Bible Topic Tabs.

    Initial Thought

    Normally, I do not start off my review of a product with the description provided by either the publisher/producer or the seller (at least I do not recall if I do/did.) But in the case of Catholic Answers’ Topic Tabs I wanted to make an exception.

    Topic Tabs are no ordinary product they are an apologetics tool. As the description states above, it is [at least one of] “the perfect ways to mark your favorite Bible verses.” I would not go so far as to say favorite verses as much as I would say “proof-text” equivalent verses. And yes, they will prepare you discussions with Fundamentalists – so long as you read the Word.

    For me, this product is a Bible study gem and must-have item for any Catholic, especially amateur apologists. You know, the guy who always has an answer in defense of the Church and is not afraid to charitably correct those who misunderstanding Catholic doctrine, etc. even if that means he gets to taste a little dirt from the bottom of his feet? Yours truly is one of them.

    Quality

    For $12.95, these topic tabs are a bargain. They are of quality construction and are so specific in nature that it had me wondering during application, why the cost was not more. As with many things Catholic, especially from Catholic Answers, the instructions are short, detailed and well-written. Furthermore, Catholic Answers does well in warning the user not take care during application as the glue on the stickers is meant to keep it in place. My thoughts are that they foresaw the potential toss across the room at a particularly stubborn and annoying opponent. Not a recommended tactic for any person, especially one defending the Church, but surely one that has crossed the minds of even the most experienced professional Catholic Apologist.

    Thoroughness

    To reiterate what I wrote above, the product came with very detailed instructions part of which included a ruler for proper placement and, what I will call, the “2-second apologist’s card.” The latter is placed on the inside of the back cover of your Bible and acts as a cheat sheet for your cheat tabs. For example, if you get stuck explaining something or need to refresh/compose your argument or response, this is the place to go. This 8-page (7 with content), fold-out card effectively navigates you through the 80 tabs that are now scattered throughout your Bible, especially within the New Testament.

    After meticulously applying all of the tabs, I was impressed by being able to see the Biblical roots of Our Faith in 3-dimensions. Couple that with the knowledge that these tabs only scratch the surface of Catholicism and you may have to remember to close your jaw before that fly buzzing around your office decides to take residence.

    These 80 tabs span across 15 major apologetics topics divided into 10 color-coded rows with icons to match:

    1. The Holy Trinity and The Holy Spirit
    2. The Divinity of Christ
    3. Mary and The Saints [Should be a Motown-sound Catholic praise band.]
    4. Baptism
    5. The Bible Plus [Defense against Sola Scriptura.]
    6. The Pope, St. Peter
    7. The Holy Eucharist
    8. Faith Plus [Defense against Sola Fide.]
    9. Purgatory and Statues
    10. Fathers (Priests), Celibacy and Confession

    That is a lot of content to fit in 80 tabs.

    Usability

    Here is where the rubber meets the road or better yet, where the thumb meets the tab. Thanks to the Tiber River Blogger Review Program, Catholic Answers’ Topic Tabs have been in my possession for a couple of months now. I purposely delayed writing any review on the product due to its nature and the intent expressed by the publisher: apologetics. This means the Tabs had to be road-tested for placement, ease and durability.

    I took my time applying the stickers and had my share of minor difficulties but that is my bad not theirs. (I looked over the instructions instead of actually reading them so some of my tabs are a bit too far inward.) After applying the tabs I flipped through them and tried to made myself comfortable with the order and placement as I waited for an opportunity to actually use them. Thanks be to God, I did not wait too long and the in the time I waited, I was unknowingly preparing for a 3-week long discussion on the Deuterocanon and some of our Catholic doctrines rooted therein.

    For 3-weeks straight, I was invited and re-invited to a Protestant bible study on the “Apocrypha” and with my Ignatius Press Catholic Bible (RSV-CE 2nd Edition) – tabs an all – plus by Thomas Nelson New American Bible, Catholic Study edition and the Catechism of the Catholic Church plus some Sacred Scripture cheat sheets in tow. Needless to say, the open nature of the discussion had me relying on my Topic Tabs more than any other extra-Biblical resource.

    When pressed to response to some accusation or utterance against Catholic doctrine, I was quickly able to find a Biblical passage to back up my explanation. Furthermore, these tabs held up and
    did not cause any problems with my Bible and still look as though I put them on yesterday, although they lean back a bit because I carry my Bible in a heavily loaded commuter backpack during the week.

