Tuesday 31 May 2022

The Call to Evangelise - Father Anthony Doe - CTS Deeper Christianity Series

The Call to Evangelise: 
Founded on loving intimacy with the Lord
Father Anthony Doe
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781784690090
eISBN 9781784694050
CTS Booklet D784

Over the last few years, I have read many books from the Catholic Truth Society, over 275 of them in fact. Most were good reads; some were great reads; and a few are exceptional. This is another excellent offering, as are the others in this series I have read. It is the twelfth in the Deeper Christianity Series that I have read, many of them have been read twice, and the second volume from Father Anthony Doe’s pen that I have read. I still have one other from him on my wish list. This series is one of my favourites. This booklet was originally published 2014 and the eBook was released in 2017. All three volumes that I can find by Father Anthony Doe were published by the CTS and each has an eBook edition. The description of this volume is:

“Amid the numerous urgent calls today for evangelisation, many find themselves unable to do so. This booklet encourages Christians to enter into a personal, intimate relationship with Jesus in order to be true disciples.

Are you prepared to evangelise, to communicate the gospel to others? Amid the numerous urgent calls today to do so, many may find themselves spiritually bankrupt, unable to reach out with a genuine experience of God’s forgiveness, mercy and joy. 

The Call to Evangelise offers a proposal both highly instructive and encouraging, that evangelisation requires true intimacy with the person of Christ. To be genuine witnesses, disciples in today’s fractured and wounded world must make space for contemplative prayer and for a tangible, living personal relationship with Jesus Christ.”

The chapters in the book are:

The Call to Evangelise the Church and the World
Relationship with Jesus Christ
The Presence of Our Lady
The Gift of Jesus’s Love
The Grace of Baptism
Intimate Union
The Gift of Mercy
Embracing the Mystery of Love
Ongoing Conversion of Life
Proclaiming the Presence of Jesus to Others
Living in Communion with the Father
Jesus’s Sacramental Presence Empowering Us

I enjoyed this volume so much and was challenged by it to the point that as soon as I finished it I started over and reread it a second time through. The introduction of this booklet states:

“We are living in a world and a Church that are manifesting all the signs of a profound need to discover the living presence of Jesus Christ. As the Saviour of the whole human race, he alone knows the ways in which every person can find the yearning for true happiness to be fulfilled. This reflection will draw on many strands of human and spiritual experience to demonstrate how this can only take place with the cooperation of his devoted followers. We will see how becoming an intimate friend of Jesus Christ will enable us to share his gifts that have the power to change the essence of human existence and transport it into the world of spiritual joy. As this reflection will attempt to show, this can only take place once the space for contemplative prayer is established, enabling Jesus to share the depth of his Spirit with us. It is this movement of love alone that will heal our wounds and enable us to undergo a true conversion of life that will then give us the power to communicate his living presence to others. We will now take up these themes in greater detail.”

While reading this book I highlighted several passages some of them are:

“An authentic life of faith is then rooted in this personal initiation into the healing love of God, embodied in his Son. It is he alone who can provide the life-giving context in which the message of the Gospel, developed through the teaching of the Church, can be embraced in all its depth. Salvation can then be understood in a truly Pauline sense as coming, not from strict adherence to the Law, but from personal faith in Jesus Christ who is himself the total embodiment of the Law and the Prophets.”

“Joy, the spiritual gift that brings serenity, peace, reassurance and above all an inner sense of freedom, is to be the fruit of Jesus’s presence within us. It is in fact another way of describing the living presence of the Father as he comes to us through Jesus. To remain in this gift of love, a participation in the dynamic intimacy that already exists between the Father and the Son, can only be possible when the Spirit of love, the Holy Spirit, that is generated by this loving union, begins to have a serious impact on the one who has accepted the call and is slowly experiencing the joyful freedom of heart that it brings.”

“There is another, which is of equal importance and beautifully links up with this gift of friendship, and that is the gift of Jesus’s forgiveness in the face of our sinfulness. His loving response to our entanglement with evil is the opportunity for him to reveal the gift of his healing power that intimately links us with the gracious sacrifice of himself, for each of us, on the cross.”

“We have seen clearly how the presence of the Spirit in the life of his mother enabled her to have such a spiritually creative role in this movement of grace; it is now the time to recognise the uniquely important role that St Joseph played in the life of Jesus, which likewise was grounded in his own openness to the working of the Spirit.”

