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BOOK REVIEWS219 to bring others to a knowledge of the beauty and saving powers of the teachings of Christ". Raphael M. Huber, O.F.M. Conv. St. Bonaventure's Convent, Washington, D. C. St. Jane Frances Frémyot de Chantal: Her Exhortations, Conferences and Instructions. Translated from the French edition printed at Paris in 1875. Revised. Westminster, Maryland: The Newman Bookshop, 1947. Pp. xx+478. $3.75. Whatever school of spirituality we belong to, we can find much in the life and writings of any saint to give us inspiration and comfort. So it is with the writings of St. Jane Frances de Chantal. Here we see some of the inner workings of a strong and valiant woman. Her human qualities attract us. She looked upon sanctity as something not beyond the reach of sinners. Good will and an intense love of God will lead us to holiness. Her congregation of sisters was founded with this thought in mind. She wanted to provide a place where women who aspired to sanctity, yet who were not attracted to the rigorous penances usual in religious orders at the time, could lead a devout and holy life. Sanctity is never easy and she did not intend to make it so. But she did want to show that it is not impossible for ordinary people to achieve it. Hence her advice is supremely practical for the small difficulties and questions that come to mind daily. The book contains three different parts. Her Exhortations were for the most part formal explanations of the Rule of her sisterhood which follows the Rule of St. Augustine. As such, they would not have too much application for anyone not following the Augustinian Rule. One may, however, admire the wisdom and prudence with which she interprets the Rule. In the second part of her book, her Conferences, we find the real St. Jane Frances. These conferences were in general conversations that she had with the sisters during recreation in the community room. The sisters would ask their beloved director different questions concerning the spiritual life, and in this informal atmosphere she would answer them simply and practically. The third part contains twenty-three conversations St. Jane had with her novices. These are more formal than the conferences; still they flow from a soul trying to lead others nearer to God. There is a wealth of material here for conferences and retreats for sisters. It is packed with insight and down-to-earthness. It is to be 220BOOK REVIEWS highly recommended to retreat masters and directors of nuns. The Newman Bookshop is to be congratulated for making this fine volume available. Bede A. Dauphinee, O.F.M. Siena College, Loudonville, N. Y. The Life of Christ. By Ricciotti Giuseppe. Translated by Alba I. Zizzamia. (Milwaukee: The Bruce Publishing Company, 1947), pp. xvi, 703. To acquaint his readers with his purpose in putting forth this new life of Christ, Ricciotti remarks in his preface: "It has been my wish to write an exclusively historical and documentary work. I have studied the ancient fact and not the modern theory, the solidity of the documents and not the flimsiness of any interpretation presendy the fashion. I have even dared to imitate the famous 'dispassionateness' of the canonical Evangelists, who have neither an exclamation of joy when Jesus is born nor a word of lament when He dies. It has been my intention, then, to write a critical work." In setting about to accomplish his stated purpose, Ricciotti first submits a critical introduction of 200 odd pages, which furnishes an accurate word picture of the geographical, historical, political, and religious background. He discusses the sources of the life of Christ, both Christian and non-Christian, assaying them thoroughly, particularly with reference to modern theories of the origin of the canonical gospels. The chronology of Christ's life is also fully treated; it may be mentioned here that the author prefers the two year theory for the duration of Christ's public life. The critical introduction comes to a close with a rather lengthy exposition of Rationalist interpretations of the life of Christ (or should we perhaps say of the mysterious, or even mythical, Christ...


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