BOOK REVIEW: ‘Deification of Man in Christianity’ | Catholic Medical Quarterly

Deification Front CoverReview by Dr. Pravin Thevathasan, Editor of the Catholic Medical Quarterly (UK).

Saint John Paul II called the Church to breathe with “both lungs”, incorporating the spiritual traditions of both East and West. We tend to associate deification with the Christian tradition of the East. However, as the author of this very good summary of the subject shows, deification is very much part of the Western tradition as well. The tragedy of the Protestant revolt and the Lutheran understanding of man as totally depraved led to its undermining in the West. However, deification is very much in harmony with the Divine Indwelling in the soul as promoted by St Elizabeth of the Trinity and Blessed Columba Marmion. It is also entirely in keeping with the doctrine of spiritual childhood promoted by St Therese of Lisieux.

Deification, the author notes, is the transformative process whose aim is union with God. God became man so that man might become God. Not by nature, of course, as certain religions of Asia suggest: it is not possible for created beings to become God in the way that a drop of water falls into the sea. Deification is brought about by purification of mind and body and by theoria: that is, illumination with the vision of God.
For this reviewer, the importance of this subject lies in the fact that deification is not for the spiritually elite. It is for all Christians. It is effected only by human activity and God’s uncreated energies. Continue reading here.

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Out next year

Relics of the Saints: January-February

Relics of the Saints Bk 1 Front CoverHere is my latest book, just out, co-authored with Villanova University professor of art, Fr. Richard G. Cannuli, O.S.A. Below is the Hope and Life Press release for the book. Enjoy!

Relics of the Saints: January-February is the first of six volumes in the HOPE AND LIFE PRESS SERIES on relics of the saints of the universal church. Written by the Reverend Richard G. Cannuli, O.S.A., and Marcelle Bartolo-Abela, Relics of the Saints (Vol. 1) features in large, full color illustrations the first and second class relics, many of them rare, of 42 saints and blesseds venerated by the Catholic Church and/or the Orthodox Church during the liturgical months of January and February. Included are relics of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints Anthony the Great, Basil of Caesarea, Cyril and Methodius, Elizabeth Ann Seton, Ephraim the Syrian, Gregory of Nazianzus, Hilary of Poitiers, the Japanese Martyrs, John the Baptist, John Chrysostom, Josephine Bakhita, Marcella of Rome, Maximus the Hagiorite, Seraphim of Sarov, Symeon the God-receiver, Thomas Aquinas, and the Three Kings among others. Highlights of the lives of the saints and blesseds are also presented from authoritative sources, together with details of where the relics may now be found. Relics of the Saints: January-February is available in paperback and ebook editions directly from Hope and Life Press, Amazon globally, and major booksellers.

About the Authors

The Reverend Richard G. Cannuli, O.S.A., is professor of studio art at Villanova University and one of the foremost iconographers today. He is also a master watercolorist and world-renowned designer of liturgical vestments. Cannuli is the iconographer-author of the book Approaching the Divine: A Primer in Iconography  (2014, Hope & Life Press). His icons can be found in several churches and collections across the globe, including in the possession of Pope Francis; Patriarch Nasrallah Peter Sfeir, and at the famous monastery of Saint Catherine at Mount Sinai, Egypt.

Marcelle Bartolo-Abela is a Catholic Christian writer on faith and spirituality in daily life. She is also the founder and director of Hope and Life Press. Bartolo-Abela is the author of the books A Voice Calling God’s People, Deification of Man in Christianity, God’s Gift to Humanity: The Relationship Between Phinehas and Consecration to God the Father; The Divine Family: Experiential Narratives; The Divine Heart of God the Father, The Icon of the Divine Heart of God the Father: Apologia and Canon; The Warrior-Prince: Saint Michael the Archangel; and Thoughts for the Day: Reflections for the Soul. 

 

JUST OUT: The Warrior Prince – Saint Michael the Archangel

4* Review for Deification of Man in Christianity

Deification Front Cover“Although very concise, this small book offers a very good introduction to the Deification/Theosis of man, the very purpose of all our lives, particularly from the Eastern Orthodox perspective. It is replete with credible references, both biblical and from respected Eastern Orthodox saints, that together provide a sound basis for the postulation of the author, who here in this book attempts to represent the overarching view of the Eastern church to those less familiar or completely unacquainted. The book is readable within a couple of hours . . . [it] is recommended for those that would like a better understanding of Theosis but without having to encounter all the accompanying extraneous theological baggage.”

(Source: Amazon.co.uk)