Monday 17 June 2019

The Sinner's Guide - Louis of Granada

The Sinner's Guide
Louis of Granada
A  Dominican Friar (Translator)
TAN Books
ISBN 9780895552549
eISBN 9781618906359


This English version of this book was first translated in 1882 by Fr. Charles Hyancinth McKenna, O.P.. The Tan Books edition was released in 2014, and included some updates it was re-typeset, with some revisions in the citations and updating of vocabulary. There are several variations on this book as the source material is in the public domain. But The cover of the TAN edition really caught my attention and from the previews available to look inside, inspired me to choose this edition. I will be honest this was not an easy read. I think in part the material covered. In part the translation. But it was well worth reading. I would be interested if a new translation were undertaken as a new work would make a difference in the accessibility of the volume, but that is a question for publishers and translators.

The book was written by Venerable Louis of Granada, O.P. 1504 –1588 who was know as the Writer of the Spanish Empire. The book begins with a brief given by Pope Gregory XIII on the 21st of July 1582. Pope Gregory wrote:

“Your sermons and writings, filled with sublime doctrine and practical piety, are unceasingly drawing souls to God. This is particularly gratifying to us, for all who have profited by your teaching (and their number is very great) may be considered as so many souls gained to Christ. You have thus benefited your fellow creatures more than if you had given sight to the blind and raised the dead to life. For the knowledge of the Eternal Light and the enjoyment of the heavenly life, according as they are given to man on earth to know and enjoy, are far above the knowledge and enjoyment of the transitory goods of this world.

The charity with which you have devoted yourself to your great and important labor has gained for you many crowns.

Continue, then, to devote all your energies to the prosecution of your undertakings. Finish what you have begun, for we understand that you have some works yet incomplete. Give them to the world for the health of the sick, for the strength of the weak, for the delight of God’s servants, and for the glory of the Church both militant and triumphant.”

The book contains 48 densely written chapters. Some with only one or two sections, others with up to a dozen. This book was popular and endorsed by several noted saints, including St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, St. Vincent de Paul, etc. St. Teresa of Avila and many others. It has been stated about this book:

“This is the most persuasive book we know to encourage people to abandon sin and embrace repentance and virtue. The logic is relentless and effective. For mastery of subject, command of Scripture and total impact on the reader.”

And I can state categorically that the book had an immediate impact upon me. In fact, I typically write reviews of books within days of finishing them, but with this volume I have been thinking on the book so much it has taken me nearly 2 months to process the book enough to write down these few thoughts. Even knowing they will not do the book justice.

I have read that many believe this book is invaluable. That all priests, religious, and seminarians should read it. Others go even further and state that all Christians should read this volume. I can agree with them that this book will have a definite impact on any who read it. And I strongly encourage you to give it a read.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Louis of Granada:
The Sinner's Guide
Pathways to Holiness
Summa of the Christian Life: Selected Texts from the Writings of Venerable Louis of Granada, O.P.
A Memoriall of a Christian Life

No comments: