Category Archives: Book Reviews

Inflamed by Love


I remember, in the mid-sixties, when she first arrived in Combermere, having served the poor in both the inner city and overseas.


There was a radiance about her which, in near forty years of friendship we shared on earth, and now seven years of her heavenly intercession, seemed to grow stronger.

It is of Jean Fox [1931-2204] of whom I speak.

Successor to Catherine Doherty the Foundress of Madonna House, she was personally formed by Catherine.

In December 1985, just after Catherine’s funeral Jean came to me, knowing she was to be the first Director General of Women, and asked me to pray over her that she might share Catherine’s charism.

Jean was to be re-elected time and again, serving as Director General until her own death at the beginning of Holy Week in 2004.

Over those  years she gave many talks, wrote many letters and some of her writings have been gathered into a wonderful book: INFLAMED BY LOVE meditations for spiritual pilgrims.

One sample of her words: “All of us must go through the agony in the garden and walk the Via Dolorosa to be glorified through God’s mercy. There is no other way. Let’s walk hand in hand into that glory quickly, for the salvation of souls.”

Her book is available at:




Sometimes there are offered to us gifts of words which truly touch the heart.


I have been blessed in my priestly life to meet many men and women who both live our their primary baptismal vocation within the vocation of holy marriage and parenthood and within that truly use the talents given them, especially as witnesses to Christ through marriage and family life and through art.

Not only do I know, and yes admire and learn from these many years, James and Ellen and their sons, but with the two books recommended here was graced to read them in manuscript form and be further blessed.

Rather than do a detailed review here I will simply post the link to Full Quiver Publishing and say that the first novel, “Emily’s Hope” will heart-touch and inspire and the second, “In Name Only” will open a wonderful door to encouragement and trust.




                                                               I LIVE NOW, NOT I



Subtitled: Life as it is now becomes the mystery of Love in Christ – this brief work by Father Pat McNulty witnesses the power of grace, the true hope of baptismal life.






Published by Madonna House Publications it is readily available through:

There are some autobiographical hints in this work but the real focus is how grace works within the reality, sometimes painful, experiences of our lives.

In essence this book is about the love affair between each of us and our Crucified Lover.

One brief quote:  … the darkness, the solitude, the desert when there are no more answers because there were no more questions, “someone” teaches us in That Place that our suffering and pain is no longer just about us. It is also about Christ and thus about everyone else because we are one in Christ.”

This is a book we highly recommend.



Publishers are well aware of the importance of book covers – for often time when browsing for ‘just something to read’ an eye-catching cover frequently triggers a purchase.



I mention this at the outset of this review because when the first word in a title is: GOD and the title declares something He is doing, and beneath that is the picture of a radiant woman in procession with lighted candle and under that teasers about the content of the book such as: journey, Jewish, Christian, struggle, disease and gulag – well you can be pretty sure this will be a page turner!

However once begun this is no page turner in the usual sense, rather this is a book which moves mind, memory, heart to reflection, and much more!

Many books for priests are written by priests – some books neither written by priests, nor specifically for priests, are treasuries of insight which we need both for our ongoing journey of faith and to be more truly servants of those who come to us seeking hope, mercy, faith.

The book reviewed here is precisely that treasure of a book!

Written by a woman I know well, and have come to know and treasure even more through accompanying her in reading this book to places, even in my own heart I often avoid visiting, I confess writing here the struggle is against revealing too much and depriving thereby others having the same experience.

Approached with mere curiosity, or worst with a voyeur attitude and the reader will miss the power, beauty, indeed the grace of being offered, rather invited, to journey with a woman on “this adventure, this quest for ‘life in abundance’ promised by Christ….” as Miriam writes in the Preface.

As mentioned I have known Miriam, the way we most know one another, for decades and she is a most beloved sister, friend, co-struggler on this great adventure of life – however in this book it is as if I am graced to know the real woman, the real disciple, the real servant of the poor – because in her book Miriam speaks words, experiences, fears, poverty, persistent faith – like pools of cool water in the immense desert we all must cross to reach the threshold of eternal paradise – pools of cool water were we may slake our thirst and journey some more.

Here is one example from her diary notes of January 20, 1997:

“Lord, why is it so painful?” He pointed to the crucifix. “Yes, but you suffered for us!” “All suffering is united with my suffering.” “Are you sure these aren’t just my neuroses?”

“I died for those too.”

GOD CALLS ME MIRIAM by Miriam Elizabeth Stulberg is available from: