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Remember Jesus Christ: Responding to the Challenges of Faith in Our Time [Paperback]

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Item description for Remember Jesus Christ: Responding to the Challenges of Faith in Our Time by Raniero Cantalamessa & Marsha Daigle-Williamson, PH.D....

What place does Christ have in modern society? Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, the preacher to the papal household, asked that question in a series of Advent and Lent meditations presented to Pope Benedict XVI. In Remember Jesus Christ, which is based on these meditations, he argues that the church must become "fishers" of men before becoming "shepherds" of men. It must proclaim, as the apostles did, that "Jesus Christ is Lord!" And the essential core of that proclamation is the passion and death of Jesus, because God is love, and the cross of Christ is supreme proof of that love, Scripture, personal testimonies, and allusions to works of art reinforce Cantalamessa's powerful and prophetic message, leaving readers with hope and expectant faith in the future of Christianity in the modern world.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Word Among Us Press
Pages   149
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.98" Width: 5.32" Height: 0.32"
Weight:   0.36 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 2007
Publisher   WORD AMONG US PRESS #1425
ISBN  1593251092  
ISBN13  9781593251093  

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More About Raniero Cantalamessa & Marsha Daigle-Williamson, PH.D.

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! RANIERO CANTALAMESSA, O.F.M. Cap., has been the papal preacher to since 1980, serving in that capacity for three popes: John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis. He is a former professor of History of early Christianity, head of the department of religious studies at the Catholic University in Milan, member of the International Theological Commission and author of numerous books. He lives in Rome, Italy.

Raniero Cantalamessa currently resides in Rome.

Raniero Cantalamessa has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Lent/Easter

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Catholic
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Christology

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Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Roman Catholic

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Reviews - What do customers think about Remember Jesus Christ: Responding to the Challenges of Faith in Our Time?

Cantalamessa takes me by hand to the depths of Christ, oh what riches!  Nov 4, 2008
People get deceived and deceive others when they think that the Catholic Church doesn't begin with Jesus. This book is a collection of meditations presented to the pontifical household in the presence of Pope Benedict XVI. It is based on a verse from the Bible in 2 Timothy 2: 8 as the apostle Paul exhorts Timothy, his true son in the faith, to "remember Jesus Christ". Fr Cantalamessa, a real favourite theologian of mine, quotes in chapter 1 What Augustine had to say commenting on Christ's answer to Peter: "Upon this rock I will build the faith which you have just confessed. Upon what you have said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God, I will build my church." I enjoyed reading this part over and over again.

If we really think about it, that is what all Christian doctrine is primarily founded upon: You are Christ the Son of the Living God. That is the only foundation that the Church is founded upon. Catholics don't claim anything otherwise. It is always about "faith in Christ" and his centrality in our lives, whether we are Catholics or any type of Christian denomination. On p. 31, Fr Cantalamessa asserts that Chris is the specific and primary object of belief.On p. 46 he asserts that the doctrine of justification freely given through faith is not Paul's invention but is the clear teaching of Christ. Jesus went about proclaiming, "The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel"(Mark 1: 15). What Christ meant by the expression "the Kingdom of God"- God's salvific initiative, his offer of salvation to all humanity- is called the righteousness of God by St. Paul. The "Kingdom of God" and the "righteousness of God" are set alongside each other by Jesus Himself when he says "Seek first the Kingdom of God his righteousness" (Matt. 6:33). Whenever Jesus said,"Repent and believe in the Gospel" he was already teaching justification by faith. Before him, repenting always meant "turning back" (which is the literal meaning of "shub" , the Hebrew word for "repent"). It means turning back, through a renewed observance of the law to the covenant that had been broken. To convert, consequently, has primarily an ascetic, moral and penitential signification, and it is implemented through changing one's behaviour. Repentance is seen as a condition for salvation; it means "repent and you will be saved; repent and salvation will come to you".

