Call: 877-542-7664

Steve Ray’s Summer Picks

Today’s guest post is by Steve Ray, popular speaker and author of St. John’s Gospel, Upon This Rock, Crossing the Tiber, and host of the popular TV series, The Footprints of God.

When Verbum asked me what books I would recommend for summer reading, it was easy to come up with some great titles.

I use Verbum every day, and there are certain books I use over and over again. The books are all interconnected, so while you could sit and read any of the books I picked (they’re all that good!), I use them more like reference works.

Home pageFor example, from the Verbum homepage, I like to start every day by simply clicking on today’s Gospel. Verbum springs into action. It opens an entire screen of windows—like having dozens of books all open to the exact right page. I have the Great Commentary of Cornelius à Lapide prioritized as a favorite, so it shows up automatically, and I can easily use parallel resources to switch to the Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture, and the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture. With just these three commentaries, I’ve uncovered spectacular insights about the Gospel (and Verbum has plenty more).

parallel resources

At any point in this process, I can run a Verbum Topic Guide or Passage Guide, and I’m presented with default collections of links to the Catechism, Church Documents, and the writings of the Church Fathers. The last category is often primarily populated by the Early Church Fathers Collection available in most of the Verbum Libraries. However, I’ve found the addition of the CUA Fathers of the Church Series invaluable in my study of any passage. I couldn’t even capture all the results I got just from today’s Gospel reading! Such easy access to our rich Tradition!

passage Guide

anchor yaleFinally, the Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary is my go-to source for definitions. See more on why Bible dictionaries are awesome in this video. The Anchor Yale Dictionary has extensive definitions for over 6,000 entries. And it gets pulled right into the Bible Facts frame and opens on a double click of almost any word. With definitions this extensive, even clicking on words I already understand yields new discoveries.

The rest of my recommendations are just great titles that everyone should read or be familiar with.

For a marvelous Catholic Bible Study program that anyone can start in their parish or community, I’ve always recommended Catholic Scripture Study International. It is the best program you will find anywhere!! And it’s even better in Verbum. All the Bible links are connected directly to Scripture and the verse memorization works right in the software.

I used Verbum to write all my books, including Crossing the Tiber, Upon This Rock, and St. John’s Gospel. They take on a whole new dimension within the Verbum software.

See my complete list of recommendations here.



Addendum (by Alex Renn):

Steve asked me to address a question from a user on his blog: “What does your entire screen look like after you click on the daily reading?” Here’s the basic answer plus some additional considerations:

Steve’s layout will look something like this:

steve ray screenshot

1) The Lectionary layout does not actually change as far as panels are concerned. Setting priorities will change what appears in each panel. This post, though old, is a great tutorial on setting priorities. You will be able to customize the order of the Bibles that appear in the top middle pane, and the commentary that populates the bottom middle. This is where he mentioned the Great Commentary of Cornelius à Lapide appearing in his post above.

2) It looks like some of the screenshot panels were pulled out of context to reveal more information (that may be why they look different from what you’re seeing.)

3) The topic guide was accessed by right clicking the Gospel in the Lectionary, making sure “Bible” is selected on the right, and Clicking “Passage Guide” on the left. Scroll down to see the Church Fathers section (pictured above).

open passage guide

4) Lastly, the dictionary was also prioritized as shown in number 1, so that double-clicking will open the Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary if possible. If you double click a word that isn’t an entry, it will open a different dictionary instead.

Hope that helps!

Cyril of Alexandria—Saint & Scrapper

Today’s guest post is by Robert Klesko, Verbum’s Catholic Educational Resources Product Manager

It is zeal for your house that has consumed me – Psalm 69:9

The above quote from the Psalmist seems especially appropriate to the life and ministry of St. Cyril, Pope of Alexandria (c. 376-444). He was zealous. Zealous for the authentic Christian faith. But zeal without a bridle can lead to failures. Cyril certainly made mistakes in regard to his dealings with the city’s Jewish population and Orestes, the Roman Governor in Alexandria. He was prone to be hotheaded and unflinching in what he viewed to be unjust persecution against his flock from rival religious and political authority. However, Cyril is not honored as a saint and doctor of the Church for his political savvy. In fact, I believe it was precisely these early failures which caused him to refocus his ministry on the Christological questions of his time.

