Monday, November 14, 2022

Two Classic Works by Dom Columba Marmion, in New Centenary Editions

Readers of NLM will no doubt be familiar with Bd. Columba Marmion (1858-1923), one of the great modern masters of the spiritual life and a true son of St. Benedict in his appreciation for the interplay of liturgical and personal prayer, and his reliance on Sacred Scripture, absorbed in lectio divina, as his guiding light for all his meditations. 

In honor of the upcoming centenary of Dom Columba's death, Silverstream Priory has brought out new unabridged editions of two of his most important works: Christ the Ideal of the Monk and Christ in His Mysteries. Both may be purchased from the monastery's gift shop and publishing house, Cenacle Press.

This centenary edition of Christ in His Mysteries features:
- Entirely re-typeset text
- Corrected references
- New translations of all of Marmion’s Latin quotations

“The mysteries of the God-Man are not only models which we must consider: they contain moreover within themselves treasures of merit and grace. By His almighty virtue, Christ Jesus, ever-living, produces the inward and supernatural perfection of His states in those who are moved by the desire of imitating Him and placing themselves in contact with Him by faith and love.”

Whereas Dom Columba Marmion’s classic work Christ the Life of the Soul aims at showing that the “Christian life is essentially supernatural, and can only be found in Christ” who is both the model and cause of all holiness, Christ in His Mysteries continues this teaching by demonstrating that Christ’s life is manifested to us in the mysteries of His Incarnation. Marmion shows why Christ’s mysteries are ours: He lived them for us; in them He is our Exemplar; and in them He unites us with Himself.

Following the great feasts of the Liturgical year, Marmion treats of traits of the Person of Jesus, Who comes to redeem the world by His Sacrifice, contemplating the mysteries of the God-Man. Of these pages, Dom Marmion says: “Written for Him, they speak only of Him. May they further reveal to souls the secret of the love of a God who appeared amongst us! May they lead souls to drink more often at the fountains of living water which have sprung up, for our salvation and joy, from the pierced Heart of Jesus!”

This centenary edition of Christ, the Ideal of the Monk features:
- A new foreword by Dom Xavier Perrin, Abbot of Quarr
- Entirely re-typeset text
- Corrected references
- New translations of all of Marmion’s Latin quotations

“Every vocation, even the simple Christian vocation, comes from God. Our Lord Himself says ‘No man can come to Me, except the Father draw him.’ But it is God’s love for us—and as we are born miserable, it is His merciful love—which is the origin of this call.”

A work which goes to the heart of the Rule of St Benedict, this classic of the Irish Benedictine Blessed Columba Marmion has fed generations of God-seeking souls. Capable of touching the heart of anyone drawn to the monastic virtues, it is a book which grounds every aspect of the religious life in the person of Christ. “All the Divine mercies towards us have for their first principle this invitation to share, by adoption, in the Sonship of Christ Jesus,” writes Abbot Marmion. “The monastic vocation itself only aims at perfecting this adoption, at making it more extensive, by a deeper participation in Christ’s grace, by a more finished imitation of the Divine Model.”

Drawing on centuries of tradition and monastic literature as well as decades of personal experience as a monk and father of souls, Abbot Marmion presents monastic observance in a way which is both accessible and profound. In the foreword to this new edition, Abbot Xavier Perrin says of this book: “Full of wisdom and simplicity, it provides an almost complete commentary on the Rule. One feels in it the power of the Gospel and the real grandeur of monasticism. It is able to give to monks and nuns, oblates and friends of monasteries, as well as to many Christians, a renewed trust in Christ and in St Benedict’s sure guidance.”

Visit Cenacle Press for more information and to order. The books are also available at Amazon and other online retailers. (It benefits the monastery more to order directly from their shop.)

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