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The Book of the Elders

Sayings of the Desert Fathers: The Systematic Collection

Translated by John Wortley
Foreword by Bernard Flusin

In the early part of the fourth century, a few Christians, mostly men and some women, began to withdraw from "the world" to retreat into the desert, there to practice their new religion more seriously. The person who aspired to "renounce the world" first had to find an "elder," a person who would accept him as a disciple and apprentice. To his elder (whom he would address as abba—father) the neophyte owed complete obedience; from his abba, he would receive provisions (as it were) for the road to virtue. In addition to the abba's own example of living, there was the verbal teaching of the elders in sayings and tales, setting out the theory and practice of the eremitic life. In due course, these sayings (or apophthegmata) were written down and, later, collected and codified. The earliest attempts to codify tales and sayings are now lost. As the collection grew, they were first organized alphabetically, according to the name of the abba who spoke them, in a major collection known as the Apophthegmata Patrum Alphabetica. A supplementary collection, the Anonymous Apophthegmata, followed. Later, both collections were combined and arranged systematically rather than alphabetically. This collection was created sometime between 500 and 575 and later went through a couple of major revisions, the second of which appeared sometime before 970. This second revision was published in an excellent new critical edition, with a French translation, in 1993. Now, in The Book of the Elders, John Wortley offers an English translation of this collection, based entirely on the Greek of that text.

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The Bread of the Strong

Lacouturisme and the Folly of the Cross, 1910-1985

Jack Lee Downey

Contributing to the ongoing excavation of the spiritual lifeworld of Dorothy Day—“the most significant, interesting, and influential person in the history of American Catholicism”—The Bread of the Strong offers compelling new insight into the history of the Catholic Worker movement, including the cross-pollination between American and Quebecois Catholicism and discourse about Christian antimodernism and radicalism. The considerable perseverance in the heroic Christian maximalism that became the hallmark of the Catholic Worker’s personalism owes a great debt to the influence of Lacouturisme, largely under the stewardship of John Hugo, along with Peter Maurin and myriad other critical interventions in Day’s spiritual development. Day made the retreat regularly for some thirty-five years and promoted it vigorously both in person and publicly in the pages of The Catholic Worker. Exploring the influence of the controversial North American revivalist movement on the spiritual formation of Dorothy Day, author Jack Lee Downey investigates the extremist intersection between Roman Catholic contemplative tradition and modern political radicalism. Well grounded in an abundance of lesser-known primary sources, including unpublished letters, retreat notes, privately published and long-out-of-print archival material, and the French-language papers of Fr. Lacouture, The Bread of the Strong opens up an entirely new arena of scholarship on the transnational lineages of American Catholic social justice activism. Downey also reveals riveting new insights into the movement’s founder and namesake, Quebecois Jesuit Onesime Lacouture. Downey also frames a more reciprocal depiction of Day and Hugo’s relationship and influence, including the importance of Day’s evangelical pacifism on Hugo, particularly in shaping his understanding of conscientious objection and Christian antiwar work, and how Hugo’s ascetical theology animated Day’s interior life and spiritually sustained her apostolate. A fascinating investigation into the retreat movement Day loved so dearly, and which she claimed was integral to her spiritual formation, The Bread of the Strong explores the relationship between contemplative theology, asceticism, and radical activism. More than a study of Lacouture, Hugo, and Day, this fresh look at Dorothy Day and the complexities and challenges of her spiritual and social expression presents an outward exploration of the early- to mid–twentieth century dilemmas facing second- and third-generation American Catholics.

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Call to Holiness

Reflections on the Catholic Charismatic Renewal

Paul Josef Cordes; Preface by Raniero Cantalamessa, OFM Cap

The charismatic renewal is a sign of the continuing relevance of the Holy Spirit for the baptized and gives life and direction to the Church in its mission in the world. Appearing soon after the close of Vatican II, the charismatic renewal has been one of a number of movements of the Spirit in the Church marked by a call to holiness and evangelization.Cal to Holiness gathers the wisdom within the renewal, thirty years after its beginnings, to help guide its continued life. This document evolved out of several years of consultation with leaders, theologians, and bishops associated with the charismatic renewal from various national backgrounds. Theologians not associated with the charismatic renewal have also been consulted.The document covers the vocation to holiness, the experience of the Spirit, Baptism in the Holy Spirit, the charisms, forms of community life, and the call to evangelize. Chapters are The Spiritual Renewal Coming from the Council," "The Experience of the Holy Spirit and its Fruits," and "Gifted for Mission."Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes is President of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum. He was Vice-President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity from 1981-1996. For ten years he was, at the appointment of Pope John Paul II, the "Episcopal Advisor" to the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services (ICCRS) in Rome. In this capacity he followed His Eminence Cardinal Leon-Joseph Suenens, the late Archbishop of Malines, Belgium."

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Called to Holiness

On Love, Vocation, and Formation

This edited collection is the first to gather in one volume the most relevant addresses, speeches, and homilies of His Holiness, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI to seminarians and consecrated men and women into a single volume for the English-speaking world.

Called to Holiness is divided into three sections. The first section focuses on the mystery of vocation. The second section collects Benedict’s writings around the crucial experience of Love. Finally, the third section cov­ers Benedict’s description of what a seminary should look like.

Pope Benedict XVI’s words remind us of the fundamental meaning of a life of total consecration to God in a time of history where God is very much rejected. Moreover, in times where young people seek words of wisdom and certainty, Benedict XVI’s words give a fundamental aid to such direction not only for people already pondering a vocation to consecration but for all men and women open to God’s voice.

