It survived only in underground literary circles and among some of the military ranks. But she is surrounded by people who are unstable and even wicked: they resent her purity and gratitude to God, and so try to undermine her at every turn—much like today’s secularists try to shake committed Christians. These facts are not unrelated, though I wasn’t aware of it at the time. Abiding the Long Defeat with J.R.R. As a lay Dominican, it was only a matter of time before I made a plug for the Dominicans, and reading about the monumental figures in the Church who have defended “Veritas”—“Truth”—against heresy will indicate that, no matter the lies a wayward culture may promulgate, we have been there before. But there is much more to the book, which is a continuation in many ways of Deuteronomy, with core themes being faithfulness to the covenant, the centrality of liturgy and worship in the life of the chosen people, and constant struggle to hold fast to the Torah and the essential call to covenant. Philosophers and Cultures by Frederick Copleston. I’ve passed my copy on to a friend and now wish I hadn’t, so I’m buying it again for a January read. George Bernanos, the French Catholic writer, is best known for his novel, Diary of a Country Priest (also made into a great film). Her works are especially brilliant catechesis for the young, but can truly benefit readers of all ages. 8. Marcel Lefebvre the Biography by Mallerais, his disciple (to thick a tome but really, really interesting. I look forward to it so much because it guides my own reading choices for the next twelve months. Only instead of every choice of every person leading to or representing a divergent universe, it was God’s direct intervention that leads to different universes? So, for instance: “The horror of pharisaism, of any pharisaic taint, tends to degenerate into indulgence toward sin. Why Lawler’s book? When Tolkien sparked the explosion of fantasy writing in the mid-20th century, American science fiction was already an established genre. The most common word in the gospels used to describe the reaction of the crowds to Our Lord’s words and works is “thauma,” that is, “wonder” or “awe.” No version of the life of Christ has instilled this sentiment within me as much as Mother Loyola’s. I particularly enjoyed his point that things don’t lie: “Things, in their beautiful and imposing integrity, do not easily bend to lies. The Infancy Narratives, by Pope Benedict XVI, which gave me permission to finally believe in all the merry details of Christmas I’d been told most certainly never happened. Once you receive your missal, you'll need to know how to use it. The layman will be disabused of any of James Bond’s flashy glamor—think instead of the gritty realism of Alan Furst’s spine-tingling spy stories. Main Catholic Store; Add To Cart Add To Wishlist. It was lovely and wild, jumping back and forth through time and space—which is my experience of consciousness and reality—and hilarious. Although the subject matter is dense and the chapter titles a little ‘scary’, Schindler does manage to present his analysis in language that is much clearer than is commonly encountered in academic books on German idealism. Maggie Ross, an English solitary, is a kindred spirit in this regard, for she says modern notions of spirituality and mystical experience are covers for “voyeurism and self-aggrandizement.” Our task of silently beholding God requires no “consumer circus” of gimmicks or gurus: “modern so-called spiritual direction is counter-productive and a distraction: it tends to make the ‘directee’ become increasingly preoccupied with his or her self-construct and imagined ‘spiritual life’ instead of moving towards self-forgetfulness in beholding the divine other.”, A similarly no-nonsense figure I finally read this year is the late English Dominican Herbert McCabe, whose God, Christ, and Us contains very useful discussions of prayer and much else. The story involves the intersecting lives of a blind French girl exiled from Paris to a seaside town and a young German soldier, whose scientific interests and sensitivity make him an unlikely Nazi warrior. 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