I took the opportunity to buy some more books during the Diocesan Biblical Convention held at the gym of the Colegio San Agustin-Biñan. Among the books for sale was “Spe Salvi”, the second encyclical of Pope Benedict XVI. It is dated November 30, 2007 but was recently made available here. Like the first encyclical “Deus caritas est”, it is easy reading. I went through the whole document and hope to take notes later. My interest in the document are the observations the Pope makes on key biblical terms and concepts related to hope and how these are used in among the Fathers (Augustine prominently figures again). Interesting too is the Pope’s explanation of two main lines of interpretation of Hebrews 11:1, one from Thomas of Aquinas and another one from Luther. The Pope’s critique of an earthly hope inspired by Bacon’s idea of progress and its historical development in the “isms” that we have become familiar with is very instructive.
A new edition of “Deus caritas est” with supplements is now also available. Although I find the article meant to contextualize the document for Filipinos defective, still it is worth a read. It is unfortunate that the author of said article didn’t read “Apologia Pro Filipinos” written by an Augustinian friar (RP. Pedro Galende, OSA of the Vicariate of the Orient) about how Martin de Rada — one of the first missionaries in the Philippines — defended the indios from the abuses of Spaniards right from the start of the evangelization of the islands. Another way of contextualizing the encyclical for Filipinos would be a discussion on the different words Filipinos use for “love” (pag-ibig, pagmamahal, panghigugma, etc.) and how these can be critically assessed with the idea of agape.
I also bought a book about John Paul II. It is about his last days with us. Two volumes of meditations on the readings for Lent is also available. I haven’t seen the contents yet, but they look promising. Finally, there is a new dictionary/concordance out based on the New American Bible. I don’t know how comprehensive it is, but it can be valuable if used to supplement the notes one finds in one’s copy of the New American Bible (which is the English translation approved for use in our English masses).
I almost exhausted my allowance for this month buying those books, but in the long run, I am quite sure they are worth it.
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