The Way of Perfection. By St. Theresa of Jesus. Translated by Alice Alexander. (Mercier Press, Ms, 6d.) As in a Mirror. By Pr. James, O.F.M. Cap. (Mercier Press, $s. 6d.) The Mystical Body. By Fr. M. Eugene Boylan, O.C.R. (Mercier Press. 5s.)
FR. T. CORBISIILEY, S.J. (Master of Campion Hall)
THOSE who are familiar with the productions of the Mercier Press will not need to be informed about the merits of the three books under review. To attempt here to discuss the contents of The Way of Perfection would be to commit an impertinence, and it will suffice to assure the reader that the translation is workmanlike and readable, preserving all the forthrightness of the original and succeeding to a very great degree in rendering the spirited and humorous passages which so enliven the solid doctrine of the Saint's writing.
Of Fr. James' book it is sufficient to let his many admirers know that this is in the authentic Jacobean tradition. The inspiration of the work is derived from the thought of Autumn, when nature is " contemplative, withdrawn .. . exhausted by her fruitfulness." So the mind has its periods of reflection, when " after going forth in conquest. it turns back again to reflect upon itself . , ." The content of this reflection, needless to say, is manifold. including many facets of the spiritual life. l'he style is easy and unforced, starred with the gems of quotations from Chesterton and Canon Raven, Mauriac and Keats, Juliana of Norwich and Peter Wust that are so characteristic of the writer, who finds broken fragments everywhere, reflecting in miniature the unbroken infinite Truth.
Books on the Mystical Body have become fashionable; the mystery itself is. so rich and ineffable that it inevitably tempts and baffles fresh writers. Fr. Boylan's little treatise is to be commended to those who would be daunted by more ambitious treatises. Here the reader will find adequately summarised the basic doctrine and sonic applications to practical life.