July 23, 2009

Fire of Love by James McCaffrey

BOOK #: 60
REASONS READ: 9 in 2009 Challenge
PUBLISHER: Pauline Books and Media
GENRE: Spirituality/Religion
RATING: 4 Stars

From the age of fifteen until her death at twenty-four, Therese of Lisieux lived a hidden life in the seclusion of a Carmelite convent in France. Today, she ranks among the great Doctors of the Church, alongside such figures as Augustine and Thomas Aquinas. This hidden nun, unknown at the time of her death, has become an inspiration for countless men and women all over the world through her writings and spirituality of child-like confidence in God. This warm and intimate portrait of Therese demonstrates that the message of her life is more relevant now than ever before, and introduces us to a practical spirituality for our troubled times. Her life, a celebration of littleness and powerlessness-qualities despised in a world in relentless pursuit of materialism and power-leads us directly to the loving heart of God.

I love all books about St. Therese, as she is my patron saint, and I adore her attitude towards life. I also liked that it covered many facets of St. Therese's life. This book was another one that had broken up its chapters into subheadings, which I always appreciate. It makes reading so much easier for me. I also liked how he explained what prayer was to St. Therese and what all of her actions and beliefs were. McCaffey took the time to explain the beliefs and reasons why behind everything St. Therese did, which I enjoyed.

The book says "Fire of Love: Praying with St. Therese" but there were not many actual prayers in the book. I wanted more active participation with the book than I got. I wanted to take away prayers and quotes and anecdotes and thoughts on her by others that I could keep for times when I needed them. There were many, but I suppose my expectations were too high. How many can there possibly be, right? I also did not care for the 'Reflections' sections, but another reader may enjoy them. They just weren't my cup of tea, so to speak.

I probably would not recommend this to a friend who was interested in St. Therese. I would direct him/her to The Story of a Soul, which I mentioned earlier, as well as The Love That Keeps Us Sane: Living the Little Way of St. Therese of Lisieux by Marc Foley.
But if you have been studying saints or St. Therese in particular for a while, I would say this book is worth a read.

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  1. I had no idea she died at age 24. Thanks for the other recommendations too.

  2. I'm not very familiar with St. Theresa of Lisieux (St. Theresa of Avila, yes). I think I'd probably read some of the other books you recommended before I read this one. Thanks. :)


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