“St Joseph, known pre-eminently as the man of faith, in an amazing way was willing to embrace the mystery of God the Father’s will, revealed to him by an angel in his dreams, that from the start challenged him with circumstances that were completely out of his control.”

“It is their support that will help us to give the time and the effort required to remain present to the movement of the Spirit, that will then offer Jesus the opportunity he needs to enter the deepest recess of our being, making his home in the centre of our humanity.”

“Instead, these apparently natural confirmations of Jesus’s love are replaced by periods of silence that at times can feel distressingly empty, exuding an almost lifeless quality, without any sense of joy or even meaning.”

“It is vital that during these periods of apparent darkness and turmoil, which can produce a particularly painful form of anguish, our response should be twofold. The first, as we have seen, is the importance of invoking the living presences of Mary and Joseph to be with us during this painful time of uncertainty. We must call upon them, who understand more fully than anyone how the ways of silence and unknowing are the gateways to genuine spiritual growth, to pray to the Holy Spirit that we receive a very special gift.”

“It is here that we can then see how the Sacrament of Penance, in union with the gift of the Eucharist, is able to strengthen this movement of new life and infuse the human spirit with the power of this truth.”

“It is only the Lord himself who can give us the strength, through the grace of the sacraments, to slowly make those decisions which will affect our personal choices. Will power, rooted in self-determination, does have a part to play but will never be enough to effect lasting changes that will bring a new sense of freedom. When our trust in him, however, is constantly nurtured through the gift of the Eucharist and our silent time of prayer in his presence, we will discover a new capacity to make the radical changes in our lifestyles that will facilitate a greater freedom to love others and experience the joy of living in a deeper communion of love with him.”

“This reflection throughout has attempted to place the invitation to grow in a relationship of personal intimacy with Jesus at the heart of our understanding of what it means to be a true member of his Body, the Church. This relationship, by its very nature and transforming power, is one that will move us to share its effects with others in a real spirit of joy and proclaim the living presence of Jesus as the true source of life.”

“This comes alive when that time and place of silent prayer, with his help, is established and becomes a daily reality when we consciously draw on the loving support of Our Lady and St Joseph as they accompany us on our mystical journey of faith.”

One of the reasons I went back and read this a second time was that I was so into the book the first time I forgot to pause and mark sections that were really hitting me. I hope those samples above will intrigue you enough to pick up this book and give it a try. I know that some today consider evangelization a dirty word. And even within the curia there are those with such a humanist mindset that they think Catholics should stop witnessing. I disagree and this volume lays down some great groundwork for why, and how. And most importantly it is based upon our own lives being shaped, changed, and transformed by the Father, Spirit, and Son. And by the witness and examples of Mary and Saint Joseph. 

This book is one of those ones that I believe we really need today, in our current day and age. We need solid teaching, and spiritual nourishment. I have already read this one twice and will likely return to it again. This is an excellent read in a wonderful series. The CTS Deeper Christianity Series of books is written in such a way that they can easily be read in any order. Pick and choose the ones that interest you, read them in order, or jump around. I have been blessed by all the book in this series that I have read and can easily recommend this book and the series.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2022 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
Catholic Architecture 
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
Lectio Divina Spiritual Reading of the Bible
Making Sunday Special

Mary in the Liturgy
Mary Mysteries of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Providence and Prayer
Prayer in Sadness and Sorrow

Prudence, Justice, Courage, and Temperance
Purgatory A Mystery of Love
Rediscovering Virtue The Art of Christian Living
Spiritual Warfare Fighting the Good Fight
The Call to Evangelise: Founded on loving intimacy with the Lord
The Church's Year Unfolding the Mysteries of Christ
The Name of God The Revelation of the Merciful Presence of God
The Trinity and the Spiritual Life
Understanding The Story Of The Bible
Union with God

Monday 30 May 2022

False Positive - Andrew Grant - Detective Cooper Devereaux Book 1

False Positive
Detective Cooper Devereaux Book 1
aka Andrew Child
ISBN 9780345540768
eISBN 9780345540775

This is the fourth volume I have read by Andrew Grant, actually it is the second by just him, I have read the two he wrote with his brother Lee Child, published under the name Andrew Child. I believe Grant has 9 books published under the name Andrew Grant, and two contributions to anthologies. He has also contributed to one anthology as Andrew Child. I picked a few of his books after reading Even. I have enjoyed both his offerings in the Reacher series, and also now enjoyed both of the books I have read in his own series.

