Books, videos and more information can be found below!
Surrender is the true story of the vocation of an American Jesuit priest, accused by the Soviet era K.G.B. of being a Vatican spy, who survived fifteen years of hard labor in Siberian prison camps. Father Walter Ciszek not only survived but learned to surrender to God’s Providence.
Surrender is a narrative digest book based entirely on Father Ciszek’s two books: With God in Russia, (1964), published one year after his release from Russia, and his second book, He Leadeth Me, (1973), published nine years later. Surrender interweaves these two books and telescopes the most dramatic events of Father Ciszek’s vocation and steadfast fidelity to that calling through the crucible of unjust imprisonment following the end of World War II.
The profound insights of Father Ciszek’s second book illuminate the grim facts of his first book. Surrender attempts to highlight the evolution of spiritual wisdom in He Leadeth Me, embedded in the harsh events depicted in With God in Russia. Hopefully, through the relative brevity of Surrender, the major chords of Father Ciszek’s heroic embrace of God’s Providence in the most extreme conditions will resonate. The reason why Father Ciszek’s cause for Canonization, the process of declaration of Sainthood in the Roman Catholic Church, is currently proceeding should be abundantly evident.
Surrender describes not the triumph of human will-power but the freedom of total dependence on God. The paradox of power to love is only born in the powerlessness of surrender of self-will to God’s Providence.
Written by: Seamus Dockery
In seventeenth-century France, southwest of Paris, the Port-Royal convent became the center of the Jansenist movement and of its adherents’ resistance to church and throne. Three abbesses from the Arnauld family spearheaded this resistance: Mère Angélique Arnauld (1591-1661), Mère Agnès Arnauld (1594-1671), and Mère Angélique de Saint-Jean Arnauld d’Andilly (1624-1684). Although many books have been written about the tragic lives of the Port-Royal nuns, John J. Conley provides the first study of the radical Augustinian philosophy developed by these remarkable abbesses during decades of persecution by Louis IV and his ecclesiastical allies.
Openly declaring themselves “disciples of Saint Augustine,” the Arnauld abbesses forged a philosophy notable for its original treatment of the attributes that stressed divine otherness; a moral philosophy of virtue rooted in grace; and a politics that supported the right of women to resist abuses of religious and civil authority. Although their philosophy was clearly influenced by their male Jansenist mentors, the nuns’ radical Augustinianism maintains its own gendered originality: their philosophy of virtue is closely tied to practices valued in a contemplative convent setting; their defense of freedom of conscience is linked to their defense of women’s right to exercise religious authority; and their negative theology, focused on divine incomprehensibility, depicts a God beyond sexual difference.
A fascinating account that includes translations ranging from abbatial conferences to private letters, Adoration and Annihilation is an important chronicle of the doctrinal battles of early modern Catholicism.
What does it mean to believe in God? Can God possibly be almighty in the midst of so much evil and disaster? How am I to understand the meaning of Jesus Christ’s ministry and resurrection? To what purpose is the church called? And what does it really mean to follow Christ in today’s broken world? Tying together the answers to all of these questions and addressing perplexities such as the possibility of miracles and how to read the Bible, Rowan Williams demonstrates that each of the basic tenets of Christian faith flows from one fundamental belief: that God is completely worthy of our trust. With vast knowledge of Christian history and theology and characteristically elegant prose, Rowan Williams is a superb and compassionate guide through the richness and depth of Christian faith.
In this book on shaping a meaningful and ethical life, the renowned, Pulitzer Prize–winning author explores how character, courage, and human and moral understanding can be fostered by reflecting on the lives of others, through stories. Based on Robert Coles’ legendary course at Harvard, this provocative book addresses such questions as, “Who are we? Where do we come from? Where are we going?” It calls on us to become stronger and more aware, by reflecting on ourselves and others with the help of great literature and art.
Dr. Coles shows how the work of writers, artists, and thinkers of the past two centuries can inspire our own reflections on the daily lives we lead. He offers a compelling call to venture outside of our own selves and lives and to listen, attentively and with growing humanity, to the way others get through life. Coles encourages us to examine our own character, kindness, and complexity by looking carefully at our perceptions of others, and by studying the wisdom of authors from Charles Dickens to Flannery O’Connor, from James Agee to George Orwell, and many others. In this influential conversation about empathy and engagement, Coles inspires us to seek out deeper meaning in our lives, and guides us toward achieving greater clarity, strength, and richness of understanding, amid the moral, psychological, and social complexities of the modern world.
