As we announced last weekend at Mass, we recently purchased a subscription to Formed.org which contains many resources that you can use to grow in your understanding of God and your relationship with him. You can access any of these resources by visiting the formed.org website and entering FTFWEZ into the box that says, “Parish Access Code.” You do not have to be a member of our parish to enjoy these resources. Some of these resources are very well known and I’d like to suggest a few of them to look at.
In the Books section there are a couple of resources that I have used and find helpful. The first is Peter Kreeft’s book, You Can Understand the Bible. This is a great book for anyone who has ever picked up the Bible and tried to read it but found it very confusing. The book gives a brief synopsis of each book of the Bible and explains why it was written, who the important people are, and explains the themes they contain. I use this book all the time to orient myself to the stories told in the Bible.
Another good resource in the books section is a story called, Rome Sweet Home by Scott and Kimberly Hahn. At this time, you can only read the first four chapters but hopefully they will add the whole thing soon. I read Rome Sweet Home, in college and found it inspiring. Scott Hahn was an anti-Catholic protestant pastor who wound up becoming Catholic. His wife Kimberly became Catholic a few years later. Rome Sweet Home is the story of how this came about. They explain their reasons in the book in fairly simple terms. This book really made me proud to be Catholic.
Speaking of Scott Hahn, he also has a talk that he recorded in the Audio section. His talk The Lamb’s Supper is one of the best explanations of the Mass you will ever hear (minus the cheesy joke at the beginning). He shows that the Mass has deep roots in scripture. I also heard this talk in college and I owe Dr. Hahn a great debt because he taught me to love the prayer that we offer every Sunday in our parishes. He explains that the Mass really is based on scripture and fits beautifully into what God has done all throughout history.
There is another talk in the Audio section that you might find inspiring. It is From Atheism to Catholicism, by Jennifer Fulwiler. I had an opportunity to meet Jennifer last summer and hear her speak. She is young, smart, pretty, and articulate and her explanation of how she came to be Catholic is very inspiring and very thought provoking. I think you’ll like it.
The Programs section is better suited for classroom style faith formation programs. We are using the Beloved program for marriage preparation. We also might begin using some of the Reborn resources for baptism classes. Just because these resources are better suited for a classroom setting doesn’t mean that they can’t help you so if you think something looks interesting, check it out! You might find it helpful.
The exception here is the Catholicism series by Bishop Robert Barron. If you haven’t seen this yet you really are missing out. It is a great presentation that shows the beauty of our faith. The content is deep, but very engaging and the production quality is very high. It’s something I’m proud to share with friends and family. It makes our faith look very attractive.
I hope you will find these resources and the others available on Formed.org helpful.