Cyril of course is known for his dispute with Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople. This dispute produced some of the most prodigious theology of the Patristic Age. His theology is available from Verbum as part of our special monthly sale. Our six-volume set of the Works of St. Cyril of Alexandria will introduce you to the zealous champion of the orthodox faith. Included in this collection are the Five Tomes against Nestorius, which set the groundwork for the Council of Ephesus (431AD) and Chalcedon (451AD). In Tome II, Cyril makes the following affirmation of the dual nature of the human and divine in Jesus:

Yet how is it not obvious to all that the Only-Begotten being God by Nature has been made man, not by connection simply […] considered as external or accidental, but by true union, ineffable and passing understanding. And thus He is conceived of as One and Only, and everything said befits Him and all will be said of One Person.

This statement, and others like it, heavily influenced the Church’s doctrine of hypostasis, the understanding that Christ is one person with two natures, human and divine. The “hypostatic union” articulated by St. Cyril would become one of the key doctrines of Christological and Trinitarian theology.

Beyond his Christological writings, this six-volume set will introduce you to St. Cyril as a Biblical scholar. Included are his two-volume commentary on the Gospel of St. Luke and the companion two-volume commentary on the Gospel of John. Composed of sermons delivered by St. Cyril on themes in the Gospels, these commentaries offer a rich exposition of the Alexandrian school of theology. Anyone interested in Patristics or Biblical theology would benefit greatly by making these resources part of their Verbum library.

Verbum’s sale on the Works of St. Cyril of Alexandria is for a limited time, so don’t let this opportunity pass by. Studying Cyril’s theology will give you a clear understanding of the development of the Church’s doctrine on the divinity and humanity of Christ. What a great opportunity to look at Christ through the eyes of one who was among the first to grapple with the classic theological question, “What do you think of the Christ?” (Mt. 22:42). Let the study of St. Cyril’s work ignite the zeal for Christ in your own life. Order today and take advantage of the savings!

Take 26% off Verbum’s 13‑volume Homilies Bundle

Verbum’s power extends beyond pure Bible study: some of its most useful features have to do with researching and preparing homilies. And, with features like the Catholic Topical Index, homily prep has never been easier.

Verbum’s new Homilies Bundle gives you insight from some of today’s leading homiletics experts. You can browse hundreds of homilies on a variety of liturgical events, from Sunday and daily Masses to feast days, weddings, and more.

Of course, all these homilies are linked and fully searchable, so you can study your homily side by side with relevant Bible verses, Catechism references, and Church documents.

Plus, with Verbum’s lectionary layout, you can open up a homily right next to the Lectionary, Roman Missal, and Bible for extra inspiration.

Homily preparation can be time-consuming. Verbum speeds it up—as you study, you’ll find references to works you may not have even considered looking up, all thanks to the way that Verbum organizes your library and links it together.

Want to learn more about Verbum and homiletics? See how Verbum can help you by watching this quick video.

Take 26% off the Homilies Bundle today!

Lift Up Your Hearts

Take 28% off Lift Up Your Hearts on Pre-Publication

Right now, you can pre-order the Lift Up Your Hearts collection for 28% off!

The liturgy “is the outstanding means whereby the faithful may express in their lives . . . the mystery of Christ and the real nature of the true church” (Sancrosanctum Concilium 2). Verbum now brings you the Lift Up Your Hearts collection, a three-volume bundle of homiletic and liturgical helps for every Sunday and feast day during each year of the lectionary cycle. These volumes are linked and easily searchable, preparing you to give homilies that will inspire your parishioners all week long.

Lift Up Your Hearts isn’t just for priests and deacons, though it is ideal for this sort of work. It’s also great for parishioners looking for a deeper experience of the Sunday readings, or for liturgical ministers seeking insight into their participation in the Mass. Aptly named, Lift Up Your Hearts presents an engaging and deep exploration of the Word of God expressed living and true in the Mass and the public prayers of the Church.

Pre-order early to save 28% while this collection is on Pre-Publication. Regularly $45.95, these three volumes can be yours for $32.95. Pre-order yours today!

Or, better yet, check out the Homilies Bundle, which offers even bigger savings.

Verbum and Preaching, Part 5: Preaching is Eucharistic

In this fifth installment of Verbum and PreachingJason briefly talks about the importance of the Eucharistic element and end of preaching:

Pre-Publication Special: The 1917 Code of Canon Law in English & Latin

Get 20% off the 1917 Code of Canon Law in English & Latin!

The 1917 Code of Canon Law is an important document for understanding many of the basic tenets of the Church today. The 1917 Code was foundational in writing the Second Vatican Council’s decrees, and of course provided the groundwork for the 1983 Code of Canon Law.


Published in 2001, the 1917 Pio-Benedictine Code of Canon Law is the first time a comprehensive English translation of the Codex Iuris Canonici has ever existed. Dr. Edward N. Peters’ faithful translation of the original 1917 Latin text, along with his detailed references to such key canonical works as Canon Law Digest, gives researchers direct access to this great work of ecclesiastical legal science.

The original Latin codex (780 pages) was the fully developed legal system for the Church, in effect from 1917 to 1983. The history this codex is fascinating: it begins after the First Vatican Council (1870) as Pope Pius X and his clergy began collecting and canonizing the ancient collections of canon laws. These laws included Pope Gregory IX’s Liber Extra from 1234, Pope Boniface VIII’s Liber Sextus from 1298, and Pope John XII’s Clementines from 1317. Finally, in 1917, Pope Pius X synthesized these documents into a single systematic canonical code, rendering the Codex Iuris Canonici contained in this collection.

These important juridical works are enormous assets in Verbum. References to the canons will appear on mouseover in the reference texts in the rest of your library, letting you see the exact citation without losing your place. Read the Latin and the English side by side, and use the dictionary lookup tool to investigate English or Latin words and concepts.

Pre-order the 1917 Code of Canon Law in English and Latin today, and save 20%

Pre Publication Special: Faith of the Early Fathers

Get the Faith of the Early Fathers for 10% off! 

 The writings of the early Church Fathers are vast. Though all these texts are inherently valuable, the question sometimes arises: How can I find the most important, popular, or concise teachings?


 The Faith of the Early Fathers collection is your answer. Following the structure of the Enchiridion Patristicum, it gives you the Church Fathers’ most important sayings and writings, all in one highly cited collection.

What is the Enchiridion Patristicum?

The Enchiridion Patristicum is a chronological manual of the Fathers’ most important sayings. Compiled by the French theologian Rouet de Journel in 1911, it’s proved itself as a thorough guide for anyone studying theology and Church history.

The Faith of the Early Fathers collection follows Journel’s format, but also includes much that Journel did not. This collection is perfect for:

1) Studying critical theological developments in the first seven centuries of Christian history.

2) Reading prominent sayings and sermons from Clement of Rome, Polycarp, Augustine, Basil, Chrysostom, Ambrose, Jerome, and others.

3) Tracking the formation of Christian doctrine—both the orthodox and the heretical—in the first seven centuries of the Church.

The Faith of the Early Fathers is ideal for serious patristic scholars, or for those who simply want an expertly curated selection of writings from the Church Fathers.

Get this outstanding collection today for 10% off on Pre-Pub.

Pre-Publication Special: Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Writings and Audiences

Get The Audiences and Apostolic Writings of Pope John Paul II for 20% off!

In less than a month, Pope John Paul II will be canonized as a saint—a momentous occasion for millions all around the world. Now is the perfect opportunity to reflect on the life of this great man of God—a man who left behind not just a legacy of holiness, but also a treasury of literature and thought for the entire Church to study.

Today, you can get Pope John Paul II’s audiences and apostolic writings in one 11-volume collection. These are enormous volumes, compiled here at Verbum, that contain the Holy Father’s correspondences, constitutions, and audiences from 1978 to 2005.

These writings, in this chronological, digitized format, are not available anywhere else. 


In this massive collection, you’ll get 26 years of Pope John Paul II’s writings, including his:

  1. Letters
  2. Messages to bishops, archbishops, cardinals, and world leaders
  3. Public prayers
  4. Public audiences
  5. Speeches
  6. Motu Proprio
  7. Original teachings on Theology of the Body
  8. Apostolic Constitutions (available in Latin)

There is no better way to read and study the great writings of Pope John Paul II than in Verbum. All of his scriptural and Church-document references are linked to the resources themselves, giving you the ability to read Pope John Paul II’s thought side by side with the Tradition he loved and upheld.

