About this blogger:
Ronda Chervin received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Fordham University and an MA in Religious Studies from Notre Dame Apostolic Institute. A widow, mother, and grandmother, she currently teaches philosophy at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. Write to her at chervinronda@gmail.com.
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“Liberalism in religion is the doctrine that there is no positive truth in religion, but that one creed is as good as another… It teaches that all are to be tolerated, for all are matters of opinion. Revealed religion is not a truth, but a sentiment and a taste; not an objective fact, not miraculous; and it is the right of each individual to make it say just what strikes his fancy. […] Men may go to Protestant Churches and to Catholic, may get good from both and belong to neither.”
— Bl. John Henry Cardinal Newman (May of 1879)

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Jesus of Nazareth by Pope Benedict
published 1 June 2011 by Dr. Ronda Chervin

I bet there are more people out there than admit it who when someone suggests you read a book by the Pope, whether past or present, you think “Well, of course, it will be beautiful, but probably it’s the same thing all over again.”

They always fool me! I picked up Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week, the Scripture study by Pope Benedict for Lenten reading. It is “lite” in the sense that it’s not like reading Von Balthasar’s heavier tomes. But it’s deep, like reading the thoughts of the saints.

What I found is that we have unconscious uncertainties about certain passages we have heard over and over again. We have gotten clues through the years, but still not a definitive answer. For example, “my God, my God, why have You forsaken me.” I recall years ago reading that it was Jesus’ way of alerting the crowds that he was going to fulfill Psalm 22 with his sufferings and death. Benedict’s style is so warm as well as deep that I had the feeling I was inside his heart as it beat with love for the heart of Jesus.

Here is a sample of such writing:

“Christ, at the Father’s right hand, is not far away from us. At most we are far from him, but the path that joins us to one another is open. And this path is a not a matter of space travel of a cosmic-geographical nature: it is the “space travel” of the heart, from the dimension of self-enclosed isolation to the new dimension of world-embracing divine love.”
—Pope Benedict, XVI.

Want to read the longer explanation of this? Buy or borrow the book.

Dr. Ronda Chervin has many free e-books and audios on her website rondachervin.com. If you go to her website and read or listen and then want to correspond with her she will be available. Her schedule does not permit, however, responding to comments on the Blog, though she enjoys reading them. Dr. Ronda’s newest project is spiritualityrunningtogod.com.