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BOOK REVIEW: A Modern Sinner’s Guide for the Third Millennium

Modern Sinners Guide FRONT COVERAward winning journalist Angelo Stagnaro offers a version of the Venerable Louis de Granada’s The Sinner’s Guide, for the internet age. Introducing himself as an experienced yet repentant sinner, he explains the foundations of Catholicism’s harmartiology (theology of sin), a theology that takes sin seriously as an offence against life, love and logic, an insult to God and his creation, as something to be avoided at all costs. Stagnaro does not mince words in this book: “There is no way to earn Heaven, but a million ways to merit Hell” (p. 40). God’s gracious mercy is stressed but never taken for granted and he never soft-pedals on matters such as Original Sin which commonly bewilders and alienates moderns. Careful explanations of Purgatory and Indulgences, of Vincible and Invincible Ignorance are provided. The reader is treated to a comprehensive overview of the Catholic context on sin before getting down to sin’s detailed branches. Continue reading here.

BOOK REVIEW: A Modern Sinner’s Guide for the Third Millennium

BOOK REVIEW: A Modern Sinner’s Guide for the Third Millennium | Catholic Medical Quarterly

Modern Sinners Guide FRONT COVER“What a wonderful name for a spiritual work and what a good book it is. In essence, it is an updating of a spiritual classic, The Sinner’s Guide, by the Venerable Louis of Granada, a work which was recommended by many saints including the great St Francis de Sales. The book by Angelo Stagnaro is easy to read and understand. It is immensely practical, ideal for the busy laity and it succeeds in its aim. It gives a description of sins, especially those that are common to our age and, most importantly puts forward the remedy against these sins.” Continue reading here.

BOOK REVIEW: A Modern Sinner’s Guide for the Third Millennium | Catholic Medical Quarterly

NEW: PURSUING HOLINESS IN TODAY’S WORLD by Angelo Stagnaro

pursuing holiness in today's world FRONT COVER

Hope and Life Press is pleased to announce the release of the book Pursuing Holiness in Today’s World by the National Catholic Register’s award-winning editorialist Angelo Stagnaro. The book has been granted the Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur by the Diocese of Brooklyn. Pursuing Holiness in Today’s World addresses the nature of good and evil, the nature of goodness and humility, and how to become holy in our present times. It includes sections on the relationship between love, life and logic, and the foundations of Christianity. An in-depth look is taken at why pain and suffering exist, what sins are and are not, temptations and how to avoid them, as well as the nature of indulgences and how to gain them. A chapter is devoted to the art and science of making a good confession, with different and thorough examinations of conscience based on the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes. Pursuing Holiness in Today’s World is available in paperback and ebook edition from Amazon, directly from the publishers, and from major bookstores. It can also be found at the Vatican libraries.

EARLY REVIEW

“One chapter tremendously useful in this book is The Art and Science of a Good Confession. The great truth of our Faith is that we can be completely forgiven if we make a good confession. Preparing for confession is essential for spiritual growth and health, and the exercises provided here, along with the encouragement to trust in God’s forgiveness, is a sign that God’s mercy is an essential part of the message” Maria McFadden Maffucci, Editor, Human Life Review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

angelo-stagnaroAngelo Stagnaro is an award-winning journalist with the UN, newspapers and international wire services in the United States of America (US), Europe and Australia. He is the Catholic News Service’s chief correspondent in New York City, the principal liaison for the Holy See, and an editorialist for the National Catholic Register. His major articles have appeared in the Washington Post, Catholic Herald, National Catholic Reporter, America Magazine, and The Tablet among others. Stagnaro is the author of several books on Catholic spirituality including How to Pray the Dominican Way, The Pro-Life Apologetics Manual, The Christian Book of the Dead, and The Catechist’s Magic Kit. A professional stage mentalist and one of the world’s experts on cold reading, he is also the author of eight seminal works on stage magic and cold reading that have been translated into multiple languages. Stagnaro graduated from SUNY-Albany and Kansai Gaikokugo Daigaku with specializations in the Ethnology of Religion, Comparative Asian Religions and Physical Anthropology. He also pursued theological studies at the University of Notre Dame. Stagnaro is a professed member of the Secular Franciscans and has served as RCIA catechist in New York and Singapore.

