The Church is a Communion, by Fr. J. Hamer (Chapman, 25s.: tr. by R. Matthews) is an intellectual treat and a "must" for all who would study the Constitution on the Church. Christian unity is in the air, and the one question central to this is—What is the principle of the Church's unity?
Fr. Hamer starts with an analysis of the meaning and implications of Mystici Corporis, Studied in the historical setting from Vatican I to today, it reveals the progress made in ecclesiology.
Some of the Biblical terms and images—people, body, kingdom— are admirably if concisely set out. Seemingly we must await another theologian to tell us of the results in doctrine of all the images taken cumulatively, and not limit ourselves to one or two themes only. St. Thomas' thought on the Church is then set out.
The author is not afraid to make the reader focus on closely reasoned argurrierits in terms that are technical but somehow made quite palatable. As a good theologian he is able to show the depth of thought in St. Thomas and also in some commentators. Thus he presents Cajetan's very illuminating analysis of the unity brought about by the Spirit.
The second section of the book concerns itself with the royal priesthood of the people of God, born of the sending of Jesus by the Father. There is touch to he learned here too.
But it is surprising that all this aspect of "generative cause" of communion is not related to, or expressed in terms of, the sending of the Holy Spirit, life-principle of the Church.
A last section examines communion in itself and in its various modes of expression, together with the psychological and social implications of communion, This brings the author to his conclusion: communion, permanent form of the unity of the Church "willed by Christ for all mankind ... ready to welcome all the richness and variety set by God in his creation".
Holiness of Life, by Fr. A. S. Ferret, 0.P. (B. Herder Book Co., 26s., tr. by W. M. McCarthy) is an appeal to Christians who might be tempted to careless indifference in religion.
The subjects treated are an those elements of "plain tornmy" in the spiritual life—morning prayers, the sacrifice of the Mass, the divine food of the soul, the school of the crucifix.
Every single chapter has a reference to the sick and suffering— the fruit of many years ministry. A good book generally, but rather preVatican 1I, and decidedly too expensive for an English public.
Seek a City Saint, by David Head (Epworth Press, 8s. 6d.) ft "the Methodist Lent Book for 1965" — with twelve "Letters to Joe" in 40 sections, for each day of Lent. Written in clear down-to-earth English it should be understood by the man in the street.
"Joe" who has been some years at sea and is now seeking what holiness means for an ordinary Christian in city life today, is apparently also expected to work hard and think hard. There are plenty of texts to look up and suggested reading. •
ROLAND POTTER, O.P.