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KIRKUS REVIEW

The silence of the Abbey of Gethsemane seems to be conducive to the production of eams of copy. The prolific pens of Father Louis, O.C.S.O., (Thomas Merton), and his confrere in Religion, Father Raymond, O.C.S.O., testify to this phenomenon. Both authors appeal to different audiences, but the audience for father Raymond's work is undoubtedly largest. Among his more popular books are The Man Who Got Even With God, You, Love Does Such Things and now Your Hour Father Raymond has written the book ""to make you happy"". He proceeds to use macabre means to achieve this end. Within the framework of case histories of men and women who have their sufferings with resignation to the Will of God, the author attempts to inspire his readers to a deeper appreciation of this mystery of Christian living. Strained and improbable dialogue in the descriptions make the stories hard to take. We do learn of a missioner who lived with his cancer, and we're told how others bravely accepted their crosses -- a young nurse with Hodgkin's disease, a father of nine with paralytic a family with a mongoloid child, a woman with a spine affliction and another with cancer. The books ends with the story of Mary Ellen Kelly, the invalid who founded the ""shut in"" sodalists. Each story is told as though intended to be part of a novel. Most of the effort to fill out the skeleton of the story could have been skipped. Nevertheless there is a wide audience conditioned to this kind of writing which will eagerly seek out this book from the pen of Father Raymond. Would that Father Raymond could be enlisted to help elevate their tastes by eliminating his excessive appeal to sentiment and emotions. This would increase the potential audience of his confrere, to be sure. But it would be a boon to religious writing and the religiosity of Catholics in general.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1962
Publisher: Bruce