NEW: PURSUING HOLINESS IN TODAY’S WORLD by Angelo Stagnaro

REVIEW: ‘Busting the myths of the pro-abortion lobby’ | Catholic Herald

FRONT COVER

Devastating analysis of the incoherence, illogicality, sophistry, double standards and often ludicrous obfuscations of the abortionists’ case . . . Really handy resource for anyone committed to the pro-life cause – Catholic Herald

The Catholic Herald (UK) has just released a great review of one of our latest publications, namely The Pro-Life Apologetics Manual by award-winning Catholic editorialist Angelo Stagnaro, OSF. You can read the full review here.

The book is available in paperback and ebook editions from the usual outlets and directly from the publishers. It can also be found at the Vatican libraries.

REVIEW: ‘Busting the myths of the pro-abortion lobby’ | Catholic Herald

OUT NEXT WEEK: Pursuing Holiness in Today’s World by Angelo Stagnaro

OUT NEXT WEEK: Pursuing Holiness in Today’s World by Angelo Stagnaro

NEW RELEASE: A Modern Sinner’s Guide for the Third Millennium by award-winning Catholic editorialist Angelo Stagnaro

Modern Sinners Guide FRONT COVER

First book to make over 70 sins, including the Vatican’s new 7 deadly sins and 10 delicts, understandable to modern audiences with practical advice about sin.

Hope and Life Press is pleased to announce the release of the book A Modern Sinner’s Guide for the Third Millennium by the National Catholic Register’s award-winning editorialist Angelo Stagnaro. The book has been granted the Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur by the Catholic Archdiocese of New York. A Modern Sinner’s Guide for the Third Millennium makes sin understandable to modern audiences and gives practical advice on how to identify and avoid sin in one’s life, deal with temptation, and how to evangelize others who may be unaware of sin’s enormity and its grave nature. Presenting chapters on the foundations of Christianity, the nature of sin, the pursuit of holiness, the Ten Commandments, the seven deadly sins and new deadly sins, the sins against the Holy Spirit, ultimate sins, the unforgiveable sin, and the Sacrament of Reconciliation, this book provides an in-depth look on more than 70 sins from a theological and spiritual perspective, together with the consequences of sins and remedies for them. The book uniquely addresses the ten delicts and the new seven deadly social sins promulgated in 2008 by the Vatican. It also has sections on Purgatory, Hell, Divine forgiveness, indulgences, the nature of good and evil, and the Christian spiritual quest.

A Modern Sinner’s Guide for the Third Millennium is suitable for several audiences including RCIA catechumens, catechists, homilists, apologists, canonists, people interested in exploring different forms of Christian spirituality, those interested in comparative religions and spiritual traditions, and Christians interested in developing their own spiritual life. The book, which consists of over 450 pages at size 7″ by 10″, is available in paperback edition from Amazon, Hope and Life Press, major book outlets, and can be found at the Vatican libraries including the Gregoriana, the Angelorum, and the Pontifical North American College. The book is also available in ebook edition directly from the publishers.

EARLY REVIEWS

“In an age such as ours, this book is a clarion call for the truth. A Modern Sinner’s Guide for the Third Millennium by Angelo Stagnaro takes its inspiration from an important and extremely potent spiritual work by Venerable Louis of Granada. We need not a sinner’s guide to happiness and fulfillment, but a guide to sin: its definitions, types, causes, and remedies. One cannot be healed by a doctor until the disease is admitted and this book can serve as a diagnostic manual. One might think the book grim, but this is far from it. Stagnaro, a Third Order Franciscan and prolific writer, is just the person to guide others through the types of sin, their remedies and the Sacrament of Confession. By his own admission, he is an expert in sinning, but also repentance. Only Christ’s light can cast out the darkness of our sins. Only His forgiveness in confession can scrape the scales from our eyes and renew our hearts. Then we shall see anew, see the world as it truly is, and be fully alive” – John Meinert, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Theology, Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University.

“Angelo Stagnaro has taken on a hugely ambitious task in A Modern Sinner’s Guide for the Third Millennium, yet the breadth of undertaking makes sense as it is a modern understanding and reworking of Venerable Louis of Granada’s original guide. Stagnaro has followed in formidable footsteps and does so admirably. The book’s length should cause no anxiety. It is not a cover-to- cover read, but a true guidebook, a valuable directory of sin: what sin is, what kinds of sins there are, how they are manifested, and how we can work to avoid them. Despite the guilt-inducing subject matter, A Modern Sinner’s Guide is an engaging and even enjoyable read as Stagnaro writes with compassion, humility and refreshing flashes of humor. The book is timely. In an age that has forgotten that sin is an objective thing, ‘living without values is a sure ticket to self-destruction,’ as Stagnaro says. There are also thought-provoking discussions about some of our modern age’s most contentious and problematic issues” – Maria McFadden Maffucci, Editor, Human Life Review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

