Monday, May 13, 2013
Divine Intimacy: A Book Every Catholic Should Own
In my opinion, it is like a Summa Theologica for a Catholic's daily prayer life - no topic pertaining to our lives as Christians is left untouched, no devotion to Christ left unspoken of, no spiritual stone left unturned as it were. Fr. Gabriel, a Carmelite priest, approaches the most difficult and deep of subjects with the wisdom of the great Carmelite saints (along with many others) to back him. He has the wisdom and intellect of a St. Thomas Aquinas, but with the deep mystical touch of St. John of the Cross. The writing is never dry or academic, never dull, but rich, touching, and pious. There is not a single sentence in this work that is not useful for the Christian soul.
For those who may not know of it, Divine Intimacy is a collection of Fr. Gabriel's thoughts and writings for every day of the liturgical year that can be used for one's daily prayer routine. Each section is enriched with words from the saints, especially the great Carmelite saints (St. Therese of Lisieux, Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity, St. Teresa Margaret of the Sacred Heart, St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, and St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi). In some ways, it reads very much like a Catholic Philokalia, in some ways, similar to excellent Eastern Orthodox work The Art of Prayer.
To me, Divine Intimacy is the real deal - serious Catholic devotional writing that stands far above the morass of pop spiritual writing (both within the Catholic world and without) that is so common these days. The only drawback of course is the price, which most places seems to be around $60. Despite the cost, the work is worth every penny - I have no doubt that it will one day be a far bigger classic and far more well-known than it is at present.