Father Renzo Carraro, Comboni missionary: Reflections and studies

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Friday, July 21, 2023
Father Renzo Carraro, a Comboni missionary working in Manila (Philippines), has gathered in three booklets a selection of his reflections of the past two years on biblical themes, formation and on some personal studies. We publish below the index and a brief introduction of the three booklets that you can find in attachment. (In the photo: Fr. Renzo Carraro during the Spiritual Exercises he preached to the sisters Ministers of the Sick of St. Camillus of Lucca)

I – A BIBLE PRIMER

This book contains the study notes on the listed books of the Bible which I prepared for the pupils of my Bible Study Groups. There are many other books of the Bible that I studied with them but the notes were not completed, they remain in a sketchy form.

It was August 2007, when I was encouraged to start a Bible Study Group with the seniors of our Daniel Comboni Seminary Chapel. The initiative was appreciated and the Group continued its existence for more than twelve years. The last meeting was on March 11, 2020. Then Covid 19 marked the end of the Group. The situation has not yet improved enough that the Group can resume its existence.

On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of it, I started a second Bible Study Group, in September 2017, at St. Benedict Chapel-Paradise Village, belonging to Immaculate Conception Parish in Project 8, and it continued successfully until March 2020, when it had to stop because of the pandemic.

I was going to turn 70 years of age in August 2007, and the Bible Study Groups are the precious achievement of my old age. Not only they satisfied the desire of the members to become more acquainted with the Book of God, but the work was for me personally a discovery of the beauty and relevance of the Bible, which I had not understood in such an exciting and vital way during the previous periods of my life, including the time of my theological studies.

The best fruit I got is the importance that the literal sense has over and above the symbolic, moral and spiritual senses which build on the literal and come after the literal. To comprehend the literal sense, a proper study of the text of the Bible is necessary and vital. That is what I have understood and that is what I am after in the first place not only in explaining the Bible during the study periods, but also in my preaching.

This approach is most satisfying to me and I think most profitable to those who listen to me or study with me. Thank God for that.

Fr. Lorenzo Carraro, MCCJ
Quezon City, December 10, 2021

Table of contents

INITIATION TO THE HOLY BIBLE                                                     p. 04

THE BOOK OF JOB                                                                                   p. 27

THE BOOK OF PSALMS                                                                           p. 42

THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW                                                                 p. 65

THE GOSPEL OF MARK                                                                          p. 82

THE NARRATIVE WORK OF LUKE (GOSPEL & ACTS)                  p. 91

THE GOSPEL OF JOHN                                                                            p. 112

THE BOOK OF REVELATION (APOCALYPSE)                                   p. 128

II – THE FORMATION MINISTRY

This is a collection of practical works composed in the course of the exercise of my Formation Ministry. Some are more original and developed like: “Formation in the Bible” and “Paths to Contemplation”, the others are more sketchy and provisional, but all can give some suggestions to people who are involved in the same ministry and have the curiosity and patience to have access to them.

The Formation Ministry requires from the agents of Formation the desire to undergo the same exercises that they submit their pupils to, because the formation task is a life-long commitment. In this sense, to be assigned to the Formation Ministry is a bonus that we will never be able to be grateful enough about.

While education focuses mainly on the brain of people, Formation takes charge of the more central focus of our growth life which is the heart. These booklets are meant to equip the agents of formation with some ideas and practical suggestions that can be valuable and useful in the course of their Formation Ministry.

In faith,
Fr. Lorenzo Carraro, MCCJ
Quezon City, December 2021

Table of contents

Formation in the Bible                     p. 03

Spiritual Direction                             p. 29

Eros and Agape                                  p. 43

Paths to Contemplation                    p. 51

Mission into the Future                     p. 67