I believe Grant has three series and a standalone novel. I have yet to decide if I will read each series in parallel, between the 2 Reacher novels and the first in Detective Cooper Devereaux Series and the first in the David Trevellyan Series I am certain I will read all the books he has published.

I stated in a previous review that I had not known that Andrew Grant was Andrew Child and had read this story, I would have stated that it reminded me a lot of the Reacher novels. Except this time David Trevellyan if still active duty for the Royal Navy and home office. But his style, panache, and focus are similar to Reacher’s. The same could be said for Detective Cooper Devereaux. And other that he is still actively a police officer even greater similarities. 

The beginning of the description of this book states:

“Alabama detective Cooper Devereaux makes no apologies for his luxe lifestyle or the way he does his job. Most cops haven’t lived the kind of life he has—starting out as an orphan, raised by a grizzled cop savior—and most don’t use his kind of high-risk tactics. But he may have met his match in fellow detective Jan Loflin, who’s fresh off a long undercover stint in Vice when they’re partnered on a case that will test them both beyond their direst nightmares.

A seven-year-old boy has disappeared from his home in the Birmingham suburbs. But the more Devereaux digs into the missing child’s background, the more he discovers about his own, eventually shaking loose a series of harrowing truths—about bloodlines, mass murder, obsession, and what two damaged detectives have in common with the innocent victim they’re so desperate to save.”

Cooper does not always follow the rules. But he always seeks to get the bad guys and protect the innocent. He has a storied past, and in this story that past catches up to him and there are secretes unravelled in the case he is working, that reveal things from his own past. Things he was not aware of and some he was deceived about. He even reaches a point of questioning his own reason for being who he is. There are several cathartic moments in the story for both Cooper and for Loflin. But most important of all, there is a missing child to be rescued. But to find out what happens you will need to read this excellent story.

Many readers of this book would make comparisons to Reacher, especially if they are aware of the author’s legal name. But Cooper is a different character and the story told in a different manner. I appreciated that the chapters starting at nine have the day and number of hours the child has been missing. I greatly appreciated seeing into Devereaux’s mind, process and thought patterns.  

This story was very hard to put down. I stayed up many hours later than I should have on a work night to finish the story. I devoured it over a single day in a few different sittings. It is an excellent read. If you love a good crime, suspense, thriller with great action this is a book for you. I am certain fans of Reacher, Bourne, Jack Ryan could all appreciate Cooper and how he gets the job done. It was a great second read from Grant’s pen! 

Books by Andrew Grant:

David Trevellyan Series:

Detective Cooper Devereaux Series:

Paul McGrath Series:

As Andrew Child with Lee Child:
Jack Reacher Series:

Books Andrew Grant Contributed To:
In the Company of Sherlock Holmes
Murder and Mayhem in Muskego

Sunday 29 May 2022

Catholic Architecture - Steven Schloeder - CTS Deeper Christianity Series

Catholic Architecture
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781860828652
eISBN 9781784694869
CTS Booklet SP39

Over the last few years, I have read many books from the Catholic Truth Society. Most were good reads; some were great reads; and a few are exceptional. This one was hard to pin down. It is the thirteenth in the Deeper Christianity Series that I have read, about half of them I have read at least twice. It is the first volume from Steven Schloeder that I have read. I believe that Schloeder has published 3 books, 2 of them from the CTS, this one and one titled Understanding A Church, and his two thesis's.

The description of this volume is:

“Discover how an effectively designed church building can help to form us in the spirit of prayerful participation in the liturgy and give us a true “sense of the sacred”, in this accessible guide written by a Catholic architect.

The church building has always been intended to express and facilitate the acts of worship and prayer that go on within. A Catholic architect explores the history and meaning of the church, as well as the spiritual significance of its design.

Discover how an effectively designed church building can help to form us in the spirit of prayerful participation in the liturgy and give us a true “sense of the sacred”. Written in an accessible style, this booklet will help Catholics better understand the buildings they use and see their significance.”

The chapters in the book are:

What is Sacred Space?
Why Build a Church?
Sign, Symbol and Sacrament
Symbolism in the Old Testament
Symbolism in the New Testament
Church Architecture as a Sacramental Sign
The Image of the Body of Christ
The Images of the Tent and Temple
The Meaning of the Tent and Temple
The Images of the City
Tent, Temple, and City in Early Christian Imagery
Body, Temple, City: What These Have in Common
The Church’s Vision for Church Architecture

I have mixed feelings about this volume. It seems at times like Schloeder wants to be very critical of modern church architecture. And at other times. Far less so. He give some good history and context going back to the tent and temple worship in Judaism. I highlighted several passages while reading this volume. Some of them are:

“A church is a building that has been created within a cultural and religious tradition, it constitutes a collective memory of spiritual insights, of thousands of mystical moments. A church reminds us of what we have known. Margaret Visser, The Geometry of Love.”

“The Fall can be understood as an account of alienation: Adam and Eve were alienated from their true selves because of what Father Benedict Groeschel calls the “original wound”. They were alienated from each other both as man and woman and as social beings. They were alienated from the rest of creation, and nature became hostile. Most significantly, they were alienated from God: they could no longer share the same intimate and immediate communion with him. Henceforth, only through mediating symbols (words, gestures, objects, ideas, rituals) could we know and communicate with God.”

“We can now begin to understand why the dominant architectural forms and liturgical settings for the Jewish people were the Tent of Dwelling and later the Temple of Solomon.”

“This temple form is understood as the completion of the Tabernacle: what was of cloth was now of stone; what was once transient and moveable was now fixed and permanent. Since both the Tent and the Temple are divinely ordained, the specifications and proportions of these two forms have formed the pattern and intentions of church builders throughout the history of Christian building.”

“In a similar vein, the invocation of the Temple is also seen in Ignatius of Antioch, wherein he calls the Christians to assemble in one place for prayer-which he calls the temple of God (naon theou, templum Dei)-where there is one prayer, one offering, one altar, and one High Priest who is Jesus Christ.”

“As the Church’s architectural expression developed, this Temple arrangement seems to have been the model for early churches. The church was divided into three distinct zones: the narthex or vestibule, the nave, and the sanctuary. In the early Church only the baptised who were in a state of grace were admitted into the nave, or the church proper. The catechumens, penitents, pagans and curious spectators were relegated to the vestibule, and only the ordained were allowed to enter the sanctuary.”

“The symbolic themes of the body of Christ, the Temple of the Holy Spirit, and the Heavenly City have inflamed the imaginations of churchmen and architects over the better part of two thousand years. Different ages found different ways of thinking about and expressing these ideas architecturally. The various architectural styles-Byzantine or Baroque, Romanesque, Renaissance Classicism or Revivalism-were all culturally, aesthetically, and technologically contingent on their respective eras.”

“These styles are deeply embedded in our very understanding of church building, and constitute a sort of “cultural memory” which seems to be lacking in modernist churches. The more radical twentieth-century rejection of historical styles unwittingly also discarded the symbolic content embedded in these styles-it largely eradicated the cultural memory of the Church and rendered the parish community architecturally illiterate.”

“But in the mind of the Church, the church building itself is a sacramental reality. Like any other sacramental, holy water or rosaries or scapulars or icons, the church is a material thing that is solemnly blessed by the Church and permanently made a means of obtaining grace. Unlike the sacraments, sacramentals are not instituted by Christ, and are not objective means of receiving grace, but rather rely on the subjective disposition of the faithful. Yet the sacramentals still draw their graces from the treasury of the Church, by the authority of the Keeper of the Keys.”

“The formal blessing of a church building is a momentous occasion for any diocese, since it establishes a new and permanent sign of the City of God in the city or town in which it is built.”

“The purpose of this book was to reacquaint us with the Church’s intention for sacred architecture. As we approach a church building, whether for prayer or simply driving by and seeing it as part of the urban landscape, we can consider afresh how the forms of the building help us to understand better the Church herself, the liturgy, and our own place in the Kingdom of God. Today we are witnessing a recovery of architectural meaning, and a growing appreciation for the value of architectural and liturgical symbolism.”

