Exuberance of Strength
Prayer in Faith. 2 Vols. By Janet Erskine Stuart. (Longmans. 3s. 6d. each.) 'Reviewed by MIS CONLAY Reverend Mother Stuart was a person of exuberant spirituality-I choose the word exuberant not only for the exact fitness of its purpose in describing one whose inner life was a thrilling exploration rather than a sit-at-home acceptance, but because it is a word which recurs frequently in her own writings. It was as if she loved its rich intensity of sound-she who was the most complete definition of its meaning.
In the two volumes of Prayer in Faith, Mother Keppel has collected chronological notes of Mother Stuart's conferences upon the liturgical seasons and feasts. Vol. 1 takes us from Advent to Pentecost, and Vol. 2 completes the circuit by taking us back again from Pentecost to Advent.
A more personal and integral part of her thoughts is given us in these meditations than in the book of essays on the spiritual life entitled Highways and Byways, and the reading of the new volumes requires more co-operation of spiritual imagination on the part of the reader.
However, they will bear being picked up at any moment and read in snatches of leisure during a busy day. Extracts such as these vignettes of thought emerge from every page: " The more we can get away from talking to ourselves about ourselves, and from elaborate formularies, the more intense is the prayer."
" Thoughts that we make familiar to ourselves tell on our minds and wills till we grow like them."
"We must ask for a good head for heights on the things of faith that we may look calmly over them."
"The positive part of Our Lady's purity is wholeness or integrity of affection."