THE OCCASIONAL SERMONS OF RONALD A. KNOX. Edited with an Introduction by Philip Carman, S.J. (Burns & Oates, 42s.).
T'companion volume to "The Pastoral Sermons," this work recalls in every way the features that went to make the earlier collection such a joy. There is the same careful editing by Fr. Caraman, the same weath of material and, above all, the unfading delight of recapturing the flavour of occasions when one heard the sermon delivered or of picturing that familiar figure in yet another triumph.
Here. indeed, is richness, Whether we listen to the praise of saints or of famous men. whether we join again in celebrating some great i event in the country's history or some modest Catholic achievement. we discover once again the great genius which made Ronald Knox the ideal preacher.
DIVERSIFIED as these occasions were-the Coronation of George VI, the Jubilee of Campion Hall, the funeral of G. K. Chesterton, the Holy Year-the sermon is so perfectly fitted to the circumstances that the preacher seems to have identified himself with his subject so completely that he invariably seems to be drawing on a long-standing personal experience.
Always. too, the apt allusion: 'The archdiocese [of Birmingham] embraces at Oxford the oldest
of our university institutions, and in North Staffordshire the youngest ": [of the Holy Grass]
" a mere splinter of that wood, such as a man might run into his hand, will draw thousands of worshippers to their knees" [of Henry VI]: " Four hundred and fifty years sit.ce . . died the only King of England since the Conquest who has ever been within measurable distance of being raised to the altars of the Church."
And always, enshrined in superb
language the simplest yet profoundest spiritual lesson. Here quotation is needless, as indeed it meet be to those who, having known Ronald Knox, as a man, a preacher or a wit, will need no encouragement to possess, if they can possibly afford it, this volume; but at least to borrow it, to study it. to be preached to without realising it.