The ends of the description of this volume states:

“Written in an accessible style, this booklet will help Catholics better understand the buildings they use and see their significance.”

I find I enjoyed much in this book, and other parts I could have skipped entirely. But it was well written and the author is both an architecture in fact he holds a  Master in Architecture. His thesis was The Architecture of the Vatican Two Church which was republished as Architecture in Communion: Implementing the Second Vatican Council Through Liturgy and Architecture for a wider readership. He also holds a Pd.D. in Theology. His Doctoral thesis was The Church of the Year 2000: A dialogue on Catholic Architecture for the Third Millennium.

After reading this volume my impression is that Schloeder is not a fan of post Vatican II church buildings and believes much has been lost by changes over time. But also that the church is important as a sacramental and as such can be effective in a variety of designs and constructions. I came away from this volume a little confused on the authors opinions and to be honest the books intent. But it was good enough that I am looking to track down his other volume from the CTS Understanding A Church. 

Of the many books I have read in this series this is the only one I find does not fit the series purpose, Deeper Christianity Series. It was worth the read but The others in this series are about spiritual growth and this one is about history and modern practices in church design and construction. I feel this would be a better fit for the CTS Concise Histories, or even just a stand alone volume.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2022 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
Catholic Architecture 
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
Lectio Divina Spiritual Reading of the Bible
Making Sunday Special

Mary in the Liturgy
Mary Mysteries of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Providence and Prayer
Prayer in Sadness and Sorrow

Prudence, Justice, Courage, and Temperance
Purgatory A Mystery of Love
Rediscovering Virtue The Art of Christian Living
Spiritual Warfare Fighting the Good Fight
The Call to Evangelise: Founded on loving intimacy with the Lord
The Church's Year Unfolding the Mysteries of Christ
The Name of God The Revelation of the Merciful Presence of God
The Trinity and the Spiritual Life
Understanding The Story Of The Bible
Union with God

Books by Steven Schloeder:
Understanding A Church
Architecture in Communion: Implementing the Second Vatican Council Through Liturgy and Architecture 
The Church of the Year 2000: A dialogue on Catholic Architecture for the Third Millennium

Saturday 28 May 2022

The Story of Glastonbury - Dom Aelred Watkin O.S.B. - CTS Histories

The Story of Glastonbury 
Dom Aelred Watkin O.S.B. 
ISBN 9780851835068
ISBN 0851835066
CTS Booklet H444

Over the last several years, I have read over 275 volumes from the CTS. I have read books from many series, and many authors. I have read several books that are part of the CTS Devotions and Prayer Series. I have read many in the CTS Biographies including biographies from the Saints of the Isles Series, and the Great Saints Series. This is the first book by Dom Aelred Watkin O.S.B. that I have read. This volume predates the CTS Concise Histories Series that I have been enjoying and also the Christian Shrines Series of which I greatly enjoyed Glastonbury - A Pilgrim's Companion by David Baldwin. The edition of this booklet I tracked down was from 1973, I found reference while researching the book of editions as early as 1966, and as late at 1983. The edition I tracked down did not even have a description on the back, but only and advertisement for a CTS Paperback Bible for 60p. I was not able to find a description of the booklet anywhere online. The text has reference of dates up to and including 1965. And it is a fascinating little read.
The preface by Joseph Bishop of Clifton states:

“Glastonbury is one of the earliest centres of the Catholic Church in this country. It is also by tradition one of the earliest places where special devotion was given to Our Lady. But perhaps more than most places, the history of the Church in Glastonbury, and particularly of the origin of the shrine of Our Lady, is overladen with legend. No true devotion ought or can be built except on the truth. It is therefore highly important, in speaking of Glastonbury, to be quite clear and explicit on the reliability of and authority for all statements made.

This small account of the Catholic history of Glastonbury is meticulous in this matter. At the same time it gives proper weight to tradition and even to legend.

It seems beyond reasonable doubt that in days gone by Glastonbury was noted for an intense devotion to Our Blessed Mother. May this short history be a powerful help towards the reviving of that ancient devotion.”

