Sharing good books, a ‘work of mercy’

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Luis A. Uson with the staff of Sinag-tala Publishers, Inc. at the SMX Convention Center Mall of Asia for the 37th Manila International Book Fair, which is being held from Sept. 14 to 18. (Photo: Fr. Mickey Cardenas)

MANILA, Sept. 17, 2016 – “Publishing and distributing good books, more than a business, is a work of mercy.”

This was the observation of a Catholic publisher as thousands of book distributors and book lovers congregated at the country’s biggest annual book event, the Manila International Book Fair (MIBF), at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.

“Books can change lives. We have heard of many stories of how a book had changed the life of a person for the rest of his life. However, a good book read at the wrong time can be counterproductive. Worse, a bad book read anytime can be harmful or devastating,” said Luis A. Uson, president and managing director of Sing-tala Publishers, Inc.

“One of the spiritual works of mercy,” Uson pointed out, “is to counsel the doubtful. And one concrete act that any Catholic can do is to share 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.

“There are millions of titles available on various subject areas. For readers, this can be confusing and overwhelming.

“Many non-Catholics and Catholics too, are full of misinformation about what the Church actually teaches or about the role of the Church in society.

“Has someone asked you for advice? A good book given to someone can help break down doubts and prejudices they may hold about God or our faith.

Perfect gift

“For Christmas or birthdays, why not give friends a Catholic book that clearly helped you in living your faith? It is a work of mercy well done,” explained the publisher .

“We should fight for better quality time for prayer and foster an ever-growing desire to win more persons for Christ. Prayer life is enhanced when we commit ourselves to read good books on Catholic spirituality to effect positive and lasting changes in our lives and in the lives of our friends and relatives.”

Advice of St. Mother Teresa

As Uson recalled recently-canonized Mother Teresa insistently taught, “It is only by mental prayer and spiritual reading that we can cultivate the gift of prayer.”

“Or, as St. Josemaria Escriva put it, ‘May your behaviour and your conversation be such that each person who sees or hears you may say, ‘This man reads the life of Jesus Christ.’ ”

“Escrivá’s book ‘The Way’ has sold more than 4.5 million copies in 43 different languages, It is a type of book that people reach out for, and reading it, would like others to have and read it too,” Uson added.

The 37th Manila International Book Fair is held from Sept. 14 to 18, jointly organized by the Asian Catholic Communicators, Inc. (ACCI), Book Development Association of the Philippines (BDAP),

Philippine Booksellers Association, Inc. (PBAI), and the Overseas Publishers’ Representatives Association of the Philippines (OPRAP). (Fr. Mickey Cardenas/CBCP News)

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