The kind of book to be lived
MY LAST RETREAT, by Edward Leen, C.S.Sp., edited with a biographical note by R. H. Walker, C.S.Sp. (The Mercier Press, Cork, 155.).
F'LEEN was one of the truly great philosophical and theological writers and teachers of our time. For instance, as Fr. Walker tells us in his valuable foreword, he "graduated First of First in 1912" in Dublin, and in Rome he took his M.A. "with special distinction" on Kant's theory of duty.
This "Last Retreat", therefore, is a very valuable work (the transcript was rendered available by the Sisters of the Most Holy Rosary of Killeshandra) given to a community of missionary sisters but embodying the same principles as given to every class-youth, adults, clerical, and lay.
The lectures cover a wide and varied field; starting from the explanation of the essence of a retreat, the 24 lectures. occupying eight days, deal with reality. God, sin, the sacrament of Penance, perfection, dwelling with Christ. the Cross and the Mass, the new commandment. Our Lady our modelto mention most of the main headings.
It is a book for all and will prove a lifelong instrument of spirituality: as the publishers rightly claim, "the kind of book we all need to read-and live". It will also be of immense value. both as a source and as a help to methods of presentation, to the retreat director and the preacher.
Evil and pain
THE PROBLEM OF EVIL, by Francois Petit, 0.Praem. (A Faith and Fact Book, Burns & Oates, 7s. 6d.).
ALL the volumes in this excellent series appear to be written by distinguished French scholars and admirably translated; they are always most attractive and readable, as is the present one. The subject, as every student knows, has been treated by both the great and the lessor writers of many ages; pre-eminently by St. Thomas in the Samara Theologica, wherein we find this memorable sentence: "God neither wills evil to be done nor wills it not to be done; but wills to permit it to be done; and this is good." And another: "God is in no way the author of the evil which is sin, but of the evil which is penalty" (explaining Isaias).
In these two sentences we have a wealth of thought. But many who have never read the Summa will have read Mr. C. S. Lewis on the problem of pain, and probably Fr. D'Arcy on the problem of evil, and they will be likely to read this booklet.
TT goes through the subject 1 methodically and thoroughly, involving much erudition and pro
viding the student with plenty to ponder.
Yet when all is said on this agelong question, one may still be tempted to go asking why, and to call the learned comment mostly talk; until you conic to the Christian doctrine that all pain can be offered meritoriously to God-a truth of profound value and significance to us; and that in His infinite mercy and power God brings good out of evil.
However, to read the thoughts of scholars and deep thinkers on the question is certainly interesting to all the thoughtful, and it may be done at very moderate cost in this booklet.
FROM GETHSEMANI TO CALVARY, by Pere Charmot, Si., translated from the French by Richard H. Brenan, Si. (Clonmore & Reynolds-Burns, Oates, 5s.).
SEVEN meditations on the Passion by a distinguished contemporary French writer; translated by a priest who lived under Pere Charmot's direction at Parayle-Monial. Thoughtful, erudite, and in pocket format which renders it easily available for spare moments.
ROME IS HOME (13s. 6d.); LIFE AFTER DEATH (12s. 6d.) (Clonmore & Reynolds.-Burns, Oates).
THAVE put these together, be1 cause both are anthological or collections. edited by the learned Earl of Wicklow. The first contains the experiences of 30 converts, with a preface by the late Canon Rich; the second contains 22 essays on the next life by distinguished writers, a few of them still in this life. Mgr. Knox supplies the introduction; Fr. Bede Jarrett, the conclusion (Heaven).
There is much information in these books, and a wide variety: e.g., in the first, Anglicans and Nonconformists, missionaries and a R.A.F. officer; in the second, death itself, death and suffering, our hope in death, the Mass, the early Christians and the dead. purgatory all these are considered by different authors, all of then) great authors too.
The hooks are excellently printed in an attractive format. They should appeal strongly to many kinds of readers, to scholars as well as to general readers; and especially, of.course, to converts.