“Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and
all these things will be given you besides” (Matthew 6:33).
This quote from Scripture encapsulates the message of another new
book from Fr. John Bartunek LC, Seeking First the Kingdom:
30 Meditations on How to Love God with All Your
Heart, Soul, Mind, and Strength, now available. (He also recently
published the book Answers: Catholic Advice for Your Spiritual Questions,
featured in an article last month.)
Seeking First the
Kingdom is published by a new publishing house, Ministry23,
an offshoot of long-time Catholic book distributor Catholic Word.
Ministry 23 hopes to offer projects like this new book,
that as Fr. John describes, “reach beyond the 7% of
Catholics who are actively practicing their faith, connecting with the
next level of Catholics who need a fresh and creative
push in order to get excited about the adventure of
being a Catholic.”
Fr. John hopes the book will help readers
tackle the challenges of living a Christian life in a
more and more secularized environment, and bring unity and order
to what he calls “our ridiculously fast-paced culture.”
easy use by a group study, or for individual spiritual
reading or an aid to prayer, the book tries to
answer questions regarding the interior life.
It is organized in
five parts. The first four parts are dedicated to the
different facets in Christ’s presentation of the Great Commandment: “You
shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul, with all your mind, and with
all your strength.” (Mark 12:30) The fifth part presents the
practical implications for the reader.
Each of the thirty meditations
in the book begins with a quotation from St. John
Paul II, and finishes with questions for discussion or personal
reflection. The text of the book is printed in two
colors, with Scripture quotations in red ink.
The book also implements
a familiar concept to the Regnum Christi movement -- Integral
“In my mind, integral formation is the process by which
we mature and flourish in our Christian vocation with the
transforming action of God’s grace in our lives,” said Fr.
John. “It involves integrating every facet of our personality and
every experience of our personal history into our friendship with
Christ. It doesn’t leave any of our human potentialities or
personal gifts untouched by God’s grace. Integral Formation requires our
cooperation and effort; it’s a partnership between our generous self-giving,
and our letting ourselves be loved and transformed by the