The chapters and sections in the booklet are:

The Story of Glastonbury
     The Situation at Glastonbury
     The Town of Glastonbury
     Earliest History
     The Early Monastery at Glastonbury
     The Saxon Monastery of Glastonbury
A Full Page Map of Glastonbury Abbey
     Glastonbury in the days of the Normans and Angevins
     Glastonbury in the Middle Ages
Diagram of Glastonbury Abbey
     The End of Glastonbury
     The years of Desolation
     Our Lady of Glastonbury
     Our Lady’s Return

I highlighted several passages my first time through this work. They were:

“Glastonbury can easily be recognized from afar. From miles away in every direction the eye is caught by a high, conical hill topped by a ruined tower. This is Glastonbury Tor with the remains of its fourteenth-century chapel of St Michael the Archangel. The town itself and the abbey lie at the foot of the complex of hills of which the Tor is the chief, and it is surrounded by an immense tract of flat land intersected with artificial drainage ditches (known as rhines) which are lined by pollarded willows.”

“The story of Glastonbury reaches back into a past so remote that it is impossible for us to say what its origins were or when it began. Legends have sprung up at various dates and times which try to illuminate this darkness, but these stories may rather be likened to ivy which, while obscuring the outline of an ancient building, testifies to the reality of its structure. It is perhaps significant that the greater bulk of these legends take their origin in the later part of the Middle Ages and that one or two of the most startling date from after the dissolution of the abbey.”

“We can say, therefore, that from about the fifth century onwards there was a large Celtic monastery on the site of the later abbey. The names of one or two of the early abbots are known and the Welsh Triads speak of a ‘perpetual choir’ of singers at Glastonbury, while a visit of St David of Wales to the spot is better authenticated than some of the early stories.”

“It is impossible to go into the history of ‘King Arthur’ and the stories which connect him with Glastonbury, but it seems very probable that this ancient leader did exist and there is evidence which could show that he was in fact buried in the ancient cemetery at Glastonbury.”

“In some ways more mysterious still is the tradition which connects St Patrick with Glastonbury. The fact that the Irish, from at least the eighth century onwards, believed him to have been buried here is quite certain.” 

“Whether the Irish saint buried at Glastonbury was the great apostle of Ireland or whether he was another of the same name it does not as yet seem possible to discover. That Glastonbury was a holy spot to the Irish at a very early date is
abundantly clear.”

“It was from Glastonbury that St Dunstan and his followers reformed the monasteries throughout the country. Indeed, Glastonbury may well be termed the mother-house of almost every medieval monastery in England, for all the ancient foundations were renewed and revived under the direction of St Dunstan and of the monks he had trained.”

“During the following years the abbey buildings changed hands again and again. Slowly, vaults, walls and towers disappeared, although the inhabitants of Glastonbury to their credit retained such a reverence for the Lady Chapel that none could be found to take part in its demolition and it is thus the most complete part of the ruins yet remaining.”

“It is impossible to say at what date the Wattle Church became known as the Church of Our Lady. It is certain that it was so known in the eighth century and we may say with confidence that Glastonbury was one of the earliest shrines of Our Lady to exist north of the Alps.”

“It is interesting in this connexion to note that Glastonbury was one of the few places in England to develop a devotion to St Joseph before the Reformation; there exists in a Glastonbury manuscript a hymn written about the year 1500 in which St Joseph is honoured together with his namesake of Arimathea.”

“There is evidence that even in the darkest years of persecution some recusant Catholics used to gather round the ruin of the Lady Chapel to pray and the memory of the shrine never quite wholly perished. But it is during the last seventy years that
Catholicism has begun to return to Glastonbury. Towards the end of the last century the Fathers of the Sacred Heart established a novitiate in a house at the foot of the Tor.”

“The 20th July 1955 was a great day in the history of Glastonbury, for it was then that the Apostolic Delegate (Archbishop O’Hara) by blessing and enthroning a new statue of Our Lady of Glastonbury in the presence of Bishop Rudderham of Clifton and of no less than 18,000 Catholics, restored in the name of the Holy See the ancient shrine of Our Lady of Glastonbury. Since then pilgrimages have multiplied and in the year 1958, when special indulgences were granted, the pilgrims came literally in their thousands.”

“The revival has been more than remarkable and we may hope that in God’s own time we may see the shrine of Our Lady of Glastonbury once more, as of old, the centre of a Catholic England.”

