‘A good book can change lives,’ says Catholic publisher

‘A good book can change lives,’ says Catholic publisher

Bookworms at the at the Sinag-Tala Publishers Booth in the Manila International Book Fair.

By Fr. Mickey Cardenas

September 9, 2019

Manila, Philippines

“For Christmas or any other special occasion, why not give as a gift a Catholic book that helped you in living your faith?”

This was the remark of a Catholic publisher as he and thousands of book distributors and book lovers gear up for the country’s biggest annual book event, the Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) that will take place at the SMX Convention Center at the Mall of Asia Complex from Sep. 11-15.

“A good book can change lives. We have heard of stories of how a book had changed the life of a person for the rest of his life,” said Luis Uson, president and managing director of Sing-tala Publishers, Inc.

“One of the spiritual works of mercy is to counsel the doubtful,” he pointed out, “and one concrete act that any Catholic can do is to give a book that could help his neighbor in dealing with his faith concern.”

“In this, Catholic publishers and distributors have a very important role,” Uson stressed.

80th year of a spiritual classic

Among the many books made available by Sinag-Tala Publishers, Inc. is a “spiritual classic” that marks on this month its 80th year since its first publication: “The Way” by Saint Josemaria Escrivá.

By far, Uson said that the book is the most widely circulated among the books written by the founder of Opus Dei.

According to him, it has sold more than 4.5 million copies and it still being translated into more than 43 different languages.

“It is a type of book that people reach out for, and reading it, would like others to have and read,” Uson said.

“The Way” has 999 of Saint Josemaria’s famous aphorisms which he wrote to promote self-examination and spiritual growth. It presents Christian living as an undertaking that one must carry out in his day-to-day activities.

A conversion story

Uson shared a story of a 24-year-old woman, bedridden with pleural tuberculosis, who gave birth to a son after a very difficult pregnancy. The illness was destroying her body and her spirits were so low that she began to lose hope.

One day, she confided to her doctor that she was afraid that she might die. The doctor told her very gently not to fear death and lent her this book “The Way”.

“She was not particularly interested but started to read—and was soon unable to put it down. The book spoke about being grateful for what you have and to focus on the good, not the bad. For the first time in months, she felt at peace,” the book publisher related.

“By that Christmas, she was able to get up and have dinner and four weeks later she was strong enough to care for her son and have him baptized. The woman said. ‘I love this book—it changed my perspective on life’,” Uson said. CBCPNEWS