Thursday, May 9, 2013

Catholic Thursday: With Christ - An Anthology of the Writings of Blessed Columba Marmion

Welcome back! I am always amazed by the generosity of publishers, both big and little, in allowing me to review their books for free. In fact, I often worry that I am going to run out of books to review, so I like to make a calendar and map out what I am going to review and when. In the middle of April, it looked like I was going to run out of books in the first week of May. Fast forward two weeks, and I am now swimming in books. It is truly a great problem to have! I now have my review calendar planned out, and I have enough books to get me through the end of June. Today's book review is brought to you by Angelico Press.

With Christ - An Anthology of the Writings of Blessed Columba Marmion, compiled by Dom Raymund Thiabut, O.S.B., draws from three of Blessed Columba Marmion's works - "Christ, the Life of the Soul," "Christ in His Mysteries," and "Christ, the Ideal of the Monk." It also has selections from his letters in "Union with God." For those of you unfamiliar with Blessed Columba Marmion, like myself before reading this work, he was an Irish monk in the late 1800s and early 1900s. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II in the year 2000 and was considered one of the most popular and influential writers of the 20th Century.

This anthology is divided into six parts:
  • Jesus Christ and His Work of Redemption
  • We Co-Operate in Christ's Work of Redemption by Sharing in His Passion
  • On Human Misery and Some Forms of Trial and Suffering
  • The Fecundity of Suffering Accepted in a Christian Spirit
  • Facing Death, the Supreme Trial
  • Our Sharing in the Eternal Glory of Christ
Each of these parts is made up of carefully selected passages from Blessed Columba Marmion's works.  The passages range in length from a paragraph to a couple of pages. I initially made the mistake of trying to read straight through Part One, "Jesus Christ and His Work of Redemption." After about a dozen pages, I realized that I needed to slow down and reflect on each passage. Overall, I felt that the most fascinating and beautiful section dealt with "How Suffering Leads to Life" as it pertains to human suffering purifying the soul to lead us to eternal life. We tend to try and avoid suffering or get it over with as quickly as possible, but this section teaches and reminds us that suffering has a purpose.

This is a 5 star introduction to Blessed Columba Marmion and his writings. However, these select passages were just the tip of the iceberg and made me long to read some of his complete works. So pick up this book, or some of his complete works available at Angelico Press. Read them, meditate on them, and pray for the canonization of  Blessed Columba Marmion.

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