What happened to sin?
by Sean Fagan SM.
Pub: Columba press. Dublin. ISBN 978-1-85607-633-3
Sean Fagan is an Irish Marist living in Dublin. He has more than fifty
years experience teaching, counselling and writing. For many years he was
a frequent speaker on radio and television and was Secretary General of
the Society of Mary from 1983 - 1995.
This book not only discusses in detail the specific question of
contraception and responsible parenthood, but also outlines an atractive
and convincing theology of sex to counterbalance the church's 'appalling
treatment of it down through the centuries'. The book is basically a
summary of fundamental moral theology and Sean Fagan reflects on the
latest development in theology, scripture studies and the human sciences.
It is written with a lightness of touch that makes it an absorbing read.
Like a Bridge: eds.
Laurence Duffy & Charles Girard
may be that like me you are tempted to skim Introducione and Forewords of
books in order to get to Chapter 1 and the meat of it, but in the case of
"Like a Bridge" that would be a big mistake, since Laurence Duffy and
Charles Girard lay out the plan so succinctly in three sections: the Society
of Mary origins; the spirit of their patron Mary entitled "Being
Marist"; and then the mission of Mary entitled "Doing the Work of Mary".
The editors seem to
have trouble with a definition of 'laity', and in other writings Charles
Girard, along with Jan Snijders, has met this problem before, but it would
seem to me that the laity in this volume are embraced in the reference to
them as the 'People of God' not solemnly vowed Marists, and that would
be sufficient to allow their different roles to be pointed up. And the
editors do need to point up their differences, mainly because of the
perceived obligation of professed Marists to form and inform the Marist
family, in order for them to grow in the spirit of Mary, fitting them to
carry out their mission of "making the whole world Marist" as envisaged by
Father Founder Jean-Claude Colin.
Marists have come to recognise the
Marian attitude as a kind of role reversal of the present prevalent
tradition that regards the laity as helpmates to the clergy in their
programmes of evangelisation, a view still held strongly by many diocesan
priests. The idea that the laity are to be the main instruments of mission
is also in the vision of Father Founder, for he says, "the priests are not
numerous enough to accomplish this work on their own".
So, lay Marists are
to be 'like a bridge', supported and upheld by the rest of the Marist
Communities, that reach out to the world as it is and where they experience
it making a crossing place for those of whatever persuasion to pass
over to the Kingdom of God. This small volume expresses all of these ideas by
the witness and action of its contributors; a book that provokes serious
thought on evangelisation. It is highly recommended reading.
Obtainable through the Marist Way see Contacts
one light: one world
unity and the scriptures
Provides scriptural texts giving the mandate for the Church's search for
Produced by the Bible Society to mark the Centenary of the Week of Prayer
for Christian Unity.
Recommended to all ecumaniacs for personal reflection and prayer, for use in
discussion groups and Churches Together meetings to stimulate the search for
An electronic version can be downloaded free of charge from Churches
Together in England 'Resources' section
A Handbook of
By Cardinal Walter Kasper
This is a remarkably interesting and
authoratative book. It contains 96 pages, divided into three
main sections: Deepening Christian Faith, Prayer and Worship, "Diakonia" and
Witness. There is a short introduction to the concept of Spiritual Ecumenisn
showing how it is firmly grounded in the
prayer of Jesus "that they may all be one " (Jn17:21) and finds its
expression in the documents of the Church, for example the Decree on Ecumenism and Ut Unum
The book's stated aim is to
"offer practical suggestions aimed at implementing and strengthening that
spiritual ecumenism which is the heart of all efforts to bring divided
Christians together again in unity" . And offering practical suggestions is
what it does, over 20 pages of bulleted points " Together Christians can.....", Mixed
Marriage Families can....", "Together Local Communities and their Leaders Can.....",
"Together young Christians can....". There are also many ideas for
ecumenical activities proposed for use at various times throughout the
Liturgical Year and ideas as to what can legitimately be done together in the Sacramental
At the end of the book there is a useful
bibliography of ecumenical documents resulting from conversations with other
Christian Churches - Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists, World Council of
Churches, Pentecostal Churches.
Very readable and Highly Recommended: Costs around £6 in the UK
A Guide to Morning,
Evening and Night Prayer
By Robert Taylerson CTS £1.95
This is a short tutorial on how to pray the
morning, evening and night Prayers of the Church. "It can be used as a self
guide or as a work book for a small group". There are six chapters including
an introduction to the Office, an explanation of the Office Book with it's
various sections and markers; where to start for evening prayer, morning and
night prayer. Lesson 5 is an explanation of the printed Psalter page itself
with notes on the psalm numbering and on the mysterious stars, daggers,
accents and braces that adorn the texts and which are not explained in the
Office book itself. The last chapter contains suggestions on ways
enhancing your prayer.
All in all this is a good little book, well
worth the small outlay. One new to the Office will definitely find it
helpful and those who have been praying the Office for years may well find a
few titbits they didn't know about.
Published by the CTS