Congregation of Holy Cross, Brother André Bessette was canonized in 2010. However, the founder, Fr. Basil Moreau, was beatified in 2007 and still awaits another approved miracle for canonization. I admit to having heard of the Congregation of Holy Cross before, but am ashamed to admit to never having heard of Saint André Bessette or Blessed Basil Moreau. That is why I was pleased to receive a copy of Basil Moreau: Essential Writings in the mail from Ave Maria Press.
Basil Moreau: Essential Writings begins with a brief biography of Blessed Basil Moreau. I say brief, but it is still 50 pages long. In these pages, we see more about his development as teacher, scholar, and priest than we do of his personal life at an early age. We also learn about the development of the Congregation of Holy Cross. Lastly, we learn about the spiritual themes that pervade his writings. These main themes are the imitation of Christ, particularly the crucified Christ; Divine Providence; Union: Holy Trinity and Holy Family; and the Virtue of Zeal. If you are interested in learning more about Blessed Basil Moreau, I recommend a more thorough biography, Basil Moreau: Founder of Holy Cross.
The five chapters in this book contain Blessed Basil Moreau's sermons, a selection of Spiritual Exercises, Christian meditations, some writings on Christian education, and circular letters. The circular letters were his communication with members of the Congregation of Holy Cross. Each of the writings in these five chapters served a purpose in this book, but they did feel like you would glean more from them if you were a member of the Congregation of Holy Cross. The homilies and excerpts from the spiritual exercises were the most fascinating to me. However, I found it a shame that his entire spiritual exercises were not made available in this book. My favorite sermon was the one on St. Joseph. I feel that St. Joseph is the most overlooked member of the Holy Family, so it is always interesting to me to read about him. Granted, I didn't agree with everything Blessed Basil had to say, but it definitely presented a different perspective.
Overall, this was an interesting and LONG book. If you a member of the Holy Cross family, then this is a must-have book for you. If you are not a member, you will still find some merit in the book, but I'd recommend getting the book when it is on sale. I hope to find time to re-visit the book more fully in the future, but until that time it will probably just sit on my shelf. 4 stars.
This book was provided to me for free by Ave Maria Press in exchange for an honest review. If you found this review helpful, please click here and hit Yes!