The Priest of the Moors by Elizabeth Hamilton. (Darton, Longman & Todd, £2.60) THIS IS a portrayal of the life. work and character of Nicholas Postgate who was put to death under the statute of 1585 which forbade a Catholic priest to practise in England. For 20 years Father Postgate tramped the moors of North Yorkshire bringing the Mass, sacraments and consolation to the scattered Catholic population. Cardinal Hume, in a foreword writes "cheerfulness was never far away, even in prison faced with a gruesome death. He endeared himself to all, simple moor dwellers and landed gentry alike". He was over 80 years old when he was dragged from prison on a sledge to be executed outside the walls of York.
He made a brief speech on the scaffold saying he was dying for the Catholic Faith and that he prayed God to grant to the King grace and the light of truth. He died on the seventh of August 1679. Elizabeth Hamilton has done a great service by writing this excellent biography.
This is the Word of the Lord. Edited by Robin Duckworth SM, £2.50.
The preface of this book states that "it is intended primarily for layfolk who wish to come to a better understanding of the content and message of the passages of Scripture used in the Sunday Lectionary".
It follows that the various Scripture readings have been simply and clearly explained by the various contributors. There are explanations of all three readings including the psalms. This volume is for year A.
Exploring Worship by Colin Hodgetts. (Mowbray, f 1.75).
THIS BOOK is a group study guide to worship. It consists of a course made up of 22 sessions. The author writes in an introduction "The course is designed to give you the tools necessary to assess acts of worship constructively and to approach the design of new services creatively".
Great stress is made on relaxation of body; instructions are given how to achieve this. The various elements that go to make up worship are discussed, among them words, music, drama and silence. The sessions are intended for small groups of between six and twelve people meeting for two to two-and-a-half hours once or twice a week.
The Great Acquittal, Edited by Gavin Reid. (Collins Fount, £1.50).
THIS BOOK, as a sub-title indicates, is concerned with "Justification by Faith and current Christian thought". The subject is treated from different angles by four evangelical Anglican writers.
The first, Tom Wright, discusses the meaning of justification and its biblical basis, The second, George Carey, writes of the differences between the Protestant and Catholic view.
He writes with admirable clarity with special reference to the Reformation controversies. The third writer, John Tiller, deals with the subject from the angle of liturgical and sacramental worship. The last writer, Tony Baker. writes from the pastoral and evangelical point of view, The authors indicate that though there are differences between the Protestant and Catholic view on justification they are not so divisive as they were in the past.
Much misunderstanding has been expelled and former prejudices overcome. A useful book for ecumenical study.
Parable of Community by Brother Roger of Taizc. (Mowbray, £1.50).
TAIZE is a tiny village that has become well known in the English-speaking world. The young especially are drawn in their hundreds to its ecumenical community. This book sets out the rule by which the brothers of the community live.
There are also sections written by brother Roger, the founder of the community, under the titles "A Life we never dared hope for". "The Wonder of a Love", "Itinerary for a Pilgrim". The book ends with an account of the life of the Taize community.
Word into Silence by John Main OSB. (Darton, Longman & Todd, £1.99).
"THE ALL-IMPORTANT aim in Christian meditation", the author writes, "is to allow God's mysterious and silent presence within us to become more and
Angelic musician from an early catechism — the stained-glass window. From Discovering Stained Glass by John Harries (Shire, 85p).
more not only a reality, but the reality in our lives; to let it become that reality which gives meaning and shape and purpose to everything we do; to everything we are".
For meditation silence is required "a silence where we have to listen, to concentrate, to attend rather than to think". We need to experience a sense of wonder in the presence of the splendour and greatness of God.
For this we need "the life of the Spirit in our human heart". It is through the Spirit that we are incorporated into the Body of Christ and in turn we are returning fully awakened to the Father.
"In its essential", Father Main writes, "the aim of meditation is just this: the realisation of our total incorporation in Jesus Christ, in the cycle of his utterance by, and return to, the Father".
This is an excellent book. It not only speaks of the value and significance and content of meditation; it also gives sound practical advice concerning its practice.
Journal of a Soul by Pope John (Geoffrey Chapman, £5.50).
THIS rc-issue of the book of which Pope John wrote "My soul is in these pages" is very welcome. The memory of Pope John is still very much alive today. This book does much more than recall the details of his life; its great value is that it brings home the inner life of a great man and a saint. The book is well illustrated.
Maurice Nassan SJ