Page 6, 10th February 1978

10th February 1978
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Page 6, 10th February 1978 — RELIGIOUS BOOKS
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Organisations: Maynooth
Locations: Rome, Bangalore

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RELIGIOUS BOOKS

of the Bible" in 1976. John Penrose Rogers is responsible for the selection of readings, the arrangement and the notes.

Versions of the Bible used in this edition include some from the King James (Authorised) Version, the New English Bible, the Jerusalem Bible and J. B. Phillips' "Letters to Young Churches."

This hefty paperback without page numbering does in fact contain 344 pages of very clear print on good white paper. The lay-out is excellent and the cover most attractive.

Each reading is on its own on the left hand page with the notes facing it on the right. The notes are in a different, but clear type-face, on the right hand page. These arc taken from 70 authors, including theologians. archaeologists, psychologists and linguists.

There are simple crossreferences which help greatly. The Basic Bible is intended by the author to be an introduction for every type of reader to the later study of fuller texts and more scholarly commentaries.

In contrast with this book, which is not intended "to persuade us into a particular belief or Church," we find that the Bishop of Kerry in his book Sacrament of Salvation offers us solid studies in the Mystery of Christ and the Church.

Before being appointed to his episcopal See, Bishop Kevin McNamara was Dogma Professor at Maynooth. His work consists of 225 pages, divided into three parts and 13 chapters. First of all he discusses the structures and functions of theology. This he follows by study of the Church's doctrine on Jesus Christ. After these thoughts on "God's Word among Men," he turns to "His Body The Church," giving his attention to the holy people called by God who have a community call and the law of God's people and whose life in Christ is life in the Church.

Then after a chapter in which he considers the ministry of bishops and priests he writes at some length on the Holy Spirit. "Worship," "The Real Presence" and "infallibility" lead up to page 117.

The third part, starting on page 145, has the title: "That All May Be One," Under this heading the chapters contain a study of religion in itself, then the meaning of mission and "missions," the question of miracles, of evangelisation and the local Church, and finally a hopeful look towards the future.

On the whole it is a collection of Bishop McNamara's essays published in various journals. All who have made a study of the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (Lumen Gentiam) will find their knowledge enlightened and deepened by this hook.

It should be in the hands of every student for the priesthood in the English-speaking world, if not of every priest and others who may be termed "students of theology."

Cloud by Day — Fire by Night comes from Bangalore in India. In spite of the odd name of the publisher (Asian Trading Corporation) which would lead one to expect a work on market values and commerce, it is in fact a 223-page paperback on the religious life.

Alter a statement of general principles, in which terms such as "categories" "life-style" "active, contemplative and mixed" are explained, the author, Fr David Knight, deals in an attractive and most helpful manner with the essential aspects of religious life.

It is a treasury which should be in the hands of religious who want to know what they arc, love being what they arc, and really be what they are. It is something to read, not to put on the library shelves.

The author of Darkness Into Light worked for 20 years as a missionary in Manchuria, and was then given a five-year prison sentence. The deep faith that emerges from these pages is an inspiration. Such a book helps U.S to realise how much heroic missionaries and martyrs are willing to suffer for love of Jesus.

The respect that Pope Pius XII had for such a man is seen in the fact that after Fr Ruf had reached Rome following his captivity. the Holy Father would not allow him to kneel before him, but listened to his account of prison life, and of the death of the priest Li Peter, whom the Pope called "a true martyr." Several photographs are inserted in the middle of the book which help us to follow Fr Rurs tourney from darkness into light. If We read it with faith it will bring light into our darkness.

The Radiant Heart is an unusual book. It is by a convert front Russian-Communist atheism, whose husband was a nonpractising member of the Jewish religion. Prayer is their theme. "There are always people who are angered by prayer, and throughout history angry people have imprisoned, guillotined, shot and burned to death people who refuse to stop praying."

It is a book about deep, loving prayer. Some of it may at first seem strange to the "born Western Catholic." But it shows fresh fields and pastures new in which our prayer may be developed and renewed.

Fr G. Maloney, Si, offers awise foreword which should be read carefully before launching into this short, 75-page booklet on prayer. The bibliography is of particular value because it lists some not generally known works on the subjheuctt tohfa tp rChristiansa ye r. T h e r we iitsh I ai t eindt oe un bs et

hunger for deep prayer will be greatly helped by study of this book.

Ralph Dawson is not a clergyman. He had the dual role of antique dealer and actor. Like Morrison's book as to who rolled back the stone, which helped many inquirers to accept the truth of the Gospel account of the bodily resurrection of Jesus, this book sets out to sift the evidence for the basic doctrine of the Christian Faith.

At the very end of this 116-page hardback, the author states categorically that he at least is convinced beyond reasonable doubt that Christ our Saviour really did rise from the dead, and that the Christian doctrine of the Resurrection is no fable.

For Christians or others who need a strengthening of their belief in this fundamental fact of such irre portance to all of us, I do recommend this "Challenge to Reason and Belief" to them. It is not a difficult book to read, and its effect may the revivification cif one's Christian faith.

F. Leo Smith, SDS




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