We came to the March meeting of our group all fired up, with questions and comments prepared. Our discussion leader was Doru, ready in his usual manner to take us through this very profound book. He informed us that the format of the book was based on a series of homilies that had been given by Guardini, and then gave us some notes on the purpose of the book. He pointed out that the author went to considerable trouble to provide an analysis of Jesus that emphasized his divine nature as well as considering his human nature.
We agreed together that the book goes very deep, that it requires considerable thought for just about every page. Guardini also posits some ideas that seem startling, that had never before occurred to this life-long Catholic. I will not go into detail here, since that would, I think, require a spoiler alert! But I would say to the reader, be prepared to have your assumptions challenged, to have to re-think some of your entrenched habits. At one point, I paged back to the front to check for the Nihil Obstat, and there it was, so I felt satisfied.
We agreed that this is a very important book and were amazed that it had not come to our attention before, since it has been in print since 1954. We also agreed that it was a work that could be very profitably read again, all 600-some pages of it.
For our future reading, we looked at a variety of recommendations and chose for our next book The Land of Spices by Kate O’Brien. That will be our reading for April; for May, we chose Five for Sorrow, Ten for Joy by Rumer Godden; and then we found ourselves very much drawn to a new book titled The Catholics: The Church and its People in Britain and Ireland, from the Reformation to the Present Day by Roy Hattersley. Since this is a long book, we’ll take the first half for June and the second for July. These should keep us busy reading for a while!