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Impressive work of faith and scholarship

Attend Unto Reading By Br Brian Grenier CFC; Price $15

Reviewed by Terry Oberg

Attending unto Reading“IN the days ahead, you will either be a mystic (one who has experienced God for real) or nothing at all,” the Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner declared in the early 1980s.

It may not be presuming too much to think that this time has come.

It may also be that many, seemingly, ordinary, good people are experiencing the divine presence without realising it.

Brother Brian’s slim volume is a likely catalyst to promote this union and make us more sensitive to God in our normal, everyday lives.

His apt title is from St Paul’s exhortation to the young Timothy.

It is proof of the importance of this practice in Christian spirituality. Brief reflections are provided for each day of the calendar year.

The adjective refers to the length of each passage – about a hundred words.

 I suspect the actual time in meditation could be much longer as the items are stacked with meaning.

Some examples of the content will, hopefully, suggest the comprehensiveness and versatility of the editor’s selection.

The present Pope’s use of the term “sourpuss”, a comment on the nature of parliamentary debates, a lucid explanation of hypocrisy and a none-too-subtle criticism of the lack of silence during some Catholic liturgies; these are a small representation of the panoramic material from which this anthology has been fashioned.

The readings also give the reader an insight into some great minds, many of whom would not be associated readily with mystical theology.

Christianity’s great saints share these pages with Mahatma Gandhi, Franz Liszt, Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austen, Leonard Cheshire, Marion Anderson and Shakespeare; surely a miscellany that is another tribute to Brian’s wide terms of reference.

Permeating the whole work is the voice of an experienced and accomplished writer.

At book’s end is a list of Br Grenier’s titles.

He is clearly a lover and skilled practitioner of our language.

The opening to the text for June 22, the feast of Thomas More, is testament to his literary skill.

“The ingenious Thomas More who played with words was also the ingenuous Thomas More who would not play with the truth.”

The collection is available from The Catholic Leader online shop.

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