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Celebrating Resurrection Power!
by Sarah Blanchard (from the Spring 2016 AMU Magazine)

Fr. Bob (as he is fondly known by students on campus) is Assistant Professor of Theology. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses, administers the sacraments, serves the student body through Campus Ministry, and bikes around in black beneath the hot Florida sun. In spite of it all, he is one of the most joyful souls on campus. How does Fr. Bob manage? Resurrection power, of course!

What exactly is “Resurrection Power”? The phrase is taken from The Letter of Paul to the Philippians, in which St. Paul writes that he desires to know Christ and “the power of His resurrection” (Philippians 3:10). “Resurrection power can help us to rise above difficulties or to live well with unresolvable challenges,” Fr. Bob explains. “Resurrection power helps us to use both our reason to understand God’s victory over death and our faith to grow in our relationship with the God Who raised Jesus bodily from the dead.”

Fr. Bob, who earned both his Licentiate of Canon Law and Doctorate of Sacred Theology from the Catholic University of America, writes for a general audience, while anchoring the spirituality of his book in solid scholarship. He hopes the work will appeal to a wide spectrum—young people, students, parents, seekers, and anyone looking for a spiritual boost—but he has in mind particularly those who are struggling. “Jesus’ resurrection is a rock-solid point of contact for those who struggle with faith,” Fr. Bob says. “Let’s remember: the disciples went to the tomb expecting to find Jesus dead, but they find Him raised up instead.”

The book features examples from Scripture and from the lives of the saints that illustrate victorious daily living and the conquering of ordinary anxieties. Life in our “anxious age” is often flooded with distractions and we can become weighed down by a multitude of concerns. Reviving the spirit of Easter, and letting the power of the Resurrection operate in our lives, is a sure path towards spiritual renewal, joy and peace. “When we consider how Jesus Christ has positively transformed our world by His dying and rising,” Fr. Bob reflects, “this gives us hope and courage in facing the future.”

Although he has been thinking about Resurrection power for years, Fr. Bob was motivated to write a book on it out of gratitude to God. He has felt the power working in his own life, and he only hopes that more people may come to know the supreme importance of this historical event and its relevance in our lives today.

Anyone who sees Fr. Bob biking by cannot help but crack a smile. AMU students past and present have great affection and esteem for him—and it seems the feeling is mutual. All author proceeds from the book will go to Ave Maria Students in need of financial assistance. “This just seemed like the right thing to do,” Fr. Bob exclaimed, “since our students are so, shall we say, awesome, eh?”
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