Entering The Mysteries Of God
The Crossroad Publishing Company
This Brief work reminds us that the sacramental life and the mystical life are one and the same. It is a work of mystagogy that helps us enter into the Christian mysteries. This way is not for an elite few, as is proclaimed in the Gnostic heresies, but for all Christians who desire to love the Lord with all their heart. The sacraments, says the author, are ways to holiness, to union with God. Ultimately, that is what our faith is all about.
What the author returns to throughout the work is the principle that conversion is really about inner transformation, a transformation in Christ and this is God's doing: we are transformed by grace. Christianity has no place for Pelagianism. Everything in our interior life is a work of God. We are called to co-operate with the graces God grants us.
The author notes that the number 7 is important in Catholic theology. There are 7 sacraments. There are 7 days of creation. The author links the 7 sacraments to the 7 petitions of the Our Father, the 7 miracles in the Gospel of St John and the 7 sections of the Mass and does so very well.
I found this book very helpful. My slight disagreement with the author is to do with his endorsement of the writings of Adrienne Von Speyr. Back in the eighties, I looked forward to reading the little white Ignatius Press books by her and Von Balthasar. I no longer believe that their works are in conformity with Catholic orthodoxy. Of course, some of their works are good and Von Speyr's linking of the 7 sacraments to the 7 last words is a case in point.
If we look at the wedding celebration of Cana, for example, the author leads us to reflect on the real wedding that is taking place here: that between Christ and his Church. The servants who fill the jars are acting as deacons. The empty stone jars are "awaiting the greater rites of the new covenant."
The author notes that when Jesus tells his mother on Calvary: "Woman, behold your son," we all become her children.
A brief and very useful work.