Sophia Institute Press recently released two inspirational books on Catholic spirituality: Basil Christopher Butler’s Always Inspired: Why Bible-Believing Christians Need the Catholic Church and The Little Book of the Blessed Virgin Mary, by Raoul Plus, S.J. These books, reprints of older editions out of print until now, are part of the campaign at Sophia Institute Press to reacquaint today’s Catholics with well-written spiritual guidebooks from the recent past.
Always Inspired aims to address Fundamentalist Protestant beliefs in the total authority of Sacred Scripture from a Catholic perspective. In an engaging manner, the author explores and explains the necessity of adhering to traditional Catholic interpretations of Scripture.
Basil Christopher Butler was a convert from the Church of England to Roman Catholicism in the twentieth century. After his conversion, he joined the Order of Saint Benedict, and eventually became the abbot of Downside Abbey. He was a major influence at the Second Vatican Council, where he helped write many crucial documents, including Dei Verbum, the Council’s Declaration on Divine Revelation.
In this insightful book, Butler argues that while the texts of the Bible are divinely inspired the Bible cannot stand alone without the Catholic Church’s complete and unbroken tradition of reading, interpreting and living the inspired word of God.
The same Holy Spirit who inspired the original biblical texts has continued to make revelation known to the Church through the ages. Therefore Catholic tradition, which begins with the truths transmitted by Jesus Christ Himself, is the necessary companion to Scriptural teaching.
Christ gave the stewardship of these truths to the Church so that revelation may be made known to the whole world. Without this authority, Butler warns, the books of the Bible cannot be completely and adequately understood.
In The Little Book of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Father Raoul Plus explains the importance of devotion to Mary in the spiritual life. Each chapter explains a different aspect of Catholic belief about Mary, such as “Mary is full of grace.”
Father Plus was a prolific spiritual writer who authored more than forty books on Christian spirituality. He served his native France as a chaplain in the First World War and was awarded with the Croix de Guerre and the Medaille Militaire for his heroism. He was also a renowned professor of the humanities as well as a devoted and wise spiritual director for his students.
In The Little Book of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Father Plus examines the events of the Blessed Virgin’s life in order to help the reader to understand more fully Mary’s sanctity and thereby enter a fuller spiritual union with her. With this knowledge, the devoted believer can then enjoy a deeper communion with Mary’s Divine Son through the union of their eternal love.
Above all, one must encounter Mary as Mother—nurturing, loving, comforting and interceding for our souls. As she cared for Jesus throughout his life, so she is willing to care for us, if we only embrace her loving support.
Mary’s love is most intimately expressed in the secrets of her heart, on which Father Plus elaborates throughout the book. These secrets are revealed through the actions by which she shared the joys, sorrows and triumphs with her Son, contemplating deeply all that happened before her very eyes.
Both books by well-known clerics demonstrate how the Catholic faith can be addressed in a modern world where the Church’s teachings are so often misunderstood, challenged, condemned or reduced to a superficial level.
These valuable texts call for a deeply personal and spiritual conversion within the reader’s heart by outlining the basic steps for a relationship with the person of Jesus Christ. They illustrate how a life of faith in the truths of the Gospel involves the whole human person in communication with the divine.
Sophia Institute Press is the publishing arm of the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts and Holy Spirit College. The Press is dedicated to restoring man’s knowledge of eternal truth, of his relationship to God and his fellow man. Sophia works towards fulfilling this mission by offering readers a rich source of the enduring wisdom of mankind found in various sorts of publications: fictional, spiritual and historical.