A Billy Collins poem is instantly recognizable. “Using simple, understandable language,” notes USA Today, the two-term U.S. Poet Laureate “captures ordinary life–its pleasure, its discontents, its moments of sadness and of joy.” His everyman approach to writing resonates with readers everywhere and generates fans who would otherwise never give a poem a second glance.
Now, in this stunning new collection, Collins touches on a greater array of subjects–love, death, solitude, youth, and aging–delving deeper than ever before. Ballistics comes at the reader full force with moving and playful takes on life. Drawing inspiration from the world around him and from such poetic forebears as Robert Frost, Paul Valéry, and eleventh-century poet Liu Yung, Collins drolly captures the essence of an ordinary afternoon:
All I do these drawn-out days
is sit in my kitchen at Pheasant Ridge
where there are no pheasants to be seen
and, last time I looked, no ridge.
Collins reflects on his solitude:
If I lived across the street from myself
and I was sitting in the dark
on the edge of the bed
at five o’clock in the morning,
I might be wondering what the light
was doing on in my study at this hour.
And he meditates on the effects of love:
It turns everything into a symbol
like a storm that breaks loose
in the final chapter of a long novel.
And it may add sparkle to a morning,
or deepen a night
when the bed is ringed with fire.
As Collins strives to find truth in the smallest detail, readers are given a fascinating, intimate glimpse into the heart and soul of a brilliantly thoughtful man and exemplary poet.
A riveting, in-depth account of one of New York City’s most notorious crimes.
On April 20, 1989, the body of a woman is discovered in Central Park, her skull so badly smashed that nearly 80 percent of her blood has spilled onto the ground. Within days, five black and Latino teenagers confess to her rape and beating. In a city where urban crime is at a high and violence is frequent, the ensuing media frenzy and hysterical public reaction is extraordinary. The young men are tried as adults and convicted of rape, despite the fact that the teens quickly recant their inconsistent and inaccurate confessions and that no DNA tests or eyewitness accounts tie any of them to the victim. They serve their complete sentences before another man, serial rapist Matias Reyes, confesses to the crime and is connected to it by DNA testing.
Intertwining the stories of these five young men, the police officers, the district attorneys, the victim, and Matias Reyes, Sarah Burns unravels the forces that made both the crime and its prosecution possible. Most dramatically, she gives us a portrait of a city already beset by violence and deepening rifts between races and classes, whose law enforcement, government, social institutions, and media were undermining the very rights of the individuals they were designed to safeguard and protect.
This substantially expanded edition of Belden C. Lane’s Landscapes of the Sacred includes a new introductory chapter that offers three new interpretive models for understanding American sacred space. Lane maintains his approach of interspersing shorter and more personal pieces among full-length essays that explore how Native American, early French and Spanish, Puritan New England, and Catholic Worker traditions has each expressed the connection between spirituality and place.A new section at the end of the book includes three chapters that address methodological issues in the study of spirituality, the symbol-making process of religious experience, and the tension between place and placelessness in Christian spirituality.
An anthology of fifty essays featured in Edward R. Murrow’s 1950s This I Believe radio series. Includes such luminaries of the twentieth century as Pearl Buck, Norman Cousins, Margaret Mead, James Michener, Jackie Robinson, and Harry Truman. With an introduction by Edward R. Murrow and a foreword by Dan Gediman, executive producer of the contemporary This I Believe radio broadcasts, heard weekly on public radio.
Two kids named Wes Moore were born blocks apart within a year of each other. Both grew up fatherless in similar Baltimore neighborhoods and had difficult childhoods; both hung out on street corners with their crews; both ran into trouble with the police. How, then, did one grow up to be a Rhodes Scholar, decorated veteran, White House Fellow, and business leader, while the other ended up a convicted murderer serving a life sentence? Wes Moore, the author of this fascinating book, sets out to answer this profound question. In alternating narratives that take readers from heart-wrenching losses to moments of surprising redemption, The Other Wes Moore tells the story of a generation of boys trying to find their way in a hostile world.
“The chilling truth is that his story could have been mine. The tragedy is that my story could have been his.”