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Can a Seamless Garment Be Truly Torn?

Questions Surrounding the Jewish-Catholic Lob Family, 1881-1945

Peter Steffen and Hans Evers

Includes photos

The conversion of Lutz Löb and Jenny van Gelder from Judaism to Roman Catholicism dramatically changed the lives of the extended Löb family. This scientific-historical study traces the personal and spiritual journey of Lutz and Jenny from their baptisms in 1907 through the lives of their children. The story benefits from historical documents and pieces of oral history from the only one of their eight children who survived the Nazi era, Paula van Broekhoven-Löb. The abbess of Koningsoord Abbey and the abbot of Koningshoeven Abbey generously provided access to the archives of the monasteries where the seven other Löb children lived as nuns and monks of the Löb family.Each chapter begins with a citation from a significant situation or event, placing the reader immediately within the lived experience of that period. Photos of the time and the family supplement the historical narrative. The secret conversion of Lutz and Jenny and their lifelong witness to their faith created a tear in the fabric of the extended family while later leading to many idealized portrayals of them and their children. It is the intent of this book to offer an accurate and balanced account, situating the Catholic Löb family within their extended Jewish family, and to correct several decades of hagiography, so restoring humanity and dignity to the memories of the Löb family.

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Capital Punishment and Roman Catholic Moral Tradition, Second Edition

E. Christian Brugger

Why is the Catholic Church against the death penalty? This second edition of Brugger’s classic work Capital Punishment and Roman Catholic Moral Tradition traces the doctrinal path the Church has taken over the centuries to its present position as the world’s largest and most outspoken opponent of capital punishment. The pontificate of John Paul II marked a watershed in Catholic thinking. The pope taught that the death penalty is and can only be rightly assessed as a form of self-defense. But what does this mean? What are its implications for the Church’s traditional retribution-based model of lethal punishment? How does it square with what the Church has historically taught? Brugger argues that the implications of this historic turn have yet to be fully understood. In his new preface, Brugger examines the contribution of the great Polish pope’s closest collaborator and successor in the Chair of Peter, Pope Benedict XVI, to Catholic thinking on the death penalty. He argues that Pope Benedict maintained the doctrinal status quo of his predecessor’s teaching on capital punishment as self-defense, with detectable points of reluctance to draw attention to nontraditional implications of that teaching.

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Care for the Church and Its Liturgy

Studies of Sumorum Pontificum and the Liturgical Thought of Joseph Ratzinger

William H. Johnston

In July 2007, Pope Benedict XVI issued Summorum Pontificum, designating two "uses" or "forms" of the Roman Rite, declaring the Missal of Paul VI to be the "ordinary form" and the 1962 Missal of John XXIII to be its "extraordinary form." On the same day, the pope also published a letter to bishops, Con Grande Fiducia, to accompany and offer commentary on this motu proprio.In Care for the Church and Its Liturgy, William H. Johnston offers analysis and commentary on both documents, exploring their meaning, context, purposes, implementation, and implications. Johnston carefully attends to the multiple purposes of the documents themselves and to the various questions related to their implementation, as well as to the complex postconciliar dynamics in the Catholic Church. His approach throughout is appreciative, critical, and constructive.Johnston’s study embodies respect for dialogue, unity, and charity. It will provide much food for thought and discussion among both academics and pastoral leaders in the years ahead as the church discerns its liturgical way forward, and all those with educational or pastoral responsibility for the liturgy will find it an informative resource and valuable guide for understanding and assessing this still constitutive feature of the Roman Rite.

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Care of Souls and the Rhetoric of Moral Theology in Bonaventure and Thomas, The

The fourth annual series of Bonaventure Lectures (1990) given at St. Bonaventure University addresses the unique teaching technique of St. Bonaventure from the perspective of modern hermeneutics.

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The Carmelite Tradition

Steven Payne, OCD; Phyllis Zagano, Series Editor

Eight hundred years ago, Albert of Jerusalem gave the hermit-penitents of Mount Carmel a way of life to follow. Since then, this rule has inspired and formed mystics and scholars, men and women, lay and ordained to seek the living God. In The Carmelite Tradition Steven Payne, OCD, brings together representative voices to demonstrate the richness and depth of Carmelite spirituality. As he writes, Carmelite spirituality seeks nothing more nor less than to 'stand before the face of the living God' and prophesy with Elijah, to 'hear the word of God and keep it' with Mary, to grow in friendship with God through unceasing prayer with Teresa, to 'become by participation what Christ is by nature' as John of the Cross puts it, and thereby to be made, like Therase of Lisieux, into instruments of God's transforming merciful love in the church and society."The lives and writings in The Carmelite Tradition invite readers to stand with these holy men and women and seek God in the hermitage of the heart.Steven Payne, OCD, of the Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, is a member of the Carmelite Friars' formation team at the Monastery of St. John of the Cross near Nairobi, Kenya, and director of the Institute of Spirituality and Religious Formation (ISRF) at Tangaza College, a constituent college of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) in Nairobi. He is the past editor of ICS Publications and of Spiritual Life magazine and the author of several works in philosophy of religion, theology, and Carmelite spirituality. He is a member of the Carmelite Forum and of the Carmelite Institute in Washington DC, of which he is a past president."

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Católicos

Resistance and Affirmation in Chicano Catholic History

By Mario T. García

The first major historical study of the role of Catholicism in Chicano history in the twentieth century.

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