In this series of brief spiritual exercises, Archbishop Bruno Forte-an eminent churchman, a world-renowned scholar, and a passionate Christian-guides the reader in a prayerful encounter with Jesus. Blending lectio divina and Ignatian spirituality, this catechumenal journey invites all disciples into a deep contemplation of Scripture.
Based on the Gospel of Mark, the shortest and oldest of the four gospels that succeeded in evangelizing the Church's first generation, these spiritual exercises walk readers through the life of Jesus. Applying his scholarship and faith conviction, Archbishop Forte considers how Jesus lived, faced death, and confronted the future of his mission for humanity. A meditation on Jesus' obedience, self-denial, love, courage, and trust as portrayed in Mark's narrative illuminates the path to discipleship.
Believers and inquiring non-believers alike are prompted to reflect on their own lives as disciples of Christ: Which steps should I take in order to free myself from evil and guide my life firmly in accordance? What choices must I make in order to give full meaning to my life as a follower of Jesus? What am I called to put into practice so that my life is a source of light and love for others? In this formative experience, readers come face to face with Jesus, embarking on a journey from darkness to light, from doubt to faith, from passive acceptance to active participation.
Features & Benefits:
- Combines accessible scholarship, pastorship, and discipleship
- Sequentially follows the Gospel of Mark
- Mirrors the three classic movements of the spiritual life: purgative, illuminative, and unitive
- Contains personal reflection questions
- Provides a historical, geographical, and cultural/social context for understanding the Gospel
- Applies Scripture/the life of Jesus to how it can inform readers' spiritual lives
- Based on a Gospel that is an easy introduction for catechumens and inquirers
- Relevant for Lenten meditations
About the Author:
Bruno Forte was ordained to the priesthood in 1973 and named Archbishop of Chieti-Vasto, Italy, in 2004. A renowned theologian, Forte obtained his doctorate in theology at the Theological Faculty of Naples, Italy, and subsequently studied in Tübingen, Germany, and Paris, France.
In 2011, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him one of the founding members of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization. Forte is also a member of the Pontifical Council for Culture and the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity. For two five-year terms he was part of the International Theological Commission of the Holy See.
Widely published in Europe and Latin America, several of his books have been published in North America, including The Trinity As History: Saga of the Christian God (St Pauls/Alba House, 1989), Why Go to Confession?: Reconciliation and the Beauty of God (Pauline Books & Media, 2007), and The Portal of Beauty: Towards a Theology of Aesthetics (Eerdmans, 2008).
What Are People Saying about this Title?
"In Face to Face with Jesus, the Gospel of Saint Mark comes alive as a manual of Christian living for all those seeking to know the fullest expression of human love found only in the Risen Lord."
Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington
"This is a small book that will have a big impact on your life. Archbishop Bruno Forte combines the knowledge of a theologian with the passion of a devoted disciple to create a book that is a must-read for any believer."
Jennifer Fulwiler, author of ConversionDiary.com
"By reading the story as an initiation into the life-long journey of faith for catechumens, Archbishop Forte provides a valuable pastoral resource for RCIA and Adult Faith Formation groups."
Pheme Perkins, PhD, professor of theology, Boston College
At the center of Christian life and ministry is the Bible, and at the center of the Bible are the Gospels. These powerful narratives of birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus were written by the first century Christians in order to inform and instruct the new and aspiring followers about the essential aspect of Jesus’ unique message and mission. Among the four canonical Gospels, the Gospel of Mark is usually assumed to be the earliest one written, and a source and inspiration for the other two “synoptic” Gospels. It is the shortest and in many respects the rawest of all the Gospels. It uses very direct and even unrefined language and narrative structure. The Jesus that Mark presents to us can sometimes seem very rough. This is not the “nice” Jesus that has pervaded many modern sentimentalist ideas about Him, and influenced much of the “moralistic therapeutic deism” that passes for Christianity in many circles these days. In “Face to Face with Jesus” Bruno Forte takes Mark’s Gospel as the starting point for his more intimate exploration of Jesus and what a genuine encounter with Him means for our lives. This very short book is not meant to be a commentary on Mark’s Gospel. Forte uses several passages from this Gospel in order to illustrate his points and evince insights, sometimes quoting the passages at length. The familiarity with Mark’s Gospel is of course desirable, but not necessary, for full appreciation of this book. Rereading it would probably be a good idea though. The book reads like a very well written extended homily. Forte’s style is very erudite and yet approachable – this is by no means a recondite theological thesis. “Face to Face with Jesus” makes demands on us to take Jesus’ work and ministry very seriously and open ourselves to the possibility of radical inner transformation that He asks from us. Forte is also very clear in promoting a very strong emphasis on the radically different and supernatural nature of Jesus’ message and life. Many Christians, even the most faithful ones, fall into the trap of conceptually and rhetorically sacrificing Jesus’ divinity in order to make him more accessible and intelligible in terms of modern social and cultural categories. “Face to Face with Jesus” is, fortunately, not one of those books. Even though this is a very short book, the reader should really take his time to go through it thoughtfully and deliberately. Anything else would not do it justice. As a spiritual nourishment I highly recommend it to everyone wanting to grow in their faith. **** Book provided by the publisher for review purposes. ****