Review: Eucharistic Miracles and Eucharistic Phenomena in the Lives of the Saints by Joan Carroll Cruz

Eucharistic Miracles: And Eucharistic Phenomenon in the Lives of the SaintsI have received many books to review this Summer and time seems to be flying so quickly! Going from book to book, summer is almost over. However, The Catholic Man Reviews is committed to delivering to you quality Catholic Reviews and will continue to do so.

TAN Books kindly sent me a copy of one of their books which I have always wanted to read but couldn’t find a copy of it in any Toronto Public Library branch. The book is titled, Eucharistic Miracles and Eucharistic Phenomena in the Lives of the Saints by Joan Carroll Cruz. I have read a title by Joan Carroll Cruz some time ago called, See How She Loves Us: 50 Approved Apparitions of Our Lady. From what I have read so far and looking through all of her titles, I just love how many of the books she wrote are all about miracles in the Catholic Church. I hope to read many more of her books in the future.

Eucharistic Miracles and Eucharistic Phenomena in the Lives of the Saints is a book for those who are interested and has a strong devotion to the Eucharist. Personally, I have a great love for the Church’s Liturgy and I reflected on the Sacrament of the Eucharist focusing on the fact of Jesus’ true presence in the Eucharist.

A Eucharistic miracle I have known of for quite some is the miracle of Lanciano. To no surprise to me, the miracle was the first chapter of the book. However, in this book, Cruz goes a little more deeper into the story of the miracle and the aftermath of the relic. Also featured are detailed black and white pictures of the miracle.

Most of the miracles in the book I have never even heard of before such as the miracle Braine, France or the miracle of Macerata, Italy… just so many I have never even heard of before. Close to 40 Eucharistic Miracles are gathered in this book, 32 of which are chapters, dedicated to a specific miracle. Chapter 33 recalls lesser known miracles in which only little information is known about them.

Scattered throughout the book are black and white images of the Eucharistic Relics themselves, some with close-up detail of the relics. This feature was interesting. Sometimes, we take pictures for granted. But to look at pictures of the relics, bring the story of the miracles to life.

Part two of the book is all about “Eucharistic Phenomena in the Lives of the Saints”. This  section seemed interesting as I didn’t know much Eucharistic Phenomena in the lives of different saints. There were numerous stories compiled in this section. Each type of phenomena were categorized in a different section. Reading the book, I saw the chapter levitation to be the most interesting of them all. Also, reading these phenomena, one can see how deeply devoted these saints are to God and how deep they can fall in prayer. This is simply amazing!

Eucharistic Miracles and Eucharistic Phenomena in the Lives of the Saints by Joan Carroll Cruz is indeed a book that would interest every Catholic, especially those who have a great devotion to the Eucharist!

Purchase the book here from TAN books: https://www.tanbooks.com/index.php/eucharistic-miracles-and-eucharistic-phenomenon-in-the-lives-of-the-saints-2756.html (print copy)

 

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Review: Catholic Prayer Cards

Prayer Cards.jpg

Catholics must have these stuffed everywhere in their prayer books, or stuffed in a box… those are prayer cards or also called holy cards. I myself have collected them over the years and currently have over 500 prayer cards in a box.

Probably many have at least one of those common prayer cards from the Italian Fratelli Bonella company from Milan. Their cards are sold all around the world. However, today I’d like to review a different company that produces prayer cards. The family run business, http://www.catholicprayercards.org is run by the Bond Family. Over the years, they have produced about 500 different designs of prayer cards, about $0.35 USD each. They also do personalized Holy Cards at http://www.personalizedholycards.com for special occasions such as First Holy Communion, Confirmation, Ordinations, Funerals… almost any occasion you can think of! All again, inexpensively priced… affordable. Catholic Prayer Cards also carry a wide range Christmas and Easter cards, Saint medals from Italy, rosary parts (for rosary makers), cigars, nuts and even honey! Catholic Prayer Cards also has a “Donate to Mission” program, in which one can donate Holy Cards at a price of only 3 cents per card.

I was blessed to receive a sampler pack of 75 of prayer cards from Catholic Prayer Cards. The sampler contains Catholic Prayer Cards’ “75 most popular holy cards in a convenient clear plastic case”. I was thrilled when the package came in the mail (with tracking number).

The prayer cards are fairly small, the size of a regular business card (3.5″ x 2″). Each prayer card is printed in full colour, front and back and have a glossy protective film on both sides, similar to a deluxe business card. It is printed on fairly sturdy cardstock.

I looked through each and every prayer card and loved looking at the classic Catholic art pieces such as the popular Trinity Icon by Andrei Rublev, and a famous depiction of Mary, Our Lady of the Angels by William Bouguerau. I liked how not all the prayer cards were of portait orientation, but many are of landscape orientation, which allows art of landscape orientation to be reproduced beautifully. Some cards contain images of Christ, and the Blessed Virgin Mary while many are of different saints. There are saints and blesseds whom I have never heard before such as Bl. Imelda Lambertini. I assume that these sampler packs are updated from time to time because I saw a prayer card of St. Teresa of Calcutta (with the title of St.) and she was just canonized late 2016.

Some of the prayer cards don’t contain prayer but contain lists (like the 12 fruits of the Holy Spirit), or a short biography of a saint or quotes from a particular saint. The front contains an image, beautifully reproduced.

I really like the size of the prayer cards. They fit the pocket of my wallet perfectly. What I would suggest as part of a morning routine is to put all of these prayer cards in a basket and before you go to school or work, to pick out a prayer card from the basket and pray that prayer throughout the day and meditate on the piece of sacred art on the front. It is an easy way to get into the habit of prayer if one cannot pray for long periods of time.

If one wanted to purchase Holy Cards that are of good quality and inexpensive, I would recommend http://www.catholicprayercards.org. From what I see, these cards will last be for a long time and their customer service is reliable!

As special thanks to the Bond Family for sending me a sampler of your prayer cards to review on The Catholic Man Reviews.

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On The Catholic Man Scale

Customer service: ★★★★★ 5/5

Delivery to Canada from U.S.A.: ★★★★★ 5/5

Holy Cards quality: ★★★★★ 5/5

Please visit www.catholicprayercards.org to learn more about their products!

Totally Catholic Tees T-Shirts Review

Totally Catholic Tees

***All images used throughout this review, except for those used in the slideshow are from www.totallycatholicstees.com***

Summer time is here and The Catholic Man has quite of few product reviews to be published, so stay tuned!

I have recently received four t-shirt from Totally Catholic Tees. In my wardrobe, I have a lot of t-shirts from various Catholic events such as camps, conferences etc. I never had a non-event Catholic t-shirt before. I have seen many Catholic t-shirts worn at events such as the Lift Jesus Higher Rally in Toronto and Steubenville Toronto… those Catholic events. Do I see such t-shirts worn outside? Rarely. However, I believe that Catholic t-shirts are a form of evangelization. Many like to wear t-shirts with superhero logos such as Spiderman, Superman, Batman… Why are Catholics ashamed to wear a t-shirt that bears the image or symbol of the ultimate superhero Jesus?

Totally Catholic Tees is a Catholic t-Shirt business that has been running for over 20 years. Its head are Sam and Tracy and they too had in mind the theme of evangelization when opening their business. According to their bio, “Sam is a pretty big guy and he used that to his advantage and wore christian t-shirts everywhere he went. What he really wanted was to share his particularly deep Catholic faith, but no one was making catholic t-shirts and if they were they were poor quality and had “cheesy” messages.” That is no longer the case with Totally Catholic Tees’ birth. Today, their website sells dozens of different Catholic designs of t-shirts, all “cool” designs, pleasing to today’s fashion. Besides t-shirts, Totally Catholic Tees also has girly tees, a variety of hoodies and so far a Catholic canvas cinch sac. Also, if you go to a Catholic Conference, be sure to keep an eye out for a group with t-shirts by Totally Catholic Tees as they also customize designs at a discounted rate for retreats, confirmation program gifts, parish fundraisers, World Youth Day pilgrimages, diocesan conferences, etc. The last time I contacted them, they were busy for Steubenville Conferences season.

Now on to the t-shirts themselves… As I mentioned earlier, Totally Catholic Tees sent me four different t-shirts, adult male, medium size. When I first opened the package, I was amazed at the different designs.

  1. IACblack-front.pngI Am Catholic Premium Tee – This was probably my most favourite design. I received a lot of great feedback with this t-shirt. This t-shirt was simple in design and really shows one’s pride to be Catholic. The site describes this t-shirt as, “A simple front with a graphic of the Eucharist as the “i”. On the back our signature “I Believe” with the creed.” When I took off my sweater and some guys I was working with saw the t-shirt, they said, “Wow, bold statement!” Indeed, I would say so… Are we ready and proud to say, “I AM CATHOLIC”? Or are we scared that people would make fun of us? The back contains the Nicene Creed. The Creed forms the letter I with the word BELIEVE in the background. I really liked this design!
  2. SPWnavy-front.pngSpiritual Warfare Premium Tee – This one was of very interesting and cool design. The website’s description on this t-shirt, “On the Front “Spiritual Warfare” with the Crucified Christ as a sword with the words armor of God underneath. On the back the same sword with the scripture quote from Ephesians, “put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil”. It was interesting how the quote from Ephesians was incorporated into such a cool graphic design. A proverb said, “A picture is worth a thousand words”. The graphic made me reflect on the bible verse for quite some time. As Catholics, we are called to defend the Church and that is what this t-shirt reminds me. Are we willing to be martyrs for Christ? Are we willing to be humiliated because of our faith? When I put on this t-shirt, that is what I ask myself.
  3. I Can DAllThingsapplegreen-front.pngo All Things Premium Tee – I am not a big fan of green, I would of had preferred the navy-blue one but it was worth trying a new Catholic t-shirt. Besides, the Spiritual Warfare t-shirt was navy blue! Different from the other shirts was that this t-shirt was made up of a more light fabric while the other t-shirts were printed on the tradition cotton t-shirts. The shirt’s description as on the website, “Front left chest: I can do all things… on back a great cross design with the full scripture quote from Philippians 4:13.” I liked how this one had a design on the front left chest for a change. I really liked the design of the cross on the back with Philippians 4:13 which corresponds to the graphic on the front, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. Life gets tough at times and there are moments when one may feel like giving up, especially at work and at school. Yet, this t-shirts gives one that boost for the day. It serves that Christ is with them at all times and that He felt the same tiredness, same pains, and the same happiness as us.
  4. ROCKgray.pngApostolic Succession Premium Tee – This is one of the t-shirts you would want if you had a Catechism test on the chronology of Popes and you’ll see why. “A cool vintage design THE ROCK overlaying the list of popes from St. Peter to Pope Francis. Representing with the keys and the scripture notation Matt. 16:18 (You are Peter and on this rock I will build my church…) Apostolic Succession since XXXIII A. D.” I wore the shirt one day and explained how it had the name of every Pope from the first Pope, St. Peter to the 266th Pope today, Pope Francis. All 266 names are fitted onto the square. Need a name of a Pope on a test? Count all the Popes from St. Peter! (Just kidding 🙂 ) This t-shirt serves as a reminder to pray for the Pope as he is the shepherd of the whole Catholic Church. He must face serious issues in the Church everyday and we need to pray that he may succeed in solving such issues. We also pray that the Pope can lead the Church always in faith, hope and charity.