    Anyway, I can safely say that these tabs are not only usable, they are essential. However, they are of no value to the user unless that user studies the Word of God with the Heart of the Church. This is essential because many of the passages that we use in defense of Catholicism are often followed with verses, before or after, that are used to contradict the Fullness of Truth as revealed by God to His spouse the Church.

    Like any tool, proper instruction and practice is required prior to being able to use it at full capability.

    Conclusion

    Buy one for each Bible that is not a family heirloom. Also buy one for your kids and family members – heck, buy Topic Tabs as stocking stuffers for Christmas!

    You can purchase this book here.

    I wrote this review of Catholic Bible Topic Tabs for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, your source for Oplatki and Advent Calendars. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.

    Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.

    I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.

    Understanding the Means and Ends of Marriage

    The mystery of marriage, natural and/or sacramental, was evident in humanity since the creation. Early in the passages of Genesis, God creates Adam and then his companion. This was beginning of natural marriage.  

    God’s intent for marriage was plainly visible from the start:  

    27 And God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him: male and female he created them. 28 And God blessed them, saying: “Increase and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and rule over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and all living creatures that move upon the earth.” (Genesis 1)  

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    Marriage: The Mystery of Faithful Love

    One man was given one woman for the ultimate purposes of procreation through a life-long union of equal but complimentary souls (Genesis 2:24). In the classic work, Marriage: The Mystery of Faithful Love, author, philosopher and theologian Dietrich von Hildebrand reminds us of the divine origin of natural marriage and its fulfillment of sacramental grace in the New Testament in which marriage is the visible construct of Christ‘s love for the Church and for our very souls.

    This is a small, almost pocket-sized work of marital spirituality that found itself out of print in the United States but ironically remained popular in Europe. Thanks to non-profit publisher Sophia Institute Press, we have the luxury of being reintroduced to this short and pithy work. For marriage today, as when von Hildebrand wrote the book, is suffering from demonization and contempt, which threatens the very foundation of society.  

    It is in the rediscovery of true, transcendent and selfless love that we can fully understand the purpose and means of marriage and its role in the life of the Church and in the sanctification of humanity. As von Hildebrand rightly points out, marriage is not only a sacrament but it is a vocation with it being near equal to the Sacrament of Holy Orders.  

    And if marriage is a vocation then it is logical to understand that it is God who calls us to serve him in this manner. And it is He that gives us the graces to carry it out in full – we need only to respond with acceptance. This is the core of Marriage – a call to reawaken the understanding of man and woman in this oldest of institutions.  

    Sophia Institute Press sent me a complimentary copy of this book for me to review. You can purchase this book here.  

    I wrote this review of Marriage for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, the largest Catholic store online. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.  

    Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.  

    I also receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.  

    Understanding the Means and Ends of Marriage

    The mystery of marriage, natural and/or sacramental, was evident in humanity since the creation. Early in the passages of Genesis, God creates Adam and then his companion. This was beginning of natural marriage.  

    God’s intent for marriage was plainly visible from the start:  

    27 And God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him: male and female he created them. 28 And God blessed them, saying: “Increase and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and rule over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and all living creatures that move upon the earth.” (Genesis 1)  

    Marriage: The Mystery of Faithful Love

    One man was given one woman for the ultimate purposes of procreation through a life-long union of equal but complimentary souls (Genesis 2:24). In the classic work, Marriage: The Mystery of Faithful Love, author, philosopher and theologian Dietrich von Hildebrand reminds us of the divine origin of natural marriage and its fulfillment of sacramental grace in the New Testament in which marriage is the visible construct of Christ’s love for the Church and for our very souls.

    This is a small, almost pocket-sized work of marital spirituality that found itself out of print in the United States but ironically remained popular in Europe. Thanks to non-profit publisher Sophia Institute Press, we have the luxury of being reintroduced to this short and pithy work. For marriage today, as when von Hildebrand wrote the book, is suffering from demonization and contempt, which threatens the very foundation of society.  

    It is in the rediscovery of true, transcendent and selfless love that we can fully understand the purpose and means of marriage and its role in the life of the Church and in the sanctification of humanity. As von Hildebrand rightly points out, marriage is not only a sacrament but it is a vocation with it being near equal to the Sacrament of Holy Orders.  

    And if marriage is a vocation then it is logical to understand that it is God who calls us to serve him in this manner. And it is He that gives us the graces to carry it out in full – we need only to respond with acceptance. This is the core of Marriage – a call to reawaken the understanding of man and woman in this oldest of institutions.  

    Sophia Institute Press sent me a complimentary copy of this book for me to review. You can purchase this book here.  

    I wrote this review of Marriage for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, the largest Catholic store online. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.  

    Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.  

    I also receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.