GOD'S INFINITE LOVE AND OURS, by Robert Mageean, C.SS.R. (Conmore and Reynolds, 12s. 6d.).
LOVE ONE ANOTHER, by L. Colin, C.SS.R. (Mercier Press, 15s.).
"THERE is no doubt about it,
in every language the most misused word is "Love." It is made to stand for blind animal lust; sincere regard and respect; affection, selfless and selfish; desire for the good of others; right up to to the pure, hurning, mystical love of the saints for God Himself.
There are over 180 pages and 12 chapters in the first treatise, which moves frOrn " What is Love'? " to "conformity with the Divine Will", and covers the whole field of the
love of God. Each chapter is neatly and conveniently broken up into easily digestible sections. In fact Fr. Mageean seems to have produced an almost ideal
" spiritual reading " book. The style is easy and simple, moving and direct, and ii lust rated bv current. topical images and references.
This is, in short, a book not only for the religious at his spiritual reading hut also for the average man for whom the reading of such hooks is something of an adventure.
It is well written and easy to read: a most profitable source of reflection and meditation.
THE second book, too, covers most of the aspects of the basic Christian virtue, love of God
and of one's neighbour. It is translated from the original French by Fergus Murphy.
the author in the opening sentence of his " Introduction" writes: " I wish to warn my readers at the very outset of this work that I propose to be lengthy, perhaps • boring, and certainly banal. This I do through prudence and frankness, though I may risk seeing my readers close the book at the very first page."
Well, alas, it must be confessed that Fr. Colin is as good as his word. But also reviewers with any kind of conscience to their employers or to the writers cannot fulfil the last part of Fr. Colin's concience "risk"; they have to plod on. The hook is badly written, and/or very badly translated. There is no consistency in the quotations from Holy Scripture; some are in Latin, some in English. It is very muddled and repetitive. Book f (five chapters. 50 pages) deals with " Nature "; Book 2 (12 chapters, 100 pages), with " Aspects." covering love of neighbour, wife, brother in religion, etc.; Book 3 (two chapters, 13 pages), with " Works."
Despite this seemingly clear plan, the treatise is very much of a jumble-probably for the want of a clear definition of terms; though certainly not for the want of some very wise and pregnant observations, especially in "Aspects," on love of one's neighbour.
B. J. Prentis