Page 6, 3rd January 1975

3rd January 1975
Page 6
Page 6, 3rd January 1975 — Treasure for intelligent Christians
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Treasure for intelligent Christians

by SISTER LORRETTO

As editor of United Press International, Louis Cassels .gained the attention of the American public by his soulsearching extracts and moral questions. Such reading is frequently sought by thoughtful and intelligent people, He then traced the progress of curious professors in various countries, who researched among old manuscripts to authenticate the actuality of the historical Christ, which was finally proved beyond all doubt, and was even acknowledged by militant atheistic Soviet Union.

Finally, Cassels highlighted the painstaking work of Professor J. O'Callagahan, a' Spanish Professor of the Pontifical .Institute, who fitted together tiny fragments of papyrus, which were found 'among the Dead Sea Scrolls, on which was written the Gospel According to Mark, written in Rome between AD 65 and 68. Mark thus testified to the death and resurrection of Christ, and proved his divinity.

This book is a treasure for intelligent Christians, anxious to know the ,truth about Christianity.

John Coutts gives the public a well-planned Bible study programme for daily use, for half the year --daily meditation from Old and New Testaments, followed by prayers and hymns, that most Christians would enjoy.

Special study has been made of St Paul, the life and times of Isaiah. • the sayings of Jesus, readings for Whitsuntide and a survey of the Book of Kings.

There is some serious thinking for Good Friday, Holy Saturday and a change to expressions of great joy for Easter Sunday.

Such a hook will be invaluable to incapacitated people and others. Unable to attend church services for one reason or another, but who nevertheless wish to fulfil their Christian obligations during such an important Religious season.

Hymns such as the closing chorus of the musical "Hosea" are a delight to read: To a God like this we come with gladness.

From a God like this why should we hide?

To a God like this we bring our sadness, By a God like this our tears are

dried. •

It takes the Salvation Army to give us triumphant march hymns.

Tomas O'Fiaich has researched well to give the public a clearly defined picture of St Columbanus and a cross section of the writings of Ireland's missioner, poet. scholar, abbot, preacher, co founder of western monasticism. The outstanding personality among the clergy ol the sixth century has stepped out from the shadows and become a living reality in this book.

Jonas, who was privileged to live in community with Columbanus. kept alive the memory of this great monk and saint in his memoirs, from which the author Fiaich gathered much of his information.

We see Columbanus living in the austere monastic buildings at Bangor, working, studying, and writing ruthlessly, living on a meatless diet.

He prepared well for his missionary travels across Europe. Monastries were built at Aunegray, a village in France, Luxeuil, Fontaine and Metz. Pilgrims from everywhere besieged the saintly men who were trying to escape from the World.

People of today can learn lessons from Columbanus' poems: I ask no rich gifts That will not endure — Gold that the miser Hoards up, yet is poor.

Garth Lean was a courageous man to collect evidence of religious experiences, perceptions and phenomena during the pre-war era. in an environment where it was "acute embarrassment" to speak about religious credibility. Spiritual penetration disturbs man "It shakes the selfish, disturbs the comfortable, infuriates the materialist" so one has to be virile against, proud and selfish ego, to begin the the spiritual ascent.

The book is packed with charming narratives, about delightful honest characters, like Tod Sloan who described himself as "a watchmaker by trade and an agitator by nature."

The challenging high standard of morality of the Oxford Group — absolute honesty, purity, unselfishness and love — played an outstanding part in the conversion of Garth and his wife Margo Appleyard. This book will impress on you the importance of your social and moral responsibilities, solve some of your problems. help you to shed the herd instinct and give you the moral courage to say a firm "yes" or "no" when it benefits your philosophy of life.

Don't think it is a dry book. On the contrary, there is plenty to amuse you.

" Brother Carlo, like his holy founder Charles de Foucauld, who gave his life for his neighbour, sought and found God and love among mankind. Both of these great men tell us that "Man is God's presence on earth" and it is our duty to free men from slavery, ignorance and hunger.

This is a demanding task, especially when one discovers egoism, arrogance and betrayal; ill fact, it is impossible without Christ's help.

Here are principles to help us: "Sin is not what we do, but what we omit doing" "Truth is always a synthesis of opposites." If we try to serve mankind without Christ, we could subconsciously be motivated by pride, for we cannot be or do anything without God. "To doubt the presence of Jesus in my life is lack of faith."

Brother Carlo niatches up with St Francis in his love for nature. lie meets his Creator in all living things. God is obvious in nature to a good, simple man, but not to the sinner. The relationship between Creator and creature should be one of awareness, dialogue, prayer and friendship.

All the saints loved the mystics. Carlo quotes ravishing canticles from St John of the Cross:

Reveal Your presence clearly And kill me with the beauty you discover, ,

For pains acquired so dearly From love cannot recover Save only through the presence of the toyer.

Dom John Chapman, having gone through the agony of leaving the Anglican Church and experienced the ecstasy of reaching the end of the road to Rome, became a qualified master to convert the Anglican monks of Caldey Island into true sons of St Benedict.

In spite of heavy schedules of work, research. writing, and government. he found the time to correspond with many of his followers and admirers — intellectuals, married couples, nuns, monks and single people. He calmed their fears while going through the process of purification, and helped them in their loneliness while in the "Night of the Spirit." One young woman was told not to worry when she was trying to stabilise her "mental balance."

These letters now published in a new edition, are a great tribute to Dom John's inspired faculty of reasoning, reflection and thought — of his ease of spirit over materialism.

Fr Durrwell has presented the public with a masterful book of theology on the Resurrection of Christ as being complementary to his death, laying stress on the indissoluble bond connecting these two supreme events in the mystery of salvation.

St. Paul's letters to the Corinthians and Romans inspired the author to explore the old and new Biblical theology of the Resurrection. He thus supported and proved the theories of Prat, who was the first scholar to expose the onesided pre-war theology — that Redemption was achieved by Christ's death alone.

The stress on the Resurrection has brought peace and unity among men, who have ceased looking to the sky for heaven and seek it in the hearts of their neighbour.

This book will be invaluable to all students of religion, priests, religious sisters, catechists. and all seekers of truth.

Fr Woodhall, SJ, gives to parents, leaders of parish units, teachers and others interested in helping themselves or others, a comprehensive scheme of Christian activity in Followers of Christ, described as a handbook of adult education in the Catholic Faith.

The human and divine element in God's plan for each person called the "mystery of God's purpose" is clarified so as to help people to cope with the tension between what is profane and spiritual in the struggle of existence.

The prepared discussion topics at the end of each chapter will save endless time for busy teachers and group leaders. The programme explains the mysteries of the Incarnation, the Trinity and the presence of Christ in his Church and in the Sacraments. These are distinguished and treated separately.

This hook will spread Christian hope among people of goodwill, create aspirations towards Christian unity, and aid personal purification by the author's enlightened examination of conscience.




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