Genre

Nonfiction

Audience

Ages 21 & Up or whatever your country’s legal drinking age is

Author’s Worldview

Catholic

Year Published

2020

Themes

Wine, Prayer, Filipina Authors, Scripture, The Eucharist, Journaling, Wedding at Cana, Cana

 

Reviewed by

M.S.Ocampo

Theology In The Bottle: Where Cana Meets the Cross is a series of 30 reflections inspired by Scripture verses that all relate to wine, grapes, the winemaking process, etc. This devotional includes journal pages. Schreck does an amazing job finding applicable lessons and relatable stories from all the aspects of wine, grapes, and from Scripture. 

In the King James version of the Bible, the word “wine” is mentioned 231 times. The growing of grapes and winemaking are used as metaphors for understanding life. I’m very impressed with how Schreck used the various aspects of wine, grapes, and even the Eucharist in her reflections. Wine is used in many meals, so anecdotes about gathering around a table are also used.

In the Preface, Schreck starts off with Jesus’s first public miracle, the wedding at Cana. “You could say it was through wine that He became accessible to the laity.” She also had a reflection question in regards to Mary’s role at Cana: “Did she know that by asking Jesus to perform that miracle, that she was ushering in the chapter of His public ministry? Did she know that she was hastening His Passion?” 

Even the process of growing grapes is used as part of this series of reflections. Reflection nine talks about what it takes to grow grapes with the right sweetness or acidity. “For the purpose of ripening, what the grapes need is warmth, more than actual light. In fact, too intense of sun exposure can scorch a grape, resulting in off-flavors.” Schreck has done a lot of effort into researching all things relating to growing grapes, winemaking, and the cultures that embrace winemaking. 

While I love that the author is Filipino, I think it would have been interesting to see the author explore wines and winemaking from other cultures, such as Japan. It would have been a great way to show how people from cultures outside of Europe and America could understand all the winemaking metaphors.  

I recommend this book of reflections for people who like to go out for winetasting with friends as well as people who use wine regularly at mealtimes. I also recommend this book for those who are into growing grapes and have a great devotion to the Eucharist. 

The Science of God: The Convergence of Scientific and Biblical Wisdom by Gerald L. Schroeder

Essential reading for anyone involved in the debate between religion and science.

How Can You Still Be Catholic? By Christopher Sparks

There are many good apologetics books out there but this book teaches you how to speak to the heart as much as the head.

Transgender Ideology & Gender Dysphoria: A Catholic response by Dr. Jake Thibault

A pastoral, academic overview of one of today’s most controversial issues: transgenderism.

In the Footsteps of St. Therese: How to Be Single but Not Alone by Teresita Ogg

A Filipino woman recounts her lifelong journey in a single vocation, with Saint Therese guiding the way.

Broken and Blessed: An Invitation to My Generation By Fr. Josh Johnson

Fr. Josh addresses some of the common misconceptions people have about God and what getting to actually know him actually means.

The Tale of Patrick Peyton

How a humble, Irish immigrant brought Mary to Hollywood and then the World.

Ascend to Your Father by John Hammes ph.d

This book brings us to a unity with the Triune God who loves us so much that he sent his Son to redeem the world and sanctify us through the Holy Spirit.

Milestone to Manhood: A Christian Rite of Passage to Help Your 13-Year-Old Son Make the Leap from Boyhood to Manhood by David Arms and Steven Arms

One father’s quest to help his sons learn what it means to be a man – and how you can start your own tradition.

Best Books of 2022

Our favorite book finds of the year!

Seeking Allah Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi

When a Muslim man asks God to show him who he is, he is unprepared for the answer.

Saving Cinderella: What Feminists Get Wrong About Disney Princesses And How To Set It Right by Faith Moore

Love the Disney movies you grew up with but don’t know how to defend them in the face of the modern critics? This book is for you.

At Heaven’s Edge:  True Stories of Faith and Rescue By Andrea Jo Rodgers

As an EMT Rodgers has seen God work in ways that defy medical analysis.

Consecration to St. Joseph by Donald H. Calloway, MIC

Fatherly protection of St. Joseph, first with the Holy Family and then in the Universal Church, is needed now more then ever to protect and lead us.

Lord of the Rings & the Eucharist by Scott L. Smith

What do trees have to do with Bread & Wine?

Revelations Of Divine Love by Julian of Norwich, read by Sr. Wendy Beckett, Edited by Donna K. Triggs

A 14th century account of visions exploring the meaning of love, and God as love.

Broken Brain; Fortified Faith: Lessons of Hope Through a Child’s Mental Illness

When her daughter is stricken insane her mother finds the grace to do what she must to save her and bring her back to sanity.

Help from Heaven by Andrea Jo Rodgers

In this year of tragedy, Rodgers reminds us of the miracle of human kindness.

Unrepeatable: Cultivating the Unique Calling of Every Person By Luke Burgis and Joshua Miller, PhD

Every person is gifted with a primary vocation from birth based on motivational patterns.

Navigating Deep Waters: Meditations for Caregivers Jeannie Ewing and Eileen Benthal

If you’re a care-giver for a chronically sick family member or friend, this book is for you and your healing.