Father Riga is sometimes considered to be one of America's most gifted Catholic spiritual writers. Sometimes materially less. It depends upon which of his seven--now eight--books one has read. The present work, unfortunately, inclines one more to the latter opinion than to the former. Its intention is to explain the Sermon on the Mount, and explain it does, with thoroughness and competency, but also with a pedantic aridity that is more redolent of a publication of the Pontifical Biblical Institute than it is conducive to illumination of the mind of the general Catholic reader for whom the book is intended. Perhaps the book fails at the level of its intention because the author has attempted to do too much in too few pages: explanations of background, comparison of texts, semantic cavils, digressions on, e.g., the Biblical foundations of divorce, all in addition to an analysis of the Beatitudes themselves, overwhelm the reader with interesting, and therefore distracting, and non-essential, details, leaving him with the feeling that the subject has been treated in breadth rather than in depth.