5 January 2024

The Glories of Mary

When the End comes, we may finally hear the full tally of the graces received in the Universal Church through the Ministry of S Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, including the prayers of his Sons. Not least shall we know what, in our own dark days, the Community on Papa Stronsay have done for us all by their prayers, sufferings, and good works.

The Sons published, some years ago, the first part of The Glories of Mary, which is a beautifully rich commentary on the Salve Regina. This work of S Alphonsus is far from modern! But be instructed by C S Lewis, who, in his essay on Reading Old Books, points out the advantages of reading the writings of ages not our own. It is not, argues Lewis, that another age will have been infallible, but at least any errors will not be the same mistakes as we, in our age, make. This is alone capable of validating Old Books.

If this is true of the merely secular literature of which Lewis writes, how much more true will it be true of the devotional labours of as great a Saint, filled with the Holy Ghost, ardent in his love for our Most Holy Redeemer, activated by passion for the Immaculate Mother of God! But it certainly does take us to another age; to the beauties and profundities of baroque devotion. S Alphonsus was immensely widely read, and stories, anecdotes, evidences of Divine Grace, from all the previous ages of the Church, abound . One is led from page to page by striking accounts and illuminating episodes.

And, not least, the pages are full of awareness of the presence, and the maleficent power, of the Evil One. This alone would make it an important document for our own age, in which Satan's strategy is to go in subtle disguises. In two millennia, he has never been so successful in deceiving the worldly wise! Even now, I gather, he has not ceased to attack the Redemptorist communities which found their charism among the Sons of Papa Stronsay.

I don't know if the Sons still have this book on sale. But they certainly have Good Stuff still available!

The Desert Will Flower Press
Golgotha Monastery Island
Papa Stronsay
KW17 2AR
Orkney Islands,
United Kingdom


Claudio Salvucci said...

“It is not, argues Lewis, that another age will have been infallible, but at least any errors will not be the same mistakes as we, in our age, make. This is alone capable of validating Old Books.”

How right he was!! And how deliciously apt his coinage “chronological snobbery”.

The fierce traditionalism among the post-1970 set has been partly driven by the Internet and increased availability of old works...so boldly, unapologetically, and flagrantly opposed to the spirit of our own myopic age and so strongly condemnatory of ideas that senior prelates hardly even dare question today.

It hits you like a freight train once you are exposed to it.

PDLeck said...

Unfortunately, there is a typo in your link for the Papa Stronsay bookshop. It should be: http://papastronsay.com/bookshop

Banshee said...

I agree that there is a great deal to be said for the power of Old Books on the Internet. People started putting them up in the old BBS days, and they have never stopped coming. Despite the constant fiddling with search engine results, they are bound to show up in your world. You can check their footnotes and explore their references to other Old Books, and they are a constant invitation to learn Latin and Greek and other tongues.

There is also a world of difference between reading about books and reading the actual books. It causes you to question how you were carelessly or carefully misinformed.

Banshee said...

PS - Amazon Prime in the US has Grand Tour of the Scottish Islands viewable for free, and the series includes a visit to Papa Stronsay. The monastery is like Eden on a rock! Pretty amazing!

The Ancient Professor said...

The Glories of Mary, the complete book is under ebooks on their website. https://www.papastronsay.com/publications/library/Saint%20Alphonsus/the-glories-of-Mary.pdf