By Dom PETER DAMIEN
LIVING THE INTERIOR LIFE, Vol. H, by Wendelin Meyer, O.F.M., trans. by Colman J. O'Donovan (The Mercier Press Limited, 21s.).
IN this volume the author
continues his conferences to a community of nuns on the "Imitation of Christ." I am sure that the translator has done justice to the original, but the further I read, the more I was confirmed in my doubts as to
whether the "Imitation" is the most suitable spiritual formation for these times, or indeed for any time.
I realise that frank acknowledgment of such sentiments will be the end of Peter Damien for some people, but the truth will out sooner or later anyway.
THE difficulty is to put one's finger on the problem. The author is certainly steeped in the "Imitation"; he gives a full and fair commentary on it-there's the trouble. Taking them in isolation, there arc splendid passages. If one objected to one opinion, one could probably find elsewhere in the work a passage which would
apparently nullify the objection; but for me the uneasiness remains.
I have heard it described as an anti-intellectual bias, or again. as an undue depreciation of the earth and of humankind, an urge to contract out. Have we as Christians any real right to contract out?
SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGY, by D. F. Pocock, and PIONEERS OF PREHISTORY IN ENGLAND, by L. K. Clark, O.P. (Sheed and Ward, Ss. ea.)
THESE little books in the "Newman History and Philosophy of Science Series" sound formidable. The former is a little formidable by the nature of its subject, but rewarding. The latter I found quite delightful and again of special interest to Catholics because the original pioneer turns out to have been a comparatively unknown Catholic priest, the Rev. John MacEnery.
VESSEL OF CLAY, by Leo Trese, 4s. 6d. THEY MADE ME SIGN, by John C. Heenan, 45. (Sheed and Ward, Stagbooks). STAGBOOKS offer us two more desirable re-prints: A guide to the Catholic Faith for nonCatholic parties in mixed marriages by the Archbishop of Liverpool. written with that charity, humour and insight which all the world knows; and an amusing and kindly account of a typical day in the life of a priest by one who knows something about it.