A DOCTOR FOR TODAY
By Dom PETER DAMIEN
THE CONVERSION OF AUGUSTINE, by Romano Guardini, translated by Elinor Briefs (Sands, Ms.).
HE attraction which St. Augustine has exerted over succeeding generations has never been greater than at present: perhaps because we also live in an age when the established order is changing, with profound consequences for our western civilization.
Mgr. Guardini's hook then is not inopportune. The first of its two parts tries "to show what Augustine's thought is like at the root", while the second is an account of the subjective process of his conversion. While too technical for the average reader, Mgr. Guardini is hardly exact enough in his exposition of the basic principles of Augustinian thought to satisfy the more scholarly. but the book is a useful introduction to the life and teaching of the great Doctor.
FATHER FABER. by Ronald Chapman (Burns and Oates, 35s.).
FABER has remained essentially the most Victorian convert of his time. and is consequently in many ways an unattractive figure, but ttus biography should do much to establish a proper appreciation of his life and genius.
In one way Mr. Chapman has perhaps been too thorough: he admits that Faber is a difficult author for the modern reader, yet he quotes extensively from Fr.
Faber's prolix and sometimes turgid writings, But Mr. Chapman is a sympathetic and informed commentator on human affairs his full portrait of a remarkable man will certainly inspire Catholic readers to re-assess their attitude towards their separated brethren.
WOMAN AND MAN WITH GOO, by Louis Bouyer, translated by • Fr. A. V. Littledale (Dorton, Longman and Todd, 25s.). THIS is something like the book I once dreamed of writing. but so incomparably better that I am glad that I never got beyond
the preliminaries. It is a book of such richness that it is hard to do justice to it in a few lines. Theologians will doubtless argue over it. but none could deny the originality of Fr. Bouyer's thought or the power of his Scriptural exegesis. He discusses mankind, especially marriage and virginity, in relation to redemption; he shows forth our Lady's part in the divine plan in a way which avoids exaggeration but yet enhances her greatness and her meaning for mankind.
Each chapter has some new and Surprising suggestion strongly argued; the translation makes the hook easier to read than one would expect in view of its profundity.
ENCOUNTERS WITH SILENCE, by Karl Rohner, translated by James M. Demske, S.J. (Sands and Co., 10s. 6d.).
ry‘HIS series of short meditations
by a distinguished theologian is disturbing and perhaps a little disappointing. This may be partly the fault of the translation; However it may succeed in private prayer, addressing the Godhead in the second person plural in print just does not come off, and chummy stuff like "it's" and "let's" is tiresome in a serious book. (Surely, by the way. Fr, Rahner does not address God as Sie?) What disturbs is that the selfrevelation is too direct and too drastic. Obviously the author feels God very close to him. but in his effort to convey this his own personality interposes too much. One longs for the inspired understatement of the Scriptures.
THE BYZANTINE MASS, by Graham Jenkins (Campion Press, 3s.).
H IS attractive and well-produced booklet gives a short history and explanation of the Byzantine rite. followed by a synopsis of the Liturgy, action by action, with the more important invariable texts in English. It should prove of great value to the growing number of English-speaking Catholics who want to know more about the liturgy and customs of our eastern brethren.