I am pleased to share the following Catholic Book Spotlight interview with Richard Maffeo, author of We Believe: Forty Meditations on the Nicene Creed and Lessons Along the Journey.

Please briefly introduce yourself and your family to our readers.

I was born into a Jewish home in 1950. Twenty-two years later, I discovered Jesus is the Jewish Messiah, and I served Him in evangelical Protestant churches for more than thirty-two years. During that time I earned my BA in Bible and MA in Bible languages, both from Assemblies of God schools. In 2005 I was received into the Catholic Church, where I continue my faith journey toward the One who died, and then rose again to save us from the penalty our sins deserve. Nancy and I are married 34 years and we have three grown children.

What prompted your conversion to Catholicism and how has your faith journey impacted upon your writing?

While I was deployed overseas with the Navy I met a Catholic man who was the first Catholic I’d ever met who was actually conversant with the NT – so much so that he was able to challenge my long-held assumptions about Christian doctrine (for example, the Eucharist, Communion of Saints and the doctrines about the Blessed Mother).  His challenges forced me to go back to the Bible so I could have an answer for him. But when I researched the Scriptures, I discovered he was right and I was wrong about many of my long-held positions.

Please describe your two books for readers who may not yet be familiar with your writing.

I wrote We Believe: Forty Meditations on the Nicene Creed because I had become too familiar with the words I said during each Mass. And I sensed the Holy Spirit ask me, "Do you know what you are saying?"  When I realized I was simply mouthing those ancient words of our faith, I went home and began to parse the Creed into words and phrases – and wrote meditations surrounding each thought.

My second book, Lessons Along the Journey, is actually a compilation of essays I’ve published in many venues over the years. The forty or so essays chronicle in a way my faith journey, but also illustrate how God is in the midst of the significant and not-so-significant events of our lives.

At your blog Equipping Catholics, you feature an online bible study.  What motivated you to begin the blog and what is your goal for this study?

If my Catholic friend I mentioned above had not been schooled in the Scriptures, I would not have become a Catholic. My passion is to teach God’s word, rooted in the authentic teaching of the Church, to my fellow Catholics. Through my online Bible study and other blogs I write, I hope to challenge, exhort, encourage and provoke a deeper hunger for God’s word among my Catholic brethren. Who knows how many other men and women are out there who, like me, would turn their hearts to the Catholic faith – if only someone would lead them through the Scriptures?

What do you hope readers will take away from their experience of reading and studying your books?

I hope they will take away three things: First, that God loves them. Second, God loves them. Third, God loves them.

Are you at work on any future projects?

I’m working on a couple of other books, each based on my current blogs (the online Bible study, and my Contemplative Catholic Convert blog (www.thecontemplativecatholicconvert.blogspot.com).

Are there any additional comments you'd like to share with our readers?

We have the awesome privilege to be co-laborers with Christ for the salvation of souls (1 Corinthians 3:9). For that, we should be most grateful to our God.