-->

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Fruits of the Spirit - Stratford Caldecott - CTS Deeper Christianity Series

Fruits of the Spirit
CTS Deeper Christianity Series
Stratford Caldecott
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781860826610
eISBN 9781784692919
ASIN B072JPXV9K
CTS Booklet SP31


I have a friend who calls me a ‘completionist’ because when I find an author I love I try and read everything they wrote. I have come to realize that with books from the Catholic Truth Society that is likely impossible. Nearly every time I finish one I find 2 or three more I want to read. And so many are out of print and hard to track down. In just the last year I have read over 60 books from the Catholic Truth Society, I discovered them by accident doing research on an Alice Curtayne, and have fell in love with the books and booklets I have read. This book is the sixth book I have read in the Deeper Christianity Series. Up until recently I believed there were 16 books in the series and that 15 of those 16 were available as eBooks. I was mistaken. There have been 52 books in this particular series over the years. And most are now out of print. And from a contact at CTS, for many of the out-of-print volumes the CTS no longer holds the rights, therefore it is unlike they willcome back into print either as physically or eBooks. Tracking down those older volumes is proveing difficult. The Catholic Truth Society has been publishing books and booklets for over 150 years, they add many new titles each year, and many drop into the out of print category. Of the 60 titles I have read so far all have been 4 or 5 Stars our of 5. And I loved the books in this series.

The description of this volume is:

“This booklet explores the imagery of trees and fruitfulness in the Bible, and offers a sketch of Christian morality based on the relationship of spiritual fruits to the four cardinal virtues and the three theological virtues. The result is a kind of rough map, a guidebook of sorts to a life in the Spirit, inspired by teachings that we find in Holy Scripture and in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

The chapters in the book are:

Introduction
Nostalgia for Paradise
The Tree of the Cross
The Pattern of the Moral Life
Dividing the Fruits
Fruits of Prudence
Fruits of Justice
Fruits of Fortitude
Fruits of Temperance
The Healing of the Nations
References

This book in many ways was much more academic than others in the series. Reading it, the book had a very different feel than others in the series. The fruit of the spirit and the spiritual disciplines are something that have fascinated me for over 30 years now. Stratford in the introduction states:

“This booklet is about the fruits of the Holy Spirit. It explores the imagery of trees and fruitfulness in the Bible, and offers a tentative sketch of Christian morality based on the relationship of spiritual fruits to the four cardinal virtues and the three theological virtues. The result is a kind of rough map, a guidebook of sorts to a life in the Spirit, inspired by teachings that we find in Holy Scripture and in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.”

He also says:

“The translation of Saint Paul’s Letter to the Galatians in the Revised Standard Version of the Bible lists the fruits of the Spirit as nine: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. But the older Vulgate and Douai versions give twelve: charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, longanimity, mildness, faith, modesty, continency, chastity. Finally, the Catechism of the Catholic Church (para 1832) follows the older tradition, and lists twelve:

“The fruits of the Spirit are perfections that the Holy Spirit forms in us as the first fruits of eternal glory. The tradition of the Church lists twelve of them: ‘charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness [benignity], goodness, generosity [longanimity], gentleness [mildness], faithfulness [faith], modesty, self-control [continency], chastity’.”

Guided by the Catechism, it is this list of twelve that will be followed in what follows. But whether nine or twelve we need to remember that all these diverse fruits are aspects of the one fruit that is mentioned at the beginning of all three lists; namely love, or charity.”

After that he goes on to speak about symbols in the bible, about ways of interpreting symbols. And then he looks specifically at the symbols of trees, light, lamps and boats. One of the great sections in this book was a look at the differences between fruits and virtues. He states:

“One thing that many find confusing is the distinction between virtues and fruits. The fruits of the Holy Spirit are the result of the virtues. To put it more poetically, the virtues are the blossom on the tree of life, which we see in springtime, and the fruits are what come from these flowers at the time of ripeness. So at this point we need to consider the virtues. What are they, and how do they grow?”

In the next section ‘Dividing the Fruits’ Stratford declares:

“How are we to understand the fruits of the Holy Spirit in detail? What can we say about them? In what follows I have been very specific - perhaps too specific for some people. But I want to show that the twelve fruits are not just vague terms to describe the attributes or behaviour of a typically nice person; they are the actual results of the four cardinal virtues being energized by the Holy Spirit through the three theological virtues.”

And in part that is what I mentioned earlier. This book is much more detailed then others in the series. That is not a bad thing, but it is not what I was expecting. But it was a book I am blessed to have read. And it is another great read from the Catholic Truth Society.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Books in the Deeper Christianity Series:
7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit
8 Deadly Sins Learning to Defend the Life of Grace
Christian Fasting Disciplining the Body, Awakening the Spirit
Deepening Prayer Life Defined by Prayer
Desire & Delight
Faith, Hope and Love The Theological Virtues
Fruits of the Holy Spirit 
Living a Happy Life
Icons
Lectio Divina Spiritual Reading of the Bible
Making Sunday Special

Mary in the Liturgy
Mary Mysteries of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Providence and Prayer
Prudence, Justice, Courage, and Temperance
Purgatory A Mystery of Love
Spiritual Warfare Fighting the Good Fight

The Church's Year Unfolding the Mysteries of Christ
The Name of God The Revelation of the Merciful Presence of God
Understanding The Story Of The Bible
Union with God
...


Books by Stratford Caldecott:
Secret Fire: The Spiritual Vision of J.R.R. Tolkien
All Things Made New: The Mysteries of the World in Christ
The Radiance of Being: Dimensions of Cosmic Christianity
The Tumbler of God: Chesterton as Mystic
Not as the World Gives: The Way of Creative Justice
A Hidden Presence: The Catholic Imagination of J.R.R Tolkien
Eternity in Time
Understanding The New Age Movement
Catholic Social Teaching







No comments: