Edward Sri, founder of a fellowship for Catholic university students and professor of theology at the Augustine Institute, has written Into His Likeness (Ignatius Press, 160pp, £13). It is a frank, personal and challenging short book, inviting readers to “Be transformed as a disciple of Christ” (his subtitle).
Addressing all those people who fulfil their Sunday obligation as a matter of course but do not realise this is the least they are called by Christ to do, Sri emphasises that “Being a Catholic is not a stagnant reality.” We are not born to be “a normal Christian”. Rather, we are called personally and just as dramatically as St Matthew in the Gospel, as imagined by Caravaggio in his famously haunting depiction.
Sri describes a memorable three-month period when, as a young man, he lived with Fr John Hardon SJ, the saintly American Jesuit whose Cause for canonisation is underway. Hardon’s daily timetable remains in his memory: he rose before dawn to pray and celebrate Mass; he prayed unceasingly throughout the day; he loved going to Confession and prepared for his classes in the house chapel. Above all, he was patient and gentle – especially with his many enemies – and radiated a love for Christ.
The author’s underlying appeal is for readers to recognise that “Right now, there’s a battle going on for your mind – for how you look at reality.” Are we unknowingly worldly, with religion merely “bolted on” to our lives, or do we grasp that the deepest part of the universe is “spiritual reality”, the state of our souls?
Roy Peachey, a parent, teacher and home educator, has written Out of the Classroom and into the World: How to Transform Catholic Education (Second Spring Books, 194pp, £14.50). It is a concise, impassioned reflection on what true Catholic education should be about: helping children, in the words of Benedict XVI, to become saints.
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