This doctrine which is at the heart of the Christian mystery -- the grace of Christ -- is a complex and difficult subject which every serious minded Catholic should strive to understand more fully. Father Gleason who has succeeded in making that result more easily attainable in other areas of appreciation of the religious life (most recently, To Live Is Christ- supplement p. 204) aims this book at ""the growing body of men and women, clerical and lay, who are interested in seeing the profound and abiding questions of theology handled in a more technical way."" In an effort to produce a satisfying but technical treatment of Grace, unfortunately his aim will reach only the ones at the top. His thoroughness makes the resulting book one that requires teacher-guidance. Staying away from the devotional entirely Father Gleason has made this into a historical-philosophical treatise which could some day become the basis for a more down to earth condensed version of this important subject so central to Christianity. There are flashen of Father Gleason's capacity to clarify difficult concepts throughout the book, but generally the treatment will overcomes all but formal students of the subject whether in the seminary or in the new theology courses now growing more popular on the college campus. (Father Gleason is head of the department at Fordham University.) One of the beat sections in the book is Father Gleason's appendix on ""Luther and Reform"" which nerves to summarize the abstract presentation of the rest of the book on the practical level undoubtedly will be rated as a ""breakthrough"" in the field dominated by even more heavily ponderous tomes, but it is still not the book to satisfy the needs of just any serious minded Catholic.