Monday 17 February 2020

The Well Of Life - Georges Chevrot

The Well Of Life
Georges Chevrot
Translated by J. Ardle McArdl
ISBN 9781594173493
eISBN 9781594173509

This book was originally published in English in 1960, by Scepter Dublin. There was an edition available from Sinag-Tala in 1983. And now again after 60 years it is back in print from Scepter. I have read The Prodigal Son a few times and loved it but could not find any of his other works available in English. So when I found out that this book was available I immediately added it to my to be read pile. And it did not disappoint.

Monsignor Chevrot in the introduction states:

“The episode of the Samaritan woman in St. John’s Gospel (John 4: 1-42) is a passage that is most dear to those familiar with the Gospel. In a wonderful short sketch, St. John lays before our eyes the whole personality of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Man so far above us, and the God so close to us.

All the tenderness in the heart of Jesus is revealed in his unforgettable appeal by which he shows us the need that he feels to give himself to us. And can we resist his advances, when we see how they transform the heart of man?

Here we see the immediate and unexpected conversion of a woman who gives up indifference and sin in order to become the Savior’s apostle. Here we see a crowd of her compatriots who in the space of a few hours pass through all the stages of life. Here, in the background, are the Lord’s first disciples who are preparing for the time when the Gospel must be sown.

No one will ever exhaust all the riches of this episode in the life of Jesus. We, no more than anyone else, can claim to have done so. In these pages you will thus find neither an academic commentary on the thought of the sacred writer nor any strict sequence among the subject dealt with. I have simply followed St. John’s text, verse by verse, trying to extract from it, for the Catholics of the present century, some useful thoughts and images.”

And that is exactly what he does in this volume. He breaks down that passage verse by verse. Providing historical context. And illuminating the relevance to us today.

The chapters in the volume are:
1 Tired
2 Providential Meetings
3 The First Steps
5 The Gift Of God
6 Who This Is
7 Our Need Of God
8 Of What Use Is Religion?
9 The Knowledge Of Sin
10 The New Worship
11 Unity In Truth
12 Adoration In Spirit And In Truth
13 The Messiah’s Work
14 Do Not Be Shocked
15 God’s Pardon
16 Confession Of Our Sins
17 Our Reason For Living
18 Christian Obedience
19 Christian Optimism
20 Sowers And Reapers
21 Witnesses To Christ
22 Prayer And Faith
23 Experience Of The Faith
24 The Savior Of The World
Epilogue: The Supreme Testimony

This book will draw us deeply into the story of the woman at the well. It will open our eyes to the story in a deeper and fuller level. And in doing so will help us encounter Jesus in anew way ourselves. The most powerful part of this boo was the Epilogue, the ‘what happened afterwards’. Drawing from church tradition and the Roman Martyrology We are told what happened next. We are told of her persistent faith and that of her children. And that is an example we can try and emulate.

“By a virtuous life, by a noble apostolate, let us preserve in our hearts, as the Samaritan woman did, an ardent love for the Savior. Let us be from now on truthful witnesses of Jesus Christ.”

This book is a wonderful little read. And I can only hope that Scepter bring back to print his other titles in English.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Georges Chevrot available in English:
On the Third Day
Simon Peter
The Eight Beatitudes
The Gospel in the Home
The Prodigal Son
The Well of Life

No comments: