Book News

Simply Merton: Wisdom from his Journals, by Linus Mundy, (Franciscan Media, 138 pages, $16.00) 

The Trappist monk and prolific writer Thomas Merton once spoke of the “Joyce Industry” in a particularly insightful essay on several books about the eminent Irish literary giant. Little did he know that in a short span there would be a “Merton Industry,” an industry which appears to offer no sign of waning. 

Just another Jesuit changing the world

By

Robert Blair Kaiser’s analysis of what makes Pope Francis tick is a wonderful read and to be promoted. But it’s not what I was expecting.

The struggle between ideals and pragmatism

By

Crimes Against My Brother by David Adams Richards (Doubleday Canada, hardcover, 416 pages, $32.95).

David Adams Richards is a writer who knows the human soul and reveals it to us in dialogue, plot and inner reflection. It’s the author’s extraordinary access to the truth of being human that makes us care about his characters. We know them, and what brings them joy, pain, hope, despair, guilt and peace matters to us.

With abortion, there are always Complications

By

Complications: Abortion’s Impact on Women (deVeber Institute for Bioethics and Social Research, 433 pages, softcover, $29.95). 

We often reduce human sexuality to the individual. We concentrate on personal experience, preference and desire. Which is certainly not irrelevant, but it reduces the abortion debate to a question of individual women making individual choices. 

Doing no justice to Edith Stein

By

Embracing Edith Stein: Wisdom for Women from St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, by Anne Costa (Servant Books, Softcover, 110 pages, $13.99). 

Edith Stein was many things — a Jewish woman from Eastern Europe, a philosopher, an academic, a teacher, a writer, a feminist, a convert to Catholicism, a Carmelite nun, a victim of the Holocaust at Auschwitz, a saint (she was canonized by John Paul II in 1987) and a martyr. Stein was far from a simple person, so it must be said that setting out to write a short compilation (101 pages) of Stein’s thoughts on women and womanhood is a mighty challenge indeed. 

A painful search for love, life after death and a loving divine presence

By

If bitterness, pain and the F-word are exactly what you do not want to read, then don’t read this book. But if you have ever questioned God or redemption, ever felt unsure of exactly what you believe, then you might take the challenge of riding with Maggie Prentice. She’s the bitter, beyond middle-aged, alcoholic, anti-heroine narrator in The Walking Tanteek. She’s also a compelling, not easily likable character who escapes anguish in all the wrong places.

Rolheiser explores challenges of mid-life

By

Success, writes Fr. Ron Rolheiser in his new book Sacred Fire, has little to teach us in the second half of life. Where we learn as we mature is through our disappointments, boredom, resentment and frustration.

Archbishop offers a unique 12 steps to recovery

By

The man behind this book is perhaps just as important as the book’s content. Retired Archbishop Sylvain Lavoie is a northern Canadian bishop and a missionary Oblate priest. He has spent most of his life and ministry working among Canada’s aboriginal people. He has extensive experience and an incredible reputation with those who have struggled with addictions, generational trauma and abuse. He is in demand as a retreat leader, spiritual director and pastoral presence.

World is making progress in ending war

By

Cynicism is tempting because it’s easy. Hope is hard work. At 85 peace activist, retired ambassador to the United Nations, former Progressive Conservative cabinet minister and Senator Douglas Roche refuses to take the easy way.

Spirituality at ease with life’s mysteries

By

Prayer can be carried by the simplest of words. For American author Anne Lamott, those words are help, thanks and wow.

Church can do much more for human rights

By

A significant Catholic scholar of the post-Vatican II era is struggling to be heard on a deeply Catholic subject — human rights.