About Blessed Columba Marmion
Born in Ireland, Blessed Columba Marmion served for several years as a priest in Dublin before finding a vocation to the monastery. One of the great Catholic authors of the 20th century, his books, acclaimed by Popes and lay faithful alike, sold some 1.5 million copies.
Firmly rooted in the Bible, the Liturgy, and the writings of the Saints and Doctors of the Church, Marmion explores every aspect of Catholic dogmawith penetrating insightbut his great emphasis is on the person of Christ, and the doctrine of Divine Adoption. Indeed, there is hope among his admirers that not only will he one day be declared a saint, but also a Doctor of the Churchthe Doctor of Divine Adoption.
Marmions long experience as a teacher served him in good stead in his books, as did his work as a much sought-after spiritual director. His writings are marked both by the remarkable clarity of their exposition, and by their keen psychological insight and sensitivity.
Praise for Marmion and Christ, the Life of the Soul
An authentic treasury of spiritual truth...
May a widespread rediscovery of the spiritual writings of Blessed Columba Marmion help priests, religious and laity to grow in union with Christ and bear faithful witness to Him through ardent love of God and generous service of their brothers and sisters.
Pope John Paul II, speaking at Marmion's Beatification ceremony
The works of Marmion are outstanding in the accuracy of their doctrine, the clarity of their style, and the depth and richness of their thought.
Pope Pius XII
"A masterful mixture of theological richness and conversational clarity... The beauty of this masters writing is its ability to communicate dense theological insights to people with zero theological training. He seamlessly cites Scripture, conciliar decrees and writings from the doctors of the Church, all with a pastors warmth and care. Translator Bancroft provides a number of helpful notes, and the appendixes include information about Blessed Marmions cause for canonization, as well as a chronology of his life. Zaccheus Press is to be commended for offering a new generation the opportunity of sitting at the feet of one of the great spiritual masters of modern times."
Carl Olson, National Catholic Register
"Magnificient... There is constant recourse to quotations from Sacred Scripture, woven into the text in a masterful way, so as to bring the letter of Scripture alive in the mind of the reader. The figure of Jesus becomes present in all His reality as Lord of Heaven and as living here on Earth for us... This is an outstanding book for meditation and spiritual reading."
Msgr. John F. McCarthy, Living Tradition
"There are hundreds of books available on spirituality, but few of them are truly classics that will survive the wearing of time. This is a classic... There is a simplicity and clarity about his presentation of the spiritual life that is most attractive... I give it a five star rating and recommend it for priests, religious and lay people who want to come closer to Christ and to grow in holiness."
Fr. Kenneth Baker, S.J., Editor, Homiletic & Pastoral Review
"My copy of Columba Marmions Christ, the Life of the Soul - heavily underlined and annotated from use on retreats during my youth - is on somebody elses bookshelf. Years ago I lent it to a friend, never got it back, and now I would love to reread my juvenile spiritual effusions. Marmions classic work was one of the most widely read spiritual books in the period before Vatican II. In retrospect, it stands as both a solid book of spiritual reading and a serious theological work... It is good to have this book back in print at a reasonable price. When it first appeared in English, Cardinal Francis Bourne of Westminster predicted that many readers would rise up and bless the author. As Marmions cause proceeds in Rome, that appears to be happening."
Lawrence S. Cunningham, Commonweal
"It is easy to see why this book has been a favorite of Catholics, from popes to laymen, for almost a century. It has a very accessible style... one that proceeds in an orderly and thorough way... Built on Christ-centered theology, this work brings in a wealth of scriptural representations for each point, and leads the reader in a study that is conducive to prayer, reflection, and the cultivation of virtue. This must be one of the most Christ-centered books of any age, with the love that the author has for Christ shining forth on every page... A spiritual classic... its moving language is a tribute to both the author and the translator."
Rosemary Lunardini, New Oxford Review
"A classic of spiritual reading."
Fr. Tom Caswell, Inland Register
An invitation to laity, religious, and clergy to return to the pure waters of life and leave behind the murky creaks and polluted rivers that have engulfed us for much of the last half century.
Fr. Benedict Groeschel, writing in the Foreword
"Dom Columba Joseph Marmion, OSB was undoubtedly one of the great spiritual authors of the twentietch century... Here we consider the latest English translation of Christ, the Life of the Soul by Alan Bancroft. Bancroft has produced a very readable and accurate rendition of the original French text, which conveys the nuances of Marmion's teaching. It is to be warmly commended... and Bancroft is to be congratulated for attempting to bring Marmion to the forefront of Catholic spirituality."
Anselm J. Gribbin, O.Praem, Journal of Theological Studies (Oxford University Press, 2007)
"When one considers the spaciousness of his work, the richness and striking nature of his details, the indelible impression remains that one is in the presence of a true master, whose experience and thought are above the ordinary, who gives a new value to everything he touches."
Ephrem Boularand, S.J.
"Other great spiritual writers, such as St. Teresa of Avila or St. John of the Cross, analyze, with the penetration of genius, the most sublime states of the soul in the course of the mystical life. Nobody is the equal of Dom Marmion in his understanding of the mystery of Christ: the only Son of God, who by His Incarnation has become our head. God sends to each age the doctors and the saints of whom the Church has need. The men of today need a God who will look down on their troubles with the heart of a Father. Alongside St. Thérèse of Lisieux, who stands before us as the saint and doctor of spiritual childhood, God has raised up Dom Marmion to be the doctor of divine adoption and one of the greatest masters of our time."
Fr. M. Philipon, OP