Good Devotional, Albeit Verbose

Living the Mysteries: A Guide for Unfinished ChristiansLiving the Mysteries: A Guide for Unfinished Christians by Scott Hahn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a good little devotional. It is, in fact, much smaller than my time to read it suggests. It has 50 passages on the mysteries of the Church, meant to be read each day following Easter, so that the final reading falls on Pentecost. I wish I had read it to succinctly. I also wish I had maintained an attempt to memorize the memorization bits for each day, to make the devotional more effective in my life.

That said, the book was not perfect. The translations were, occasionally, quirky. The content of each passage was not always clear. These two details can be written up to the habits of the Novus Ordo and the designated audience (i.e., Roman Catholics), respectively, so they are not huge losses. I do not think that the passages were nearly long enough to have three “prayer” quotes, one “memorization” quote, and one “application” lesson for each reading. Some of those passages were downright paltry, and takes quotes from them to be reiterated three seconds after you finish reading them is… well, it’s good rote, but it’s bad reading. So your mileage may vary, as that goes.

Overall, it was a good book with some good lessons on the mysteries; definitely a must-read for anyone curious about or questioning the sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church. Its use of ancient writers, rather than Scott Hahn and Mike Aquilina’s own writings (nothing against them personally or professionally, but they are modern, and there’s a certain orthodox delight in relying on the older gents), makes for enlightening reading, although it may – at times – feel disjointed and forced. Also, the introductions to each passage offered by Hahn and Aquilina are often redundant and occasionally excessive; I see little need for their presence, except to tilt the scales toward “original content” in the book.

At any rate – a good read, and done at last.

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