Picture time!!! (Apologize that these pictures are not of highest quality… these pictures doesn’t do the t-shirts justice! Visit www.totallycatholictees.com for the highest quality images of their products.)

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On The Catholic Man’s Scale (products and services)

Customer Service (via e-mail): ★★★★★

Duration of order to delivery: ★★★★★ (not long as expected!)

Staff: ★★★★★

Care in packaging: ★★★★★ 

Trustworthiness: ★★★★★

Items arrived as expected: ★★★★★

T-shirt quality: (have to wear them much longer to know the quality)

T-shirt designs: ★★★★★

Honestly, I have to say that Totally Catholic Tees have one of the best Catholic t-shirt designs up in the market right now. The messages are straight forward and perfect for 21st century evangelization. After reading this review and you would like to put on a couple Catholic t-shirts, visit www.totallycatholictees.com and checkout their cool Catholic apparel store!

 

Review: The Catholic Man Backpack by 4Imprint

Image result for 4imprint logoThis must be one of the coolest items ever reviewed on The Catholic Man Reviews and therefore took some time to review. Through the generosity of 4Imprint Canada, a promotional products company, I was given an Atlas Laptop Backpack with my The Catholic Man logo embroidered on it with the promise that I would review on my website. For years, I have been thinking of opening a store full of items such as T-Shirts and Hoodies with The Catholic Man logo imprinted on it and potentially design a logo for females (just have to think of a cool Catholic name for ladies. If you have one, please contact me)!

I have always desired to have a backpack that would be suitable for retreats and for travel outside of school so to be able to carry a laptop and Liturgical texts and items in a dignified manner. I was scrolling through www.4imprint.ca and was amazed by their great selection of not just any plain backpacks but specifically laptop backpacks. Looking into laptop bags, I found the atlas laptop backpack which was looked simple and would suit my needs. I contacted 4Imprint and was able to get my very own The Catholic Man Backpack. I was very impressed with the design and quality. At first, I sent in a request for a screen printed logo. However, with one of its representive’s reccommendations, an embroidered logo was done instead in white.

The backpack itself has helped me a lot in many tasks. I often use those messenger laptop bags which I used throughout all of my trip to Brisbane, Australia which was inconvenient since the bag alone was of too much weight and I had to carry the weight on one of my shoulders or carry it in my hands. A backpack allows the weight to be spread out evenly. The backpack I received was very light. It also fit my HP 255 Laptop which is very useful when I have to bring my laptop somewhere. I also use the backpack to carry my alb and other Liturgical gadgets for altar serving. Recently, I have used the bag during meetings at the Parish Youth Group and it has pulled the attention of quite a few members, wondering how I got the bag branded. I have brought it to retreats and hope to use it on my next overseas trip (if it does happen soon). I have attached a few lapel pins and a couple keychains that I have received from many people I have met through conferences and retreats.

On The Catholic Man’s Scale

★★★★★ 5/5

A backpack that is now my “missionary backpack”. To me, it will be a great tool for evangelization and reminds me of my call to be a faithful Catholic wherever I go.

A big thank you to 4Imprint for your generosity.

If you think you would like to see a The Catholic Man bag or merchandise in your hands, comment below and we might start a The Catholic Man store!

Considering a promotion campaign? Visit www.4imprint.ca to know more and search their products!

Review: Our Sunday Visitor’s Daily Roman Missal, 7th Edition

Daily Roman Missal COVERT

Note: It has been more than a month since TCM’s last review. However, the Daily Roman Missal took some time to review. TCM reviews books by the order they arrive in. Therefore, some books may take longer than others to review and the number of reviews published per month may not be consistent. Thank you for understanding. 

One book I have wanted to review for a long time was the Daily Roman Missal, 7th Edition. The wish finally came true months ago (end of February 2017) when a FedEx package came from Our Sunday Visitor (OSV) with a copy of the Daily Roman Missal, 7th Edition, burgundy bonded leather edition. I was thrilled and carefully opened the Missal. The Missal is published by both OSV and Midwest Theological Forum (MTF) in which I have reviewed their Manual of Prayers months ago on this blog. The Daily Roman Missal was put together by Fr. James Socias, a priest of the prelature of Opus Dei. He also compiled the Handbook of Prayers

I was impressed first of all with the size of the Missal. When the Missal came, I expected it to be a little bit larger, especially because the Missal contained the readings and other prayers, not just the prayers of the Roman Missal. There are several edition of the Missal. The edition provided to me by OSV was the burgundy padded bonded-leather cover. I really like the feel of the padded cover and the bonded leather… it’s really nice to hold in your hands. The Missal was printed in Italy, the country where many Catholic articles come from such as rosaries and Holy Cards (especially the Fratelli Bonella Holy Cards… my favourite!).

