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This volume is a tribute to the academic achievements of Fr Christopher, O’Donnell, O.Carm., a Carmelite of the Irish Province of Carmelites and Emeritus Professor at the Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosophy, Dublin. Fr Christopher’s life in academia has spanned more than sixty years during which he has made major contributions to the study of sacramental theology, ecclesiology, Mariology, spirituality, and in the field of Carmelite studies. The articles included here come from friends, confreres and colleagues of Father Christopher and in their subject matter range across the wide field of interest that is his. Several branches of the Carmelite family are represented here as are representatives from different Christian denominations. Many authors have included their own personal tributes to Fr Christopher, often with particular reminiscences, singling out one or other of his many talents. Sentire cum ecclesia is a fitting title for this Festschrit. For this is what Fr Christopher (a supremely gifted communicator at both academic and popular levels) always encourages his students, his confreres, his colleagues and anyone who listens to him to do: to listen, to think, to see, to hear, to ‘feel’ with the Church. The major achievement of Fr Christopher’s academic career has been to draw out the ecclesial dimension of theology, of the history and practice of spirituality and, above all, of the Carmelite charism. For Fr Christopher spirituality is essentially ecclesial, a call to holiness in the Church. The volume includes a complete bibliography of Fr Christopher’s work from 1952 to 2015. The Prior General of the Carmelite Order, Fr Fernando Millán Romeral, O.Carm., and the Prior Provincial of the Irish of Province of the Carmelites, Fr Richard Byrne, O.Carm., have kindly provided forewords to the volume, each paying his own personal tribute and witnessing to Fr Christopher’s immense contribution. Both make their contributions to the volume as former students of Fr Christopher. Fr Christopher has written widely – at both academic and popular levels. Life in the Spirit and Mary (Wilmington: Michael Glazier, 1981) was his first published book. His work At Worship with Mary (Wilmington: Michael Glazier, 1988) is a study of the Marian feasts. Ecclesia: A Theological Encyclopedia of the Church (Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 1996) is Fr Christopher’s major contribution to ecclesiology. Developing his insight into love as an ecclesiological theme, Fr Christopher published Love in the Heart of the Church: The Mission of Thérèse of Lisieux (Dublin: Veritas Publications, 1997) and Prayer: Insights of St Thérèse of Lisieux (Dublin: Veritas Publications, 2001). His Mary Mother of God (Dublin: Columba Press, 2012) was previously published in Italian and Czech translations. Most recently Fr Christopher published God of Mercy: Penance, Confession, Reconciliation – A Resource for Schools (Great Wakering, Essex: McCrimmons, 2015) with Sr Jude Groden, R.S.M., further testament to his lifelong dedication to the apostolate of education and a timely contribution to the celebration of the Church’s Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. In 2006 Fr Christopher was the recipient of The Cardinal John J. Wright Mariological Award of The Mariological Society of America. Fr Christopher is currently a member of the Carmelite Community at Gort Muire in Dublin.
Contents of the Volume
Foreword Fernando Millán Romeral, O.Carm., Prior General – Richard Byrne, O.Carm., Prior Provincial
Introduction Simon Nolan, O.Carm.
Bibliography of Christopher O’Donnell, O.Carm., 1952-2015
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This engaging work, written in a non-technical style, presents the relevance of the teachings of St. John of the Cross as a Way of Holiness for contemporary man. Making use of the principal symbols of the Carmelite Mystic: canticle, flame, dark night and mountain, the author engages in a dialogue with contemporary theology and spirituality, without undermining the contribution of Christian tradition and classical schools of thought in the interpretation of sanjuanist texts, in order to present a powerfully relevant and attractive spirituality for our times. It reveals a spirituality rooted in its Carmelite identity and open to the exigencies of the religious search of the present day.
Armed with a deep knowledge of St. John of the Cross and Carmelite Spirituality, and with admirable scholarship in the fields of Philosophy, Theology and Spirituality, the author engages the Carmelite Mystic and Doctor in a dialogue in order to reveal the simplicity and profundity of his teachings in a language that reveals the seriousness and urgency of his teachings at the same time their consistency in the wake of contemporary musings and studies on the relationship between the Absolute and Man. Parting from the aforementioned sanjuanist symbols, the author presents their directionality as a Way. Bereft of any pretension of exhaustiveness, this work is an exploration, an introduction whose aim is to clarify, to guide, to discover the richness and relevance of the spirituality hidden in the sanjuanist texts.
In five brief, though dense chapters, the author presents the beginnings or point of departure (Chapter 1), the main actor (Chapter 2), the goal (Chapter 3), the criteria and guide (Chapter 4) and the dynamic journey of the way to its completion (Chapter 5) thus revealing in a compact manner the highlights and principles of a classical spirituality who is open to dialogue and confrontation within the parameters of the contemporary search for the fulfillment of life in the light of the relationship with the Absolute or God, making use of categories and terms that all the more highlight the Christian and Carmelite heritage of St. John of the Cross himself, a Mystic and Master for the twenty-first century for all men in search for meaning.
La “Noche oscura” in S. Giovanni della Croce è il cammino illuminante del un vero mistico e del colore spirituale di un direttore spirituale. Guida e formatore nello spirito rinnovato del carmelo fiorente rilascia un sapore piacevole nell’ascolto della Parola e della meditazione di fronte al mistero che si rivela nella propria storia e del proprio cammino di perfezione. Questo libro presenta con illustrazioni e immagini i luoghi del Santo (Duruelo, Mancera, Pastrana, Alcala, Avila Toledo, …), e il legame stretto con la grande Santa Teresa di Avila, il proprio cammino nella formazione e crescita spirituale.
Questa prima raccolta di Meditazioni e Soliloqui di Jean de Saint-Samson (1571-1636), combina testi di pedagogia religiosa (specialmente le trenta meditazioni per il ritiro di dieci giorni) e brevi trattati sulla vita mistica più completa. Si tratta di organizzare gli inizi della vita di preghiera, di entrare nel mistero della Passione del Figlio di Dio o di godere pienamente di quello dell’Eucaristia, le anime contemplative, qualunque sia il loro stato. di avanzamento, troveranno cibo sostanziale qui. Scopriamo note preziose sulle difficoltà incontrate in tutta la vita consacrata, ad esempio sulla vita comunitaria o sulla direzione spirituale.
Sebbene Jean de Saint-Samson non abbia mai avuto ufficialmente il titolo, è il maestro dei novizi della Riforma di Touraine che incontriamo in queste pagine.
Ce premier recueil de Méditations et Soliloques de Jean de Saint-Samson (1571 – 1636), associe des textes de pédagogie religieuse (particulièrement les trente méditations pour la retraite de dix jours), et de courts traités relevant de la vie mystique la plus achevée. Qu’il s’agisse d’organiser les débuts de la vie d’oraison, d’entrer dans le mystère de la Passion du Fils de Dieu ou de goûter pleinement celui de l’Eucharistie, les âmes contemplatives, quel que soit leur état d’avancement, trouveront ici une nourriture substantielle. Elles découvriront au passage de précieuses notations sur les difficultés rencontrées dans toute vie consacrée, par exemple à propos de la vie communautaire ou de la direction spirituelle.
Sans que Jean de Saint-Samson en ait jamais eu officiellement le titre, c’est bien le maître des novices de la Réforme de Touraine que nous rencontrons dans ces pages.
Ristampa Anastatica maggio 2018.
Via Sforza Pallavicini, 10
00193 Roma - Italia
COD. FISC.: 80044650580
PART. IVA: 02117031001
IBAN: IT67 Z076 0103 2000 0001 4069 009
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