angelo-stagnaro

Angelo Stagnaro is an award-winning journalist with the UN, newspapers and international wire services in the United States of America (US), Europe and Australia. He is the Catholic News Service’s chief correspondent in New York City, the principal liaison for the Holy See, and an editorialist for the National Catholic Register. His major articles have appeared in the Washington Post, Catholic Herald, National Catholic Reporter, America Magazine, and The Tablet among others. Stagnaro is the author of several books on Catholic spirituality including How to Pray the Dominican Way, The Pro-Life Apologetics Manual, The Christian Book of the Dead, and The Catechist’s Magic Kit. A professional stage mentalist and one of the world’s experts on cold reading, he is also the author of eight seminal works on stage magic and cold reading that have been translated into multiple languages. Stagnaro graduated from SUNY-Albany and Kansai Gaikokugo Daigaku with specializations in the Ethnology of Religion, Comparative Asian Religions and Physical Anthropology. He also pursued theological studies at the University of Notre Dame. Stagnaro is a professed member of the Secular Franciscans and has served as RCIA catechist in New York and Singapore.

NEW RELEASE: A Modern Sinner’s Guide for the Third Millennium by award-winning Catholic editorialist Angelo Stagnaro

OUT THIS MONTH: A Modern Sinner’s Guide for the Third Millennium

Stagnaro Sinner's Book Poster

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EARLY REVIEW #2: A Modern Sinner’s Guide for the Third Millennium by Angelo Stagnaro

Modern Sinners Guide FRONT COVERAngelo Stagnaro has taken on a hugely ambitious task in his 450+ page book titled A Modern Sinner’s Guide for the Third Millennium. Yet, the breadth of undertaking makes sense when you see that it is a modern understanding and reworking of Venerable Louis of Granada’s original ‘A Sinner’s Guide.’

Venerable Louis de Granada was an influential and beloved Dominican preacher and writer of the 16th century. His Sinner’s Guide is a classic Catholic spiritual work; written for the common man, yet a major influence on some of our greatest saints like Saint Teresa of Avila, Saint John of the Cross and Saint Charles Borromeo.

Stagnaro has indeed followed in formidable footsteps and does so admirably. Most important for the reader, the length of the book should cause no anxiety. It is not a cover-to-cover read, but a true guidebook, a valuable directory of sin – what sin is, what kinds of sins there are, how they are manifested in our times and how we can work to avoid them. And despite the guilt-inducing subject matter, A Modern Sinner’s Guide for the Third Millennium is quite an engaging and even enjoyable read as Stagnaro writes with compassion, humility – “my expertise in writing this book is that I have been, and still am, a spectacular sinner,” he says – and refreshing flashes of humor. The book is timely. In an age that has forgotten that sin is an objective thing – as Stagnaro says, “atheists and other secularists deride the term” – nonetheless, “living without values is a sure ticket to self-destruction.”

The Modern Sinner’s Guide outlines the seven deadly sins and then explores the sins pertaining to each of the Ten Commandments, but with some interesting modern developments. For example, under the deadly sin of anger, Stagnaro talks about the nature of anger and hatred, with subsections on gossip and Schadenfreude. To describe the latter, Stagnaro makes use of current cultural references (as he does throughout), in this case, the popular animated series The Simpsons:

In one Simpsons episode, Lisa, angry at her brother, Bart, managed to feel a modicum of pity for his lowly state. She said, “It’s amazing how I can feel sorry for you and hate you at the same time . . . the Germans probably have a word for it.” The Germans, being master wordsmiths, actually do have a word for it: Haßliebe (pronounced: hassliebe). This may not be as well-known to Americans, but another German word is much more popular in English. Once learning of it, one becomes instantly ashamed and worried that they themselves might be guilty of it: Schadenfreude. This is the shameful joy we experience when we delight at the misfortunes of others. When we think about the emotional and spiritual damage we do to ourselves when we enjoy another’s hardship, it is clear that this is completely unacceptable. One of the worst aspects of Schadenfreude is that the emotions it engenders in the soul can turn to even worse sins such as envy and anger. After all, bad feelings become bad thoughts and bad thoughts become bad actions.

