Friday, March 2, 2012

Doctors of the Church Book Review

   The Catholic Company sent me a book to review written by Pope Benedict XVI called Doctors of the Church.  This was the first time I had read anything written by our Holy Father and in his book he shares a collection of synopses of the great saints and teachers of our faith.  I would call his book "a treasure trove" of poignant life histories of men and women who followed the gospel and desired to answer God's call by teaching others the Word of God.

   Many of the saints I was familiar with on a rudimentary level such as St. Augustine of Hippo and St. Therese of Lisieux.  Others such as St. Lawrence of Brindisi and St. Isidore of Seville, I had never heard of.   In total, there are 32 saints discussed in his book, who are all recognized as Doctors of the Church.   Reading the lives of these saints illustrates that just because you have a devoted prayer life, does not mean that your life will be without trials and suffering.  These men and women carried heavy crosses in their lifetimes and wrestled with doubt during their lives.

   The Doctors of the Church taught about prayer, charity, love, sacrifice, and obedience during their times through example and by their speeches, documents, poems and songs.  Their life experiences are relevant to the modern day Christian.  We live in times of struggle, pain and suffering just like they did.  These men and women are the best role models on how to cope with our individual struggles and those in the larger community.  They didn't keep to themselves, they stepped out into their society and shared their faith with others even if it was against popular opinion.

     After reading this book, I have a greater understanding of the problems these great men and women faced, how they overcame their obstacles by relying on the Grace of God, and how their teachings formed the church that we know today.  God calls forth men and women throughout history to defend His Church and to evangelize it.  We must praise and thank God for choosing wisely and we must all thank these Doctors of the Church for responding to His call.  I read my way through this book very slowly to absorb the messages of these great men and women.  It's not a book to be read lightly in my opinion or else you'll miss the nuggets of brilliance in their lives.  This 269 page book has a different saint in each chapter, so the reader can jump around at will.  Pope Benedict's book is a handy resource to have in any Catholic household.

  You can purchase your own copy of Doctors of the Church, or Catechism of the Catholic Church or a Catholic Bible at the Catholic Company.

  "The mission of the Church in every age is to introduce the world to Christ, its savior.  The Church cannot accomplish her mission without learned men and women who are saints of God."  - Francis Cardinal George



  1. HI Noreen!
    This sounds like a great read! I love reading about the lives of the Saints and Church History for it gives me a deeper love and appreciation for how much men and women, young and old, sacrificed to pass down our beautiful faith and truths! Thanks for the review!
    Do you mind grabbing my new blog button since you still have my old one on your sidebar?

    Thanks and God bless!

  2. Noreen,

    I didn't realise there are so many Doctors of the Church. Obviously I need to read more about them! I wonder how many are women, and when the last saint was declared a Doctor. I guess the answers are in the book.

    Thank you for your review.

    God bless!