The Way of the Cross: Meditations of Pope John Paul Ii (Redemptorist Publications, 75p). A very good way of pondering on the mystery of our Redemption as the present Holy Year draws to a close would be to use these simple gospel meditations, originally given in the Vatican by Cardinal Wojtyla, later Pope John Paul II. The booklet contains a facsimile message from the Holy Father and is amply illustrated. Re-treat Your Family to Lent by Sandra De Gidio OSM (Redemptorist Publications £1.20) and Lent begins at Home by Pat and Rosemary Ryan (Redemptorist Publications 90p) The compilers of both these booklets must have enjoyed preparing them. Unfortunately most people do not like being oyerorganised in their penitential exercises nor having their responses and attitudes marshalled, as they seem to be here.
However Sr De Gidio's liturgical approach may help with family celebration of Lent; and the Ryan's ingenuity in bringing every conceivable element of school and family life into play (and including outline illustrations presumably to be coloured by the children) should provide hours of edifying enjoyment.
The First Easter by Peter Marshall (Hodder & Stoughton 1984. £1.251. Originally a series of sermons. these reflections on the Passion and Resurrection are highly emotive.
Pictorial and imaginative. they have much in common with those audio-visual representations of the Gospel so popular today. in spite of (or because of?) a certain amount of sentimentality .
The graphic descriptions may appeal to many. but the author's nagging of St. Peter after his denial does irritate.
God in my Everyday by Flora Larsson (Hodder and Stoughton 1984, £1.50). There is a freshness. spontaneity and truth about these versified prayers which is typical of Salvation Army spirituality.
They show not only a childlike trust and confidence, but also a down-to-earth acceptance of things and people as they are. a sensitivity to all creatures on "This Beautiful Planet". and a serenity and commonsense. the fruits of a lifetime's intimacy with God.
Our Father's House by Bernard Thorogood (United Reform Church, 86 Tavistock Place, London WC IH 9RT, £1.95). A minister answers the question as to why people go to Church. It is essential to know what they are doing if they are to "do it with mind, heart and strength".
This is an apologia for the much misunderstood "institutional" Church. and could benefit all denominations.
The People of God by Keith Sutton (Triangle SPCK 1984 £1.50). Bishop Sutton follows the Ignatian method in giving this series of scriptural "mirror portraits" for each day of Lent.
A biblical scene is set; a,short reflection (usually in the words of a modern writer) fotlows, with a concluding prayer or "collect". The book cries out for illustrations — preferably reproductions of master painters — to confirm the subtitle "Pictures in a gallery".
To Touch The Hem Of His Garment by Mary Drahos (Fowler Wright Books, £6.75). A victim of multiple sclerosis this wife and mother gives a moving account of her experiences. from the religious. theological. psychological and physiological points of view.
She is a woman of great faith and courage with a deep understanding of human nature, in particular of the temptations and problems of the sick and handicapped.
She has a healthy contempt for bogus methods of healing and false methods of "meditation", and is thus well able to help Others to grow in health of mind and body. and in holiness.
Seasons That Laugh or Weep by Walter J Burghardt SJ (Fowler Wright Books £7.65 hardback). These autobiographical musings on human life by the well known theologian and professor of patristic theology of the former Woodstock College. are those of a priest who "joys in people" — his own community, his friends. and the many who have inspired and influenced him in his youth, middle age and now in the winter of his life. He expresses his gratitude for the gift of every human life. including his own; and incorporates into his reminiscences an unobtrusive theology of remembering.
Holy Fire by Cohn Urquhart (Hodder and Stoughton 1984 £1.75). Not a revivalist or "charismatic" book, here the relationship between God and believers is examined under the biblical image of fire. Colin Urquhart's earnest evangelical approach may make satisfying lenten reading.
Continually Aware by Rita Snowden (Fount Paperbacks 1984 £1.75). Rita Snowden is a Methodist deaconess from New
Zealand and a prolific writer with the gift of uniting personal anecdotes with reflections on passages from the Bible. This latest paperback will provide light bedside reading for Lent. Jesus and Christian origins outside the New Testament by F F Bruce (Hodder & Stoughton 1984 E4.95). One wonders if it is realty worthwhile (apart from academic interest) to spend much time in reading the Uncanon kill Scriptures, the Apocryphal Gospels and the "Unwritten" Sayings of Jesus. For people that are interested a comprehensive study is here available of these and other Jewish. pagan Islamic writings of the New Testament period.
The striking contrast between most of this literature and the New Testament itself goes far in proving the authenticity of the Gospel and the real humanity of Jesus. _ Mary — The Second Eve by John Henry Newman (Fowler Wright Books). This is a series of extracts from the writings of Cardinal Newman concerning Marian theology and devotion. Upon This Rock by Edwin Gordon (Fowler Wright Books, £1.25). This book, in main an exposition of the Creed, is by a priest. now tragically blinded, who was parish priest in Gibraltar. Its deep and simple piety and rock-like faith will help and encourage many who feet their own and the faith of their fathers is being threatened by post-Vatican II hurricanes, and realise that these are manifestations of "a mighty wind from Heaven", — the Holy Spirit, as powerful in our times as on the day of Pentecost.