Pre-order The Audiences and Apostolic Writings of Pope John Paul II today for 20% off

Pre-Publication Special: The Way of the Lord Jesus

Get The Way of the Lord Jesus for 29% off

The systematic study of revealed truth—a question-by-question reflection on Scripture, reason, and history—is not always at the forefront of our minds. In fact, unless one is a systematic theologian, sitting down to hammer out questions about morality and theology is rare. If we’re honest, most of us have neither the time nor the faculties to approach Scripture and the teachings of the Church with such rigor.

This is why great works like Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica are so immensely helpful. They stand as compendiums that the Faithful can refer to regarding pressing questions. Works like the Summa also help us categorize our thoughts, doctrine, and study.

baptism-of-jesus-1643.jpg!BlogGermain Grisez does precisely this kind of work with his three-volume series The Way of the Lord Jesus. Focusing on the moral dimension of systematic theology, Grisez walks through the most pressing questions we face today. His first chapter in the first book begins with these questions:

1) What is theology?

2) What is moral theology?

3) What is the role of the teaching of the Church in the method of moral theology?

4) What does Vatican II say about renewal in moral theology?

Grisez’s method is similar to Aquinas’ in that he takes each question and gives a systematic answer. For example, the answer to question #1 begins as follows:

1.“Theology” in the most general sense means thought and talk about God. Theology is also about ourselves and everything else, considered in relation to God. Philosophical theology (sometimes called “natural theology” or “theodicy”) is distinct from sacred theology. The former proceeds by the light of reason, while the latter proceeds by the light of faith and uses reason only as a tool of faith (see S.t., 1, q. 1, a. 1; a. 5, ad 2; a. 8, ad 2; S.c.g., 1, 9).

2.Sometimes the word “theology” is used to refer to the systematic features of a scriptural author’s appropriation (that is, personal reception) of divine revelation: We speak of the “theologies” of St. Paul, of St. John, and so on. It should not be supposed, however, that Scripture and our reflections on faith are theology in the same sense. Since it was essential to the completion of God’s act of communication that revelation be personally received and made their own by persons whom God chose for that purpose, the Scriptures, together with sacred tradition, constitute the supreme rule of faith (see DV 21). We receive Christian faith only by understanding and using the books of the Bible as the Catholic Church understands and uses them in her teaching, liturgy, and life. Hence, the “theologies” in Scripture itself are normative—that is, they set the standard—for our reflections on faith.

Grisez gives five more points, each following up the questions brought up in the last. He continues this method throughout the entire series, masterfully covering hundreds of theological topics and moral questions.

the-way-of-the-lord-jesusIn Verbum, this resource—amazing in and of itself—becomes truly invaluable. Because Grisez makes so many references and citations to Scripture and other Church documents, these volumes come to life in Verbum: each resource links to your other books and resources.

Grisez’s brilliant work of moral theology is 29% off on Pre-Pub.

Get it today!

Pre-Publication Special: Catholic Bible Dictionary

Get the
Catholic Bible Dictionary for 23% off!


Scott Hahn’s Catholic Bible Dictionary is a landmark publication in its own right, but in Verbum it’s full potential is unlocked. It’s an enormous compendium of biblical topics, characters, and definitions; all 5,000-plus entries are replete with Scripture references and detailed definitions.

Imagine a page like this in Verbum, where each of the entries are easily searchable and linked to other resources in your digital library:

Abel 1

The Catholic Bible Dictionary doesn’t just give you simple definitions. Key characters and concepts have pages devoted to themes, questions, and other relevant topics. Here’s an example from the entry on Abraham:

Abraham 1

In print, this volume is big, heavy, and difficult to carry around. With Verbum, you can carry around this 1,000-plus-page volume on your phone, tablet, or laptop—with all the added functionality and tools that you need for thorough, powerful study.

In this massive work, Scott Hahn draws from two millennia of scholarship to create an accessible, comprehensive tool for deeper and more rewarding biblical study.

A perfect study companion for layman and serious scholar alike, the Catholic Bible Dictionary is an invaluable asset to your Verbum library.

Get it today for 23% off!

Help Desk Software

Don’t miss out!

Sign up to receive news, special deals, free books, and more!

No Thanks

Get the latest Verbum news, and hear about all our sales, special offers, and giveaways.
Don't miss a single deal—subscribe now!