13 JULY 1956, Page 27


PERE DE LUBAC is a French Jesuit of great learning and spirituality who has done much in the past to reawaken Roman Catholics to belief in the Church as the mystical body of Christ as well as the seat of the magisterium of spiritual teaching and authority. His latest book, The Splendour of the Church (Sheed and Ward, 18s.), translated into English, con- tinues the theme. He explores the mystery and the many-sidedness of the Church from within, and although the footnotes show the writer's easy erudition, his aim is to stir the imagina- tion rather than to instruct the mind. He seldom allows his heart to run away with his head, and his chapter on the Church and Our Lady is a refreshing contrast to some con- temporary extravaganzas. The Protestant reader, remembering past principles and some present practices, may smile wrily at such sen- tences as this: 'Even with its ponderous modern equipment, the Catholic Church is seen with ever-increasing clarity to be the one effective guarantee of spiritual liberty.' Never- theless he will find much here to his profit.

The Lord, by Romano Guardini (Longmans, 28s.), is a series of meditative studies on the life of Christ. To suggest, as some American reviewers have done, that this is the most important book yet published on the life and teachings of Christ, is to give a most mislead- ing impression. This is a good book, but it lacks the distinction of its author. Its main significance lies in its witness to the renewed interest in the Bible among Roman Catholic