Hope and Life Press is pleased to announce the forthcoming release this winter season of two full-color books: (1) Relics of the Saints of the Orthodox Church, and (2) Relics of Jesus Christ and the Theotokos. The books will be released throughout Lent in preparation for Holy Week and Easter. They shall be available in paperback and ebook editions.
Hope and Life Press is pleased to announce the release of another audiobook titled What is the Magisterium of the Catholic Church? This book is Volume 5 in HLP’s Christianity Series and it has been narrated by Michael Goldsmith. A sample of it can be heard below. The audiobook is available from Amazon, Audible, and iTunes. The book is also available in ebook edition from the usual outlets and directly from the publishers.
Hope and Life Press is pleased to announce the release of the fifth ebook titled What is the Magisterium of the Catholic Church in our new Christianity Series. Intended to educate and suitable for easy reference, this ebook provides an overview about the doctrine of the teaching authority in the Catholic Church.
The Magisterium of the Catholic Church has been much misunderstood by Catholics and non-Catholics alike both throughout history and in present times. Addressing the nature of the Magisterium as defined by Vatican Councils I and II, the Constitution on the Faith, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, this book provides a factual and easy-to-understand outline of the basic principles of the Magisterium, what it is and what it is not, and its relationship to Christian believers. It also gives an in-depth look at what constitutes the ordinary magisterium of the Pope, as well as the intrinsic nature of papal indefectibility and infallibility. The Hope and Life Press Christianity Series ebooks are available directly from the publishers and the usual book outlets including Amazon.
Hope and Life Press is pleased to announce the release of the fourth ebook titled Is the Death Penalty Just? in our new Christianity Book Series just launched last week. Intended to educate and suitable for easy reference, this ebook provides a summary overview and the development of doctrine in the Catholic Church with regard to capital punishment.
The death penalty has been a feature of society since the beginning of time. But is the death penalty just? Addressing the issue of capital punishment right from the beginning of its appearance in the Book of Genesis in Sacred Scripture, together with the writings of modern Popes on the subject including Blessed Paul VI and Saint John Paul II, this book outlines the slow, but steady, movement away from the death penalty as punishment in civilized societies within the context of the inviolable dignity of the human person. It also presents the conclusions of postmodern Christian leaders, including Pope Francis, on the death penalty as an unnecessary and particularly barbaric form of torture in today’s world. The Hope and Life Press Christianity Book Series ebooks are available directly from the publishers and the usual book outlets including Amazon.
Hope and Life Press (HLP) is pleased to announce the release of the book Icons as Resistance: Challenging the New Iconoclasm in the Catholic Church by Maltese-American author and HLP founder Marcelle Bartolo-Abela. This book documents a series of engaging conversations about the role that icons have in the Church at large and the role they can play at present in the Roman Catholic Church itself. These conversations were held between the author and a group of traditional Catholics earlier this year.
The Western Catholic Church is fast losing her centuries-old sense of the uncreated beauty of God, as manifested through the created beauty of sacred art, by buying into postmodern minimalism for new churches. This loss is occurring despite the Church’s longstanding tradition as Patroness of the Arts and the 1999 call of Saint John Paul II for the urgent need to return to “epiphanies of beauty” in Catholic churches worldwide. In the meantime, icons and iconographic frescos that populate Orthodox churches remain much sought after by believers and non-believers alike for their timeless beauty and inescapable sense of the transcendent. Will the People of God be able to resist the new iconoclasm characterized by facelessness in the Western Church through the triumphant and hidden power of icons?
Icons as Resistance: Challenging the New Iconoclasm in the Catholic Church is available in ebook edition only from Amazon and directly from the publishers.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Marcelle Bartolo-Abela is a Maltese-American consultant on the interface of multiculturalism, psychology, spirituality, and the political sphere. A first-generation immigrant to America, she served as a mental health clinician in hospital, community, private practice settings in the Northeast US and Malta. She has lectured on psychology and psychotherapy to psychiatry residents and graduate students in the US, UK, and Malta. She also served as consultant to faculty and program managers on the combined provision of multicultural psychology and spirituality services. In addition, Bartolo-Abela has provided advocacy and consultation on the issues of free speech rights in relation to criminalization discourses in the legislative agenda First Malta Then the World.
Bartolo-Abela is the author of nine books on the Catholic Faith and spirituality including Deification of Man in Christianity, The Icon of the Divine Heart of God the Father, and Who Are You? What is Your Faith? America’s 21st Century Alt-Right and Catholic Social Doctrine. This last book has received support from Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States. Bartolo-Abela holds a Master of Science in Psychology from Springfield College, the Postgraduate Certificate in Research Methodologies in the Social Sciences from Middlesex University, and the Certificate in Catholic Social Doctrine for Professionals from The Catholic University of America. Bartolo-Abela is a mid-level apprentice in Russian-Byzantine iconography. Her icons can be found in churches and private collections in the US, Italy, and Malta.
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.
“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 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.
