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Sustenance for the season

Messenger Publications have released three booklets as part of their Spring 2019 catalogue. They promise readers much sustenance with a biographical sketch of ‘a mystic with open eyes’, a fresh perspective on Ireland’s saint and a new companion guide for Lent.

Best-selling author Brian Grogan SJ, whose life has been deeply influenced by Arrupe, has written Pedro Arrupe SJ: Mystic With Open Eyes. With a foreword by Peter McVerry SJ, this booklet is a guide to the extraordinary life of a great-souled human being. Arrupe belongs to the world because he had a profound love for everyone, especially the neediest. This succinct account of his life, 1907–1991, highlights his dynamic influence on the Church of today as it labours to build a civilisation of justice and love. Arrupe’s story may be of particular interest to readers in light of the fact that the cause for his beatification has been recently opened. This year also marks the 50th anniversary when the former Father General led the Society in a commitment to promote “the faith that does justice”.

In Saint Patrick: An Ancient Saint for Modern Times, Edmond Grace SJ delves into the myth, separating out the biographical detail of Patrick’s life and proposing a new way to understand the appeal of his life story. Dubbing him ‘the patron saint of the reconciliation of peoples’, the author presents a new Patrick, a man whose experiences instilled in him a deep commitment to overcome differences of rank, place and culture in the service of Christ.

In Journeying in Joy and Gladness, Kevin O’Gorman offers a day-by-day guide to Lent, pairing each day with a reflection on Gaudete et Exsultate (‘Rejoice and Be Glad’). Lent offers people a chance to renew their commitment to lifelong conversion, to strive for changes of mind, body and heart; changes that O’Gorman and Pope Francis remind people do not come at the cost of happiness but make it possible and give them reason to rejoice. The author asserts that Christianity is a religion of the unexpected: the triumph of Good News in bad places.