On p. 48 Fr Cantalamessa makes a beautiful observation: If we had been told that the door to enter salvation is innocence, or the exact observance of the commandments, or this or that virture, we would be in trouble! Who could hope to be saved? [ This brought to my mind people in the Western culture who say, I am good and I hurt nobody and so I am just as good as you are if you are "saved"]. But instead we are told that the door is faith, and the possibility is not too high for you and not too far from you; it is not "beyond the sea" (see Deut. 30: 13). It is "on your lips and on your heart", says the apostle (Romans 10: 18). It is within everyone's reach. God has created us free perhaps precisely so that we could make this act of faith. Then Fr Cantalamessa points out that the justification "by faith" involves an entirely special kind of faith: "the faith by which we lay hold upon Christ (apprehensiva Christi), as Luther calls it. The fact that the preacher to the papal household, Fr Cantalamessa, would quote Luther for making a good point even though Luther is what he is and he started this schism in the church......this makes Fr Cantalamessa really BIG in my eyes, commanding my utmost respect and admiration. He is applying the Biblical principle of testing the spirits and holding onto what is good; the principle of St. Ignatius that says to find God in everything. Then Fr Cantalamessa makes a sweet comment as he says, "Taking for oneself what belongs to another is sinful and is punished by law, but to do that with Christ is not only permitted but highly recommended". I really enjoyed immensely reading this statement that comment of his. As a Muslim, I was nothing more than a "slave" of Allah with my eyes bowed down to the ground consumed by fear and uncertainty. Not so in Christianity. We are to come boldly before the throne of grace as the epistle of Hebrews teaches us, then we march on to Christ, cast ourselves in his bosom in trusting filial love and in the boldness of children of God and not be hesitant in the least but take for ourselves what belongs to Christ. After all, that is why He came: to admit us into His paradise and have EVERYTHING that belongs to Him. Our Lord Jesus allowed us to call God by the same title He himself addressed God, Abba, Papa, father, daddy, etc. We are to take everything that belongs to God, persevering in holiness in order to be modern day saints. Fr Cantalamessa continues to say to us that Christ "instigates" us to make an unearned appropriation! ("Unearned" in this case means not owned, not merited, but completely free!). He exhorts us to appropriate his holiness. This is what it means that Christ is our righteousness, God becomes the source of any good in me and it all is rooted in Christ and Christ alone. We have nothing of our own; if anything, we are filthy beggars! The Lord comes and takes our rags on our bodies and gives us a good bath, washes us away from our sins and moral stains, and gives us the fanciest clothes to wear and radiate his beauty. Please see Isaiah 61: 10. In Paul's personal experience, he could see how God had acted in his own life. For many years, Paul was like a man going through a forest at night with a small candle. He is very careful that it does not go out because it is the only thing he had to light his path. But as he continues walking the dawn comes. The sun rises on the horizon and his small light quickly pales in comparison., so that he no longer even notices it and throws the candle away. The small candle for Paul was his righteousness, a paltry, smoldering wick, even if it was based on high-sounding merits: circumcised on the eighth day, belonging to the people of Israel, being a Hebrew, a Pharisee, blameless in his observance of the law (see Phil. 3: 5-6). One fine day, the sun appeared on the horizon of his life: the "sun of righteousness" that he calls in this text with boundless devotion "Christ Jesus my Lord". Now his own righteousness appears as "loss" and "refuse" and he does not want his own righteousness any longer, but the righteousness that comes from faith. In a dramatic way God made Paul himself first experience what he was called to reveal to the church. (page 52). On p. 53 Fr Cantalamessa says what resonates strongly with what the Lord has taught me in prayer: it is clear that, for Paul, the central focus of everything is not a doctrine, not even a doctrine of justification by faith, but a person: Christ. What he desires above all else is to "be found in him", to "know him" (Phil. 3: 9, 10). For the apostle, Christ is a real, living person, not an abstraction comprised of titles and doctrines. For Paul, mystical union with Christ through participation in his Spirit (living "in Christ" or "in the Spirit") is the ultimate goal of Christian life; justification by faith is only the beginning and the means of attaining it. This calls us to go beyond the incidental polemical interpretations of the Pauline messages that are centered on the question of faith and works and to rediscover beneath them the genuine thought of the apostle. What he is first of all eager to affirm is not that we are justified by "faith", but that we are justified by faith "in Christ". It is not so much that we are justified by "grace" but that we are justified by the grace of "Christ".

On p. 61 Fr Cantalamessa quotes the early Fathers of the Church as saying something beautiful about Christ: "Contact with him divinizes us; therefore, he must be God". I love this kind of way of doing apologetics!

On p. 91, Fr Cantalamessa sets a comparison between two kinds of struggle in prayer: struggle of Jacob with God and struggle of Jesus in prayer. In that infamous passage hahah of Gens. 32: 23-32 that I always used as an excuse for not accepting Christianity and mocking the Bible as a Muslim till 1987, Jacob struggles with God and tell him that he won't let let him go until he will bless him. Jacob is convinced that by using the power of God (his idea of being blessed) that comes from knowing the name of God, he will be able to prevail over his brother Esau, who is coming to meet him. God does bless him but does not reveal his name to him. In essence, the Lord is saying, you want to be blessed? Sure, that is what I am for, to bless you, my child Jacob. But Jacob struggles in his prayers to bend God to his will while Jesus in Gethsemane struggles to bend his human will to God. He struggles because "the Spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak" (Mark 14: 38). This presents me Ibrahim with a question, do I struggle in prayer to persuade God to change his mind, more than to have myself changed and accept his will? Because we are near-sighted, we persevere in praying that God would change his mind and have our way. I should pray to have myself changed and accept his will. We should be like Jesus who "in the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death" (Heb. 5: 7). The results of 2 prayers are different: God didn't tell Jacob his name, but he will give Jesus the name above all names (See Phil. 2: 9-11). As we follow Jesus model in prayer, bending our wills before the Lord, the roles can be inverted: God becomes the one who beseeches you, and you are beseeched. You go to prayer to ask God for something, and as you pray, you realize little by little that it is God, extending his hand to you, who is asking you for something. Now, God is asking you to accept this or that cross, that situation, that position, etc.
Outstanding  Mar 28, 2008
This book reflects on what made it possible for the early message (Kerygma) of the Christians be able to take hold. He deeply respects the contributions of the reformers from Luther to Wesley and points how the essence of the message was simply Christ. Christ is the point of origin which left behind a wake. The wake being the Church. While the Church certainly dwells on the doctrine, it must be ever more focused on its source, Christ, if it hopes to penetrate the culture that has regressed back to a pagan or hedonistic past.

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