Opening the Missal, I was a bit disappointed at how thin the pages of the Missal were. As you flip through the slideshow (below), you may see so. However, I think this is understandable as this Missal is thick (composed of 2514 pages). If it used the same paper as the Manual of Prayers, the book would be HEAVY like a brick! The six ribbons were neatly tucked into the pages (for the purpose of packing). The ribbons were of six different colours and neatly burned so the ends would not frey. Books by Midwest Theological Forum always provide an adequate number of ribbons. Its Manual of Prayers had two ribbons… more than enough for a prayer book. I used The Catholic Company’s  tutorial video.

The pages are gilded in gold. When I unwrapped the missal from the shrinkwrapped, I liked how the gilded edges were simply… shiny! They reflected the light beautifully. However, the top gilding in the corner where the ribbons are attached, it becomes worn out due to the rubbing of the ribbon against the edges of the missal (see image in slideshow).

The text… the most important part of the Missal! The text is printed in two colours: red and black, the colours one would see when using any Roman Missal. The red are the rubrics, instructions for the priest and the congregation. The text size of the readings and the Mass texts are about 12pt while the Latin text and other texts are of 10pt font. If I am not mistaken, the text is of Palatino Linotype, a font I really like to use because of its readability.

A feature that I love about this Missal is the use of Latin. The Order of Mass is printed with Latin on the left and English on the right. For study purposes, this is a great feature! (Note: the Prefaces are only in English) This Missal would be great to assist those on travel. Many Masses in Rome and the Vatican are celebrated in Latin. This is great to follow and actually respond during the Mass. The Antiphons and Gospel acclamation are printed in about 10pt font so to assist those who attend parishes who attend Masses at parishes which use the Latin version of the Antiphons and the Gospel acclamation (e.g. St. Michael’s Cathedral Basilica, Toronto uses Latin in their Antiphons). The Eucharistic Prayers of Reconciliation and for Various Needs are not provided in this Missal. However, they are available for use with this Missal through MTF’s website here. There are no print copies for sale sadly.

I have inquired to MTF years ago about what Lectionary Translation the Daily Roman Missal is composed of. I received a response saying that the Lectionary Readings are those used in the United States of America (New American Bible). Therefore sadly, the readings did not match the ones used in Canada as the CCCB uses the New Revised Standard Version Lectionary. It would not match the translation of the readings in other areas too such as Australia which uses the New Jerusalem Bible Lectionary. However, the meaning of the text do match the other translations, therefore good for study purposes. I use the Missal each night to find the day’s Mass readings and write reflections of it in my Spiritual Journal.

Moving towards the general prayer aspect of the Missal, there are more than 50 pages worth of prayers in the back, probably taken from MTF Handbook of Prayers.  An interesting feature is that this sections not only contains prayers, but contain a whole section called, “How to Be a Better Catholic”. It is, to me, like a condensed Catholic Handbook, or small Catechism… a very useful feature! The prayers in the back include basic prayers (sign of the cross, Lord’s prayer…), midday prayers, evening prayers, prayers for the preparation of Mass, prayers before Mass, prayers after Mass, the Eucharistic Adoration ritual, guide for confession, devotions to the Trinity, devotions to Our Lord (including the Stations of the Cross), devotions to the Holy Spirit, devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary (including the Rosary), devotions to St. Joseph, prayers at the time of death and other various prayers. Many prayers also come with its Latin translation too which is very convenient, especially when following the Pope when he’s praying the Rosary or the Angelus.

 

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Title: Daily Roman Missal Seventh Edition

Publisher: Midwest Theological Forum, Our Sunday Visitor

Format: Print, burgundy bonded leather cover, thin cream bible paper with red and black text

Dimensions (approximate): 7 x 4.7 x 2.4 inches

Imprimatur: Yes

ISBN: 9781936045594

Pros

  • Bonded leather cover gives it a very nice texture
  • NAB Lectionary Readings (for USCCB Churches)
  • Text is in black and red
  • Well constructed book, printed in Italy
  • Beautiful illustrations and art scattered throughout (in black and white)
  • Lays flat when opened
  • Order of Mass in both Latin and English (except for the Prefaces, English only)
  • Antiphons and Gospel Acclamation also provided in Latin
  • 6 ribbons of different colours, neatly burnt ends to prevent fraying
  • Gold gilded edges
  • High quality endpages
  • Good font size for reading (12pt for main texts, 10pt for rubrics and other texts)
  • Very brief commentary before Sunday’s readings and brief biography for Saint’s feast days
  • Wide variety of prayers in the back
  • Great for travelling pilgrims and travelling priests

Cons

  • Thin paper, able to see text on the other side
  • Extra care must be taken when turning the pages
  • Book is quite thick, 1514 pages
  • After constant use of the ribbons, the top edges of the page becomes worn, distorting the gilding on the top
  • The NAB readings are only in effect for the US, not for Canada or other english speaking areas
  • The Eucharistic Prayers of Reconciliation and for Various Needs are not provided in this Missal, only in a PDF file online

On “The Catholic Man’s” Scale

★★★★☆ 4/5

I really love the Daily Roman Missal. Despite its cons, the Missal is something Catholics should invest on so to help one attend Mass more actively, especially when travelling to a foreign country. I wish that there was a Daily Roman Missal with the NRSV Canadian readings so to follow along with the readings here in Canada. I believe this is a very dignified Missal. It may be good for use for travelling priests (this however, must be confirmed with the Diocesan bishop on the use of the Daily Roman Missal replacing the actual Roman Missal on travels).

I believe it would be nice to get a Missal cover to protect this great missal. I was snooping around and found www.missalcovers.com. I have not seen one of their products physically. However, looking at the pictures on their site, it seems like a Missal cover would be something worth buying for the Daily Roman Missal. These missal covers are made by Leah’s Legacy. I would certainly hope to see one of these covers one day so to review them here on The Catholic Man Reviews

A big thank you to Our Sunday Visitor for sending me this review copy! I appreciate it very much!

If you would like to purchase a copy of the Daily Roman Missal, visit the Our Sunday Visitor online store to purchase it online.

Review: The New American Bible Revised Edition – Black Zipper Duradera Compact Edition

70165Again, I am reviewing another product from Oxford University Press. This must be the best Bible from Oxford University Press for on-the-go Catholics like me. It is The New American Bible Revised Edition, Black Zipper Duradera Compact Edtion. It is the same Bible translation as the Oxford Catholic Study Bible.

I was very impressed when I first opened the Bible. It was shrink wrapped and to my surprise, it came in a very sturdy slipcase. This surprised me because the Bible itself is in the black duradera cover. So, the sturdy slipcase adds another layer of protection to the Word of God. I wished the Revised Standard Version Catholic Bible-Compact Edition by Oxford University Press would have a slipcase as I always have to be very careful not to have the page edges crushed when putting it in my bag with other books.

As mentioned above, the Bible is inside of a protective black duradera zipper cover. green-zipper-cover-new-american-bible4122lgDuradera is a durable synthetic leather. It sort of has that feel to authentic leather. The zipper has a Miraculous Medal on the zipper pull. If I were the designer of the zipper cover, I would have chosen a cross instead. The Bible is God’s word. Mary is not the primary figure of the Bible. This is not an important detail to the Bible, but I just wanted to point that out. The St. Joseph NABRE zippered Bible has a cross on its zipper pull (see picture on right). Beside that detail, I cannot compare the two as I have never held a St. Joseph NABRE Personal Size Bible yet.

Like the Revised Standard Version Catholic Bible-Compact Edition  (from now on referred to as the RSV Bible), this Bible has a gold ribbon marker and a presentation page. It also includes the Common Catholic Prayers and the Table of Weights and Measures like the RSV Bible. Unlike the RSV Bible, this Bible includes the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (Dei Verbum), the Lectionary Readings table and gilded edges.

The NABRE is my favourite translation after the NRSV-CE. I often cross reference the two translations when one has a word or story that I don’t understand clearly. However, what I do admire about the NABRE are the subheadings that indicate the story. Unlike the RSV-CE, there are the subheadings before each story (instead of just a space in between two stories) and a heading between each section. It even includes clear notes indicated by an asterisk in the text. This is a feature I see in most NABRE bibles. It really helps the reader gain a better grasp on the Bible text, especially for the more difficult ones. There is also a table of cross references to a passage that is found also in another book, after every Biblical book. Going more forward, there is an outline of the major events in before every Biblical book.

One thing I do have the say that like the RSV Bible, this NABRE Bible’s text is a bit small. However, it is something I did expect from a compact Bible. Bible maps would be a nice addition to this edition. As mentioned, I would put a cross instead of a miraculous medal on the zipper.

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In Summary

Product: The New American Bible Revised Edition – Black Zipper Duradera Compact Edition

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Format: Print, duradera zippered cover

Imprimatur: Yes

ISBN: 9780195298024

Dimensions: 4-1/2 x 6-1/8 inches

Published: June 2009

Pages: 1504

URL: https://global.oup.com/academic/product/the-new-american-bible-revised-edition-9780195298024?q=NABRE%20bible&lang=en&cc=us

Pros: 

  • Compact, easily put into a purse or backpack for school or workplace or retreats
  • Love the colourful page of common Catholic Prayers
  • Includes the Dei Verbum document
  • Tables of weights and measures of the Bible
  • Ribbon marker
  • Gilded edges
  • Zippered… no more worries about wrinkled pages while Bible is inside of backpack
  • Contain notes and references section after every Biblical Book
  • Lectionary tables for easy reference to Sunday and weekly Mass readings
  • Slipcase adds protection to the Bible

Cons

  • Text a bit small; not the best for those who don’t have good eyesight
  • Not a big fan of the miraculous medal on the zipper pull. A cross would be preferable.

On “The Catholic Man’s” Scale

★★★★★ 5/5

I really love this edition of the NABRE Bible. It is so convenient to bring on retreats and when travelling. I used this Bible when going to the Lift Jesus Higher Rally this past March. I hope to use this edition again at the Steubenville Conference this year in Oshawa. I do intend to use this edition as my official travelling Bible due to its zippered case and slipcase. The RSV Bible I plan to leave at home as it is the only RSV translation I have on my shelf.

BONUS! I even added the Rainbow Bible Tabs that Tabbies sent m58347-samplee. The size and colours work PERFECTLY with this Bible. The only thing was that the first few and last few tabs of the Bible are bent because of the zipper, but that’s no big deal. I attached them after taking pictures of them for this blog.

The Manga Bible Review

Manga Bible

The Catholic Man is back to blogging after receiving many cool Catholic products. Well, this may not really be Catholic, but more Christian in general. It was a great experience for me reading The Manga Bible kindly sent to me by Penguin, Random Books publis516mhrulx7l-_sy344_bo1204203200_hing and it is a Bible that I do recommend for teenagers who do not want to read the full Bible.

The Manga Bible: From Genesis to Revelation is (as the name suggests) a Bible in the Japanese manga type of art. I am sure many readers know about this unique type of art. It is very popular among teens, especially asian teens (please correct me if I am wrong!). The front page says the concept art was by Siku and the script was
written Akinsiku. According the About the Authors page, Siku “is one of Britain’s leading comic book creator/conceptualists… he worked for Marvel UK and COM X and has been credited  on a number of computer games, such as Evil Genius.” Siku also studied at Yaba’s School of Art, Design and Printing and the London School of Theology. Akin, the script writer on the other hand is a Nigerian who became obsessed with Japanese animation and kung-fu movies. He enjoys drawing and gets “paid to draw ugly pictures, write ugly stories and make TV ten hours a day.”

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Manga books often have right side binding

My first impression of the book was that it was thin to what I thought it was going to be. I had the chance to look at The Action Bible once at a bookstore and it was 752 pages. However, The Manga Bible is only 200 pages (in Bible stories, not including the appendix). Also, I expected that since it was a manga bible, the spine would be on the right like most Japanese manga books (if your read manga, I’m sure you’ll know what I’m talking about. The book itself is like any standard softcover book, left side binding… The pages are in black and white print just like most Japanese manga book. One thing I have to point out is how the margins are not wide. A small part of the pages on the binding are cut off. I had to force it to open flat in order to comfortably read it. I recommend that the margins be layout so that there can be room for the binding itself.

Now to the content itself. At least the subtitle, From Genesis to Revelation was sort of true. After finding out the book was only 200 pages, I knew there were some shortcuts. The book is based on the New International Version (NIV) translation which according to Catholic Answers is a dynamic translation which makes sense why it is used in this Bible meant for youth. However, it is not a Catholic translation, or at least not an approved Catholic translation (except for the Psalms) according to USCCB. There is no Imprimatur to it either but since it is a very basic Bible, it does not seem to cause harm to Catholics (please report any error to TCM Reviews if there are any in The Manga Bible). The book is divided into different sections based on the book of the Bible. It is narrated by certain characters. For example, the first part of Genesis was told by Moses to the Israelites as they were on the journey to the Promised Land. Quite an interesting script. The illustrations are filled with life I have to say and has that authentic manga effect on the reader. It is like reading a story. There are also citations to the actual Bible passage after each story through the “Want to Know More?” box.

However, I do have to comment on how the  Bible is missing several important stories such as the sermon on the mount and certain parables from the New Testament are also missing, particular that of the lost sheep and the lost coin. The story of the prodigal son was struck through and renamed, “the unforgiving brother” which was quite interesting. There were some parts where I expected more action such as that of the story of Jonah and the Crucifixion which did let me down.

On The Catholic Man’s Scale

★★★☆☆ (3/5)

URL: Penguin Books Random House

Overall, The Manga Bible has its pros and cons to it. I did have higher expectations for a bible called The Manga Bible. I expected much more action and the inclusion of more Bible stories. However, for a beginner’s bible, it is fine. It may help youth start to read the Bible.

From this book on, all of The Catholic Man reviews will also be available on GoodReads! 

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/59100645-vincent-pham 

Tabbies’ Bible Tabs Product Review

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This may be one of the most shortest reviews because it is not for a book, but a product that will enhance a book… Bible Tabs.

Tabbies sent me three sets of Bible Tabs to be reviewed on this site about two months ago. However, I wanted to attach them on one of my favourite bibles and use them for a while. Now I believe is the time to review them.

Tabbies sent me three different sets of Bible Tabs which they said were the most popular ones:

  1. Old & New Testament Plus Catholic Books, 96 Gold-Edged Tabs Including 71 Books & 25 Reference Tabs Large Print
  2. Old & New Testament Plus Catholic Books, 90 Gold-Edged Tabs Including 71 Books & 19 Reference Tabs
  3. Old & New Testament Plus Catholic Books, 90 Assorted Tabs Including 71 Books & 19 Reference Tabs

Did you notice something? All the sets sent includes the CATHOLIC BOOKS of the Bible (non-Catholic Bibles do not contain some books, and therefore a disaster if I did not have a Catholic Bible Tabs set).

I have many Bibles. However, I am waiting to review a few more Bibles and therefore, only attached one of the three sets sent.

I used one of the set of tabs on my St. Joseph NABRE Deluxe Gift Edition Bible of white bonded leather  which I received as a gift back in 2014. It has gold edges and is one of the larger Bibles I own and therefore, I decided to go with the Large Print tabs with gold edges (no.1).

The instructions included were very clear and included a “ruler” to be cut out in order to properly place the tabs. The tabs are like stickers. There is a clear adhesive part (the large print ones has the name of the book on the clear adhesive) on the two edges of the tab. Those are to be attached onto the Bible page. However, I made mistakes on several sections. When I attach the first half of the tabs, I flip the page over and unfortunately, it also pulled the second page. I did not realize this until AFTER placed the second half down. The package said that the tabs are permanent. I tried to peel off the clear adhesive to put it back on correctly. The actual cardstock tab part of the book (the part you see) with the Bible book’s abbreviation also has adhesive too. Thankfully, the tabs are not as permanent as I thought they would be and I managed to correct the tabs that I misplaced.

I thought the Bible was going to be thicker when the tabs were placed, therefore adding more bulk, but no. Tabbies’ tabs’ adhesive are tissue paper thin that it does not add any bulk to the Bible which made me pleased. The reference tabs are also very helpful.

Though, I do have to admit that I am impatient and tend to do things quickly. Attaching Bible tabs is something one SHOULD NOT rush I have learned. It takes patience. For the other two sets, I have learned that perhaps I should put on some Gregorian Chant when attaching the tabs…

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In Summary

Product: Large-print Bible Tabs, Gold Edge

Company: Tabbies

Format: Print, self-adhesive

Dimensions  (approximate): 10.75 inches x 8.25 inches x 0.5 inches

 

Pros: 

  • Tabs are strong and the “sticker” part is thin and clear
  • Gold edge tabs are a perfect addition to a gilded Bible
  • Comes with instruction and measuring tool

Cons

  • Takes a lot of patience to attach
  • When attaching, the second or third page may adhere to sticker
  • Must be very careful when attaching Bible tabs

On “The Catholic Man’s” Scale

★★★★ 4/5

Overall, I think that the Bible tabs are great. However, attaching them is very time consuming and requires patience. One mistake can ruin a page of your expensive Bible.

 

 

Review: Oxford Bible Atlas, 4th Edition

oxford-bible-atlas

My last review on this blog was for Oxford’s Catholic Study Bible, third edition with the New American Bible Revised Edition translation. Now, I review a second resource sent to me by Oxford University Press, the Oxford Bible Atlas, fourth edition.

A Bible atlas is very useful for those who want to learn more about the Bible stories’ geography and historical context. In many Bibles such as Oxford’s Catholic Study Bible, there are maps for the reader’s reference purposes. Atlases not only provide coloured maps but historical and geographical notes too. The Oxford Bible Atlas also provides coloured photographs and with 21st century technology, satellite images are also included.

The atlas’Image result for Oxford Bible Atlas author is Adrian Curtis who is a “Senior Lecturer in Hebrew Bible in the University of Manchester… He is also a Methodist Lay Preacher.” The book bears no Imprimatur. However, the atlas does not talk about Catholic Doctrine nor did I find anything contrary to the Catholic Church (please correct me if I am wrong). Though no Imprimatur, the book at least the book is endorsed by Fr. Felix Just S.J., PhD. based on this webpage on his website, http://www.catholic-resources.org.  Adrian Curtis details the historical and geographical facts throughout each stage of the Old and New Testament. The atlas is divided into four parts: (1) The Setting (of the Bible), (2) The Hebrew Bible (refers to the Old Testament), (3) The New Testament (includes a detailed part on the Journeys of St. Paul and the beginnings of Christianity), and (4) Arcaeology in Bible Lands. Besides, the atlas provides a chronology of the bible, index of place names and a general index.

One feature that came to my attention was the use of BCE (Before Common Era) and CE (Common Era) over the traditional BC (Before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini). This is understandable to me as there may be non-Christians that will use this atlas. The use of BCE and CE has become more common in books used for historical purposes.

Looking at the physical aspects of the book, it is of softcover with coloured glossy paper. Though one thing I wished was that a hardcover version to be available. I think Catholic Schools may be able to benefit from this atlas but a softcover atlas will not last that long. At my school, we have copies of the Good News Bible. However, due to their paperback covers, they became worn down over time and hand to be rebound. The size however was a size that I expected of the atlas, approximately that of letter sized paper.

This is the fourth edition. I never owned previous editions of this atlas before. However, I did a quick Google Image search of the covers of previous edition and sure enough, just by looking at the cover itself, the atlas sure changed:

Image result for Oxford Bible Atlas 1st Edition

2nd Edition (abebooks.com)

3rd Edition (amazon.com)

I was going to post pictures but managed to find a Google Preview.Unlike Bibles, I reviewed mostly the content and therefore, I don’t think it is necessary to have to post pictures of the pages here.

Google Preview: https://books.google.ca/books?id=IBgUDAAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

In Summary

Product: Oxford Bible Atlas, Fourth Edition, by Adrian Curtis

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Format: Print, paperback

Dimensions  (approximate): 10.75 inches x 8.25 inches x 0.5 inches

Imprimatur: No

ISBN: 9780199560462

Published: June 2009

Pages: 240

Pros: 

  • 27 coloured maps
  • 81 coloured illustrations
  • Printed on glossy coloured paper
  • Maps are clear and easy to read
  • Illustrations liven up the Bible
  • Notes are clear and understandable
  • Index of places
  • General index

Cons

  • Not a big fan of a softcover for an atlas
  • Use of BCE and CE may be disturbing to some people
  • A lot of text though… many people may just want to use the atlas to reference a map

On “The Catholic Man’s” Scale

★★★★ 4/5

The back of this atlas states that “The Oxford Bible Atlas has been an invaluable resource for all who seek to understand the Bible in its historical context”. This is very true. It has helped me learn some new things in the Bible that I never knew before. Despite its cons, the Oxford Bible Atlas is great for anyone who wants to learn more about the historical background of the Bible. The atlas does not target to Catholics alone or even Christians but to everyone who wants to learn about the Bible.

Visit https://global.oup.com/academic/product/oxford-bible-atlas-9780199560462?q=Oxford%20Bible%20Atlas&lang=en&cc=ca to learn more or purchase the atlas.

Again, thank you Oxford University Press! I hope to review more of your books very soon!

Next on the list maybe a Bible, or more excitingly, Bible Tabs generously sent to me by Tabbies!

Review: Oxford’s Catholic Study Bible

the-catholic-study-bible

After a very long and busy break, I will be back reviewing Catholic products. I have a few I
will review and those will slowly roll out.

I received a parcel from Oxford containing two of its published books, the Oxford Catholic Study Bible (softcover) and the Oxford Bible Atlas. After months of using these two books, I finally have enough information to review them. I think these two books go well hand in hand for Catholics who want to dig deeper into scripture. However, today I want to look at the Catholic Study Bible first and the next post will be of the Oxford Bible Atlas.

This is one of the thickest bibles I have on my shelf right now but perhaps a very useful one. Lately, I have been trying my best to write reflections on a part of the gospels before I go to sleep every night. I often use my NRSV Catholic Edition Bible by CBS. However, sometimes there are some verses that I need a little more understanding of the context. The NRSV by CBS do provide very short footnotes but they are sometimes not what I need. Since the time I got a hold of a copy of The Catholic Study Bible, I have often used it to grasp a better understanding of certain Bible texts. The footnotes are great and most of the time, its language is easy to understand. There are also cross references to other parts of Bible texts. The reader can gain an even better understanding in the 574-paged Reading Guide. There are page references to the Reading Guide throughout the Bible itself. On the back of the Bible, it mentions the n411vqcshi2l-_sx344_bo1204203200_ewly expanded Reading Guide in this third edition featuring the new guides for The Pentateuch, Chronicles, Maccabees, Lamentations, Baruch, Tobit and Judith, The Gospel of Mark and Acts. The footnotes and Reading Guide aren’t the only great “Bible luxuries”. Short essays charts and drawings are scattered throughout the Bible and help explain certain Bible texts and bring them to life.

The Bible text itself is from the NABRE which I do own a copy by a different publisher. I wish they could make a Catholic Study Bible for the NRSV version too. However, I do understand how much work must be put in to create just one version of a Study Bible.

One of the things that I look at when reviewing a Bible is certainly the Appendix. This Bible contains many of the standard parts that appear in most Bibles including a glossary, table of measures and weights and an index. However, the standard features listed seem to be more expanded. The glossary itself seems to go more in depth than most that I’ve looked through. The table of measures and weights contains seem to be expanded. It contains conversions from Greek, the NABRE term, Equivalence, U.S. units and metric units (for Canadians!). One feature that I believe is found in most NABRE Bibles is the Lectionary table. I find this feature quite useful. I do not purchase the Sunday Missal in English every year. I often use an app on my phone or use my Vietnamese Missal to get the readings to prepare for Mass. However, there are some days when I find the Lectionary Readings get confusing on which readings to use. For example, the Palm Sunday procession of Year B contains two choices of either Mark of John (yes, its in the Roman Missal). Yet, hand Missals may omit the choice of John. Therefore, before, when I did not have a copy of the Roman Missal, Study Edition (to be reviewed later), I would often turn to the Lectionary Table. Or, the Christmas Readings (for Dec. 24 alone) for example, contain three: Christmas Vigil, Christmas at Midnight, Christmas at Dawn. Again, many hand missals may omit a set which becomes confusing. The Lectionary table would come to the rescue again!

An index of the reading guide is also provided which makes it very useful in finding a certain topic. It limits the time flipping through 574 to find a topic.

I was also amazed at the Concordance of the New American Bible. I expected it to be short the one of the NRSV Catholic Edition by CBS. But I was wrong! The concordance is almost 100-pages. This may be a feature I may use often when writing Spiritual reflections.

Another feature which I love about his Bible are the last 32-pages of coloured maps. Why did I emphasize coloured you might ask. Well, I have noticed that when a Bible is printed in black and white, they contain either no maps or black and white maps. Oxford’s maps are very detailed and the colour brings it to life. The maps clearly depict the changes of the Holy Land throughout Biblical times. A five-paged index is provided with the maps in the last pages.

Reversing to the beginning… I looked for the Imprimatur, a feature that I always look at in Catholic Books I review on this blog. It took me some time to scroll through the tiny text but all the Imprimatur and permission to print by the Catholic Church was on the fourth page. There are three separate approvals in this Bible. First is one for the New Testament of the NABRE which contains a Nihil Obstat and an Imprimatur. The Old Testament contains a short paragraph indicating the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) approval with the approval of Cardinal Francis George, O.M.I who was the president of the USCCB at the time (2010). The general and introductory articles, reading guides, charts, maps, timelines, measures and weights, glossary and index received a separate approval in 2015 by the Very Reverend Ronald Hicks, then Vicar-General of the Archdiocese of Chicago.

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In Summary

Product: The Catholic Study Bible, Third Edition, NABRE

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Format: Print, paperback (also available in a hardcover version and a leather binding version)

Dimensions  (approximate): 9 inches x 6.25 inches x 2 inches

Imprimatur: Yes (for both the NABRE bible and the notes itself)

ISBN: 9780190267230

 

Pros: 

  • Reading Guide available in the front
  • Includes 32 pages of coloured maps
  • Glossary in the back
  • Tables of measures and weights
  • Index to reading guide
  • Concordance to the New American Bible included
  • Lectionary Reading reference pages
  • Reading Guide (RG) references available throughout the Bible text itself
  • Detailed footnotes helps reader to understand the Bible texts better
  • Sidebar essays, charts and drawings are provided throughout the Bible texts
  • The Bible bears the appropriate Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur and even assures approval by the USCCB

Cons

  • Large in size
  • Heavy, not the best Bible for travellers
  • The softcover version is best to have a book wrap cover to add protection. Frequent use may wear down the softcover Bible quickly

On “The Catholic Man’s” Scale

★★★★★ 5/5

I absolutely love Oxford’s Catholic Study Bible Third Edition. This Bible contains so many features that I have not mentioned all of them in this review. The Bible is good for those who want to dig deeper in the Word of God taking into consideration its spiritual and historical context. It is not the best Bible to travel but one of the best to buy for your Catholic Library.

Thank you Oxford for allowing me to review this Bible!