This booklet was a fascinating read. It is very concise and yet it provides a lot of information. When you combine it with Glastonbury - A Pilgrim's Companion by David Baldwin and even the historical fiction novels the Glaston Tor Series by Donal Anthony Foley it makes for intriguing history, wonderful faith, and continued witness. I am thankful I was able to track this little volume down and add the knowledge within to my growing understanding of Catholicism in England, over the ages.

An excellent little volume from the CTS. 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2022 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Related Posts:

Friday 27 May 2022

Dragon Assassin 12 Deathwings - Arthur Slade - Dragon Assassin Book 12

Dragon Assassin 12: Deathwings
Arthur Slade
Dava Enterprises

This book is a great climax to this incredible series. This story and the series is great action from beginning to end. Before we get into the review proper here are some musings from a bibliophile. This is the second time this series has been expanded. Twice I thought we were at the conclusion, and now this is the first of 2 more books. It is beginning to feel like Douglas Adams trilogy, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, of 6 books. Or like Piers Anthony’s Xanth which started as a trilogy and now has 45 books in print and 3 more announced. As a fan of Slade’s works and specifically of this series, I am thankful, and may this series run for many, many, many more volumes. Anthony has stated he will now write Xanth novels as long as he is alive, and may Slade write Dragon Assassin and Amber Fang novels till he departs. 

In this series the first 8 books make a complete story and are excellent reads. Then the next two books make a story and go in a completely different direction. This pair of books began with a mysterious attack that nearly takes out both Carmen and Braxx. And they soon find out there have been multiple attacks, around the whole world. Half the Kings, Queen’s and rulers on Ellos are taken out before anyone really knew what is going on. A mysterious woman on a silver dragon of unknown species attack with a magical golden spear is the attacker. She has the ability to appear and disappear through red smoke. Her attacks can come from anywhere and he spear returns to her as if on command. 

In this volume Brax and Carmen follow a very powerful bat and seek to recover Carmen’s brother and find a way to end the attacks. The description of the volume is:

“Deathwings is coming. The worlds will never be the same.

Carmen has sworn to hunt down Kali, the mysterious warrior who travels from world to world. But there is someone planning these attacks and she has heard that Deathwings is coming. Neither she nor Brax know what Deathwings is, but they will have to face this new enemy that staggers the imagination.”

Secrets are discovered about Kali, and who is really pulling the strings. And the master plan. In this part of the story Carmen and Brax will need to completely trust her brother. 

This series continues to have a lot of action, and a fair number of twists. I thought the last volume topped them all, but Slade has delivered again with this volume. The writing is clean and crisp. The pace is unrelenting. This story is the last planned in the Dragon Assassin Series, but Slade has indicated he has ideas for others stories set in the same universe. I cannot but hope we find out more about the bats of great power, the newfound cooperation on Ellos. And that we again see Dragons, Mages, and Giants working together. It is an excellent story from the masterful and ever entertaining pen of Arthur Slade. A great read in an excellent series! 

Books by Arthur Slade:
The Dragonfly's Journey (1996)

John Diefenbaker: an Appointment with Destiny (2000)
Dust (2001)
Tribes (2002)
Monsterology (2005)
Villainology (2005)
Megiddo's Shadow (2006)
Jolted (2008)
Shades: 17 Startling Stories (2011)

Flickers (2016)
Crimson (2018)
Death by Airship (2019)
Mr. Universe (2021)

Hunchback Assignments Series:
aka Modo Mission Clockwork Series:
The Hunchback Assignments (2009)
The Dark Deeps (2010)
Empire of Ruins (2011)
Island of Doom (2012)

Modo Embers End - Graphic Novel (2014)

The Northern Frights Series
Draugr (1997)
The Haunting of Drang Island (1998)
The Loki Wolf (2000)

Northern Frights Reprint Editions:
Draugr (2020)
Drang (2020)
Loki Wolf (2020)

The Canadian Chills Series
Return of the Grudstone Ghosts (2002)
Ghost Hotel (2004)
Invasion of the IQ Snatchers (2007)

Librarian. Assassin. Vampire Series:
Amber Fang: The Hunted
Amber Fang: Betrayed
Amber Fang: Revenge
Amber Fang Box Set Books 1-3

Dragon Assassin Series:
Twin Fury
Shadow Hunter
Dark Wings
Elder Magic
Royal Blood
Hidden Powers