The section based on the Fifth Commandment (You shall not kill) is in itself a stand-alone primer on the sins of the culture of death. The discussions are interesting and sometimes unexpectedly thorough. For example, in the section on suicide, after the sin itself is described, we have an explanation of instances of indirect suicide, which can be “heroic self-sacrifice:” Stagnaro points to Saints Damien of Molokai, Maximillian Kolbe and Edith Stein. But he also points out when indirect suicide can be “other than altruistic,” like purposefully refusing to leave a burning building or provoking an armed soldier or police officer into using lethal force (suicide by cop).

What really stands out in this part of the book is the section on abortion as Stagnaro names and refutes (often with many outside sources) 119 top pro-abortion myths. There is so much good, logical information here that I can imagine it could be used to both educate and arm Catholics on how to advocate for the lives of the unborn. Here is one myth, #37, the refutation of which gets hardly enough notice: “Pro-abortionists are law-abiding, compassionate, peace-loving, nonviolent people . . . unlike Christians.” Stagnaro refutes this, in the passage that follows, writing specifically about abortion providers and whether this myth describes them:

Putting aside the 43 million children killed as a result of the legalization of abortion, which can hardly be considered compassionate, peace-loving and nonviolent, the number of abortion providers who are violent felons is staggering, in particular considering how few there are. The Abortion Crime Report, published by California Right to Life offers a list of newspaper articles about abortionists who have been convicted of murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, torture, kidnapping, rape, theft, medical fraud, stalking, death threats, bombing, reporting falsely reporting bomb threats (and falsely blaming pro-lifers), sex crimes, conspiracy, drug crimes, property crimes, medical crimes and stalking among dozens of other crimes. The report of pro-abortion violence lists 2297 incidents of pro-abortion violence and illegal activities. The source for much of the information came from the Medical Board of California, which is responsible for licensing and bringing disciplinary action against state physicians. To this number, we should add the 347 women killed by legal abortions since 1973.                                             

In another contemporary twist, Stagnaro identifies the new seven deadly sins, which include environmental pollution, eugenics, drug trafficking and consumption. There are thought-provoking discussions on some of our modern age’s most contentious and problematic issues.

A brief review cannot comment on the majority of a work such as this, but one more section I will highlight as tremendously useful is The Art and Science of a Good Confession. Because after all the talk of what sins exist and how they can destroy, the great truth of our faith is that we can be completely forgiven – if we make a good confession. Preparing for a good confession is an essential tool for spiritual growth and health, and the exercises provided here, along with the encouragement to trust in God’s forgiveness, is a sign that God’s mercy is an essential part of the message of The Modern Sinner’s Guide for the Third Millennium.

– Maria McFadden Maffucci, Editor, Human Life Review.

 

 

 

EARLY REVIEW #2: A Modern Sinner’s Guide for the Third Millennium by Angelo Stagnaro

Another 5* REVIEW for ‘The Pro-Life Apologetics Manual’

FRONT COVER

Stagnaro gives a loving and logical response to the tragedy of abortion. Dealing with 119 myths invoked in its support, from complex arguments rooted in medicine, ethics and jurisprudence to sheer urban legend, he decisively refutes the ‘pro-choice’ manifesto. Substantial medical research is drawn upon, proving the beginning of human life at conception and the medical risks of abortion to the mother as well as the child detailed convincingly. The terrible phenomenon of sex-selective abortion, in which so many female babies are disposed of with chilling demographic effects, receives merited observation as does the grisly reality of what actually goes in abortion clinics. The author is not afraid to tackle sensitive cases, such as the small minority of abortions in which children have been conceived through rape and incest, aiming at genuine compassion for all concerned.

No quarter is given to moral and logical fallacies, which are often dealt with, with a tough New York wit (my favourite example being his response to the myth “You are against abortion because you cannot get pregnant: Those who support abortion have already been born,” p. 49). The advocacy of artificial contraception as an alternative to abortion is shown to have no bearing in reality, the example of New York City among other areas being shown. What is needed is a Christian humanism, in which human life from conception to death is regarded as a sacred and inviolable gift to be embraced. Stagnaro also notes the dangers of genetically engineered ‘designer babies,’ with those who do not make the grade being dispensable. He understands that many of the arguments for abortion can and have been used to defend infanticide and many other horrors that even most pro-choice people would wish to avoid. Those who wish to fight for an authentic culture of life have a sword and shield in this book.

Christopher Villiers, Catholic theologian and poet.

Another 5* REVIEW for ‘The Pro-Life Apologetics Manual’