Your Gateway to Music and More from a Christian Perspective
     Slow down as you approach the gate, and have your change ready....
SubscribeAbout UsFeaturesNewsReviewsMoviesConcert ReviewsTop 10ResourcesContact Us
 
 
Home
Subscribe
About Us
Features
News

Album Reviews
Movies Reviews
Concert Reviews
Book Reviews

Top 10
Resources
Contact Us



 


Facets of Faith, 
Arthor: W. Paul Jones
Publisher: Cowley Publications, 907 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, Mass. 02139, 2003,
Length: pp. 248. $15.95. pb.  

The description of the author led this reviewer to think the book was about W. Paul Jones’ experience as a United Methodist minister who became a Roman Catholic priest and a Family Brother of the Trappists.  He now lives as a hermit in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri.  However---the book is a deep dive into theological matters that include an explanation of the structure of the Mass, monastery life, turning the other cheek, and observing a quiet death. 

The title, Facets of Faith, which I originally took to mean one’s contemplation while living in the Ozarks, instead meant philosophical studies of prayer, the Eucharist, and commitment. Page one of the book was confusing when the author began on original sin.  His discourses into the sections of the mass make you wonder where he is going with this, and chapter eight, “Failure,” has sections of “The Purifying of Motivation” and “Rhythms of Paradox in the Desert.”  It is at this point, that the reader may become tired of word play.  However, hang in there, because when W. Paul Jones wants to tell a story, he can. 

Chapter eleven, “Anger,” deals with it from both human and divine sides.  This chapter, alone, could be a book.  “Teresa of Avila puts her anguish directly to God: ‘I do not wonder, God, that you have so few friends from the way you treat them.’”  Then, there is the triumphant announcement to the Old Testament Jacob, after wrestling with the Divine: “You have striven with God and with humans, and have prevailed.” Chapter Fifteen, “Mercy” begins with the dry statement that “So it was with the disciples. When the bottom falls out, we can only do what we know. They went fishing.”  Then it moves to the author being a spiritual advisor for a condemned man and a look at capital punishment. The author’s wit in Chapter Eighteen, “Being,” tells of life in a monastery and his remembrance of trying to find a quiet time in the outside world, “Others even refuse to grant us the right to privacy, for if the phone rings more than several times, the voice will demand,” Where were you?’”  

My comments for Facets of Faith, would be to have a captivating beginning, instead of delving into philosophical subjects first, which may lose the reader.  It is only after staying the course, that you reach the meat of the book and it is these sections which will remain in the reader’s mind.

Copyright 2004 Marie Asner
Submitted 3/24/04
 

 

 
 Copyright © 1996 - 2004 The Phantom Tollbooth