Ours is an age of impending darkness. The modern eye is not sound. We trumpet about freedom, but do not perceive our hidden slavery. We are comfortable but depressed; we are addicted to technology, but forget being. We think it is possible to be fully human without loving God; we think that loving God is compatible with ignoring, or even rejecting, His commandments. The sources of this darkness are legion, but a primary factor is our neglect of sin. While it is possible that previous generations were overly concerned with sin (although I doubt this is the case given their actions), that is not our problem. We have gone astray precisely because we do not think it is possible to go astray.
We alternate between incompatible claims, which undercut the possibility of sin. Often, we claim that goodness and evil cannot be true or false. Each person should be free to define for him or herself what is good and true, what lifestyle is most human and fulfilling. There is no correct answer to ethical questions. Yet, simultaneously, we claim that certain interpersonal actions can be objectively good or evil, but there are also zones of ‘freedom’ from truth and goodness (e.g., the bedroom, the economy, etc.). If those do not work for you, you can claim that freedom is illusory, thus sin is neurosis, genetics or social pressure.
Although we are influenced by each of these to a certain degree and they are incompatible with each other, all are incorrect. Every action is either good or evil. There is no neutrality in this world and Our Lord does not have good things to say about those who pretend there is (Rv 3:16). It does not matter if the action occurs in the bedroom, at the store, or in our innermost thoughts. It is either good or evil; it is subject to praise or blame. Sin is not neurosis, social pressure or genetically determined actions. Sin is a freely chosen bad action; an action contrary to love of God and neighbor. By every action, we either draw closer to the fullness of life or reject it.
To many of us this feels oppressive; the truth feels oppressive. Yet, to ignore it is to choose blindness and fiction, to choose a new and hidden type of slavery. Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin (Jn 8:34). Since freedom is created for goodness and truth, every sin decreases our freedom. It enslaves us to the passing things of this world and to our errant desires. If continued, sin can create a vice which enslaves us in a more total way. A vice changes the way we think and feel about certain things. By doing so, it keeps us from coming to know the truth and achieving freedom. We are no longer children of the world and of God, but children of a fantasy in which Satan rules supreme. We know not the way things are, but only our own delusions. Imagine an army denying land mines exist, while crossing a field full of them, then screaming the denial all the more shrilly when they are injured. As this army is, so are we. We are often our own worst enemies.
In an age such as ours, this book is a clarion call for the truth. “Sin exists. It is a matter of life and death that we recognize this salient fact.” It is destroying our lives, our communities and our humanity. Like a worm eating an apple, it corrupts everything from the inside out. Like a cancer, it spreads. The worst thing we can do is ignore it.
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 (1505-1588), also titled The Sinner’s Guide. Louis’s book is the sinner’s guide to salvation, to holiness, to fullness of life with God. It aims to guide those who are sinners to a life of holiness. The current work is a good complement for our times. We need not a sinner’s guide to happiness and fulfillment, but a guide to sin: its definition, 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. It discusses not only the Ten Commandments, but also the seven deadly sins, a new seven deadly sins, sins against the Holy Spirit, ultimate sins, the unforgiveable sin, and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Given this subject matter, one might be inclined to think the book grim. However, the book is far from it. The whole point is to alert us to the types of sins so that we can work against them, both through remedies and, more importantly, through confession.
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 (and more importantly) repentance. He is like the man sitting by the road calling out, “Jesus Christ, Son of David, have mercy on me” (Lk 18:38), and inviting others to do so as well. This is fitting, since 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.
The 500-page 7″ x 10″ reference work on hamartiology titled The Modern Sinner’s Guide for the Third Millennium by award-winning NCR editorialist Angelo Stagnaro, with Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur from the Archdiocese of New York. Based on the original sinner’s guide by Ven. Louis Granada. The Modern Sinner’s Guide will be available in paperback and ebook editions from Amazon, directly from ourselves at Hope & Life Press, and major booksellers. It will also be available at the Vatican libraries including the Gregoriana, the Angelorum, and the Pontifical College of North America.
Editorial note: Angelo Stagnaro is the award-winning chief New York correspondent for the Catholic News Service, Holy See liaison, and editorialist for the National Catholic Register. He is also a Third-Order Franciscan and the author of several books on various aspects of Catholic spirituality and theology, all of which carry Nihil Obstats and Imprimaturs from various Catholic dioceses in the US. His most recent book The Pro-Life Apologetics Manual (with Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur from the Archdiocese of New York) has just been released by Hope and Life Press. Stagnaro is a recognized world expert on stage mentalism and cold reading.
The Truth About Stage Mentalism and the Catholic Church by Angelo Stagnaro
I enjoy telling people, both magicians and lay people alike, of how I passed the entrance exam for the Society of American Magicians (SAM)―a prestigious organization of stage and close-up magicians―many years ago. The New York City chapter of the SAM required two performances; one close-up and the other on-stage. As I am a mentalist, a stage performer who specializes in stage tricks emulating what non-magicians would call telekinesis, telepathy, ESP and precognition, I concentrated only on those tricks. Continue reading here.