In his foreword to the treasure trove of prayer, Ancient Devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus by Carthusian Monks of the 14th-17th Centuries (revised and enlarged by Fr Peter Mary Joseph; Gracewing, 250pp, £12.99), Cardinal Sarah points out that Carthusian prayer “is anchored in interiority, solitude and silence”.
Monks in this austere order – described as never reformed because never deformed – developed their adoration of the Sacred Heart centuries before the apparitions of St Margaret Mary in 17th century France made it public and popular.
Ancient Devotions is “not a scholarly historical book to be studied but a prayer-book to be prayed”, the editor emphasises, adding that he has reprinted the collection of devotions “because I find it the most beautiful prayer-book I have ever used”. A worthy recommendation indeed.
Fr Thomas Berg, vice-rector of St Joseph’s Seminary in New York, has written an excellent book on a difficult subject in Hurting in the Church: A Way Forward for Wounded Catholics (Our Sunday Visitor, 208pp, £12.99).
Written before the current crisis of same-sex abuse of young men by senior clerics, Fr Berg’s thesis gets to the heart of the healing process essential for all wounded Catholics. Acknowledging that clerical sexual abuse, described by victims as a form of “soul murder”, is one of “the most heinous forms of abuse”, the author addresses all who feel alienated from the Church by her teachings, especially those dealing with marriage and sexual morality.
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