Escape from Evil's Darkness
The Light of Christ in the Church,
by Robert Spitzer, S.J
This is the second volume of the Called Out of Darkness trilogy by Fr Spitzer.It is as good as the first volume.
The first part of the book is an excellent work of Catholic apologetics, a field of endeavour that is so much in need. Fr Spitzer shows us so clearly that Jesus founded a Church, the Roman Catholic Church with Peter at its head. He then shows us that Peter's successors have the same role as Peter in leading the Church. In order to put forward his case, he has recourse to the teachings of some of the early Church Fathers, including Pope St Clement I and St Ignatius of Antioch.
He then looks at the sacramental life of the Church. The teaching on the Holy Eucharist is inspiring and reverent. Fr Spitzer tells us why marriage is indissoluble, as has always been taught by the Church (Looking back, that was the main reason I could not bring myself to join the Eastern Orthodox Church, much as I love the liturgy). Father Spitzer notes that the marital commitment is called a "vow" rather than a mere promise. This commitment enables husband and wife "to trust that there will be no abrogation of the relationship-even under the most challenging circumstances."
The chapter on prayer is an excellent overview of Ignatian contemplation and Lectio Divina among the different kinds of prayer. There is a section on the Rosary and how to converse with the Lord.
Father Spitzer reminds us that spiritual conversion requires moral conversion. He looks at the virtues. This was a very helpful and practical section, especially his discussion of humble-heartedness and gentle-heartedness.
The last section includes a chapter on the sacrament of Reconciliation, its origins, theology and practice.
What Father Spitzer has achieved is quite phenomenal, to have included so much of our Catholic faith in one work, admittedly quite a large work.