Review by Martin Blake of Christian Living: The Spirituality of the Foyers of Charity
Christian Living:The Spirituality of the Foyers of Charity, by Donal Foley, (Theotokos Books £7.95)
A Review by Martin Blake - November 2006
This, the second book Donal Foley has written and published under the umbrella of Theotokos Books, is a timely and essential introduction to the Foyers of Charity.
One of the vibrant and influential ‘New Ecclesial Movements' (which Dr Ian Ker in his Foreword sees as having great potential “both for evangelisation and for the renewal of the Church”), the Foyers were founded by the handicapped French mystic Marthe Robin in 1936. Today they are spreading strongly all over the world, but not yet in the anglophone parts.
Consisting of communities of baptised persons around a priest, their apostolate is the training and formation of the laity by means of five day silent retreats. Nothing is more badly needed throughout the Church at this time, and more and more bishops particularly in the Third World are beginning to realise it, and ask for a Foyer in their dioceses.
Christian Living is based on retreat conferences given at Courset neat Boulogne by the founder of that Foyer, Pere Michel Tierny. His retreats were always most stimulating, and I have sat at his feet with great profit several times. Donal has woven material from his retreats skillfully into seventeen chapters by themes, and has added appropriate quotations from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Readers will be struck by the amount of the Gospels quoted in each chapter, but this is very much the hall mark of basic Foyer retreats. They are aimed at leading ordinary people back to the fundamentals of Christianity.
So this is a book which should appeal both to Catholics and Evangelical Christians equally, at the same time leaving no doubt as to the importance of the Church’s dogmatic teaching. For example there is a strong Marian element, and every retreat concludes with the Montfortian consecration to Jesus through Mary. The book also contains a chapter outlining the story of Marthe Robin, and the origins of the Foyers of Charity.
From Faith Magazine, Jan-Feb 2007
Theotokos Catholic Books - Theotokos Books Section - www.theotokos.org.uk