Return to Rome by Francis J Beckwith, Brazos Press £8.99 I don’t wish to sound triumphalist in the slightest, but this is always a satisfactory title.
Francis Beckwith, former president of the Evangelical Theological Society in America, abandoned his Faith as a teenager, unimpressed by the (post-Vatican II) enthusiasm of his teachers to downplay the unique mission of the Church and to introduce guitars and tambourines into the liturgy.
Idealistic and religiousminded, he was impressed by the Evangelicals’ warmth and keenness to convert.
Thirty years later, treading Newman’s path, it had become clear to him that “the Church Fathers were far more Catholic than they were Protestant”. He also found the Sacrament of Confession a liberating experience.
The Way of the Cross by Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-Kiun SDB, CTS £1.95 The author is from the persecuted Church in China and the text is illustrated in the Chinese style.
Pilate is shown as a Mandarin, the scourging is done by bandits, while pagodas and willow pattern landscapes replace the Palestine of Jesus’s times; a reminder and a testimony to the universality of the Christian faith.
Deeps and Shallows by Kevin Grant, Words Ink £9.99 “The prospect of the 8th decade / finds this old idler low, dismayed,” writes the author in one of the playful jingles of this anthology. Grant, who has run his own publishing bureau since 1988, and who distributes Catholic World Report, has a good ear for light verse that touch on the landmarks of his life, such as the birth of his son or the death of his muchloved wife. “